SXSW Roadside Vendor Ideas

 In Customization, Modify, Pop-Up Shops, Portable Vendors, Retail, Small Businesses

South by Southwest (SXSW) is almost upon us! March 11-20 marks one of the largest annual festivals to hit Texas with 90 venues and over 2,000 showcasing acts. SXSW is going to be so large this year that the Mayor of Austin, Steve Alder, is advising people to work from home this Friday as people from all over the world will begin to descend upon the city. President Obama is even stopping in this year, making him the first sitting president to ever participate in SXSW.

During the span of nine days, interactive, film and music events, talks, presentations and performances will be held. This affords companies of all sizes – promising startups and established industry leaders from near and far – to present their products to a huge audience of engaged festivalgoers. With 2015’s attendance totaling at 84,385 registered, badge-holding participants, the opportunity for exposure and growth is exciting to say the least.

From coffee shops to tech companies, custom-made goods to pop-up food shops, shipping containers are the ideal SXSW vendor spaces because of their compact structure, durability and, of course, their unparalleled transportability.


Austin’s Shipping Containers – SXSW 2015

At SXSW 2015, for example, we saw Taco Bell’s first pop-up shipping container store. The pop-up was created to drive Taco Bell to “explore dropping this type of asset in different locations, which will ultimately give us the ability to show up in unexpected places for our consumers.” Using a handful of containers, the structure only took three days to set up.

taco bell SXSW shipping containers

Photo courtesy of


Shipping containers received more recognition last year as the notable “Containertopia” couple, Luke Iseman and Heather Stewart, spoke of the possibilities of shipping containers with their talk about DIY off-grid urbanism in regard to their shipping container home. Their bamboo-floored, solar-powered and insulated abode is the center of a well-known container-based community in the heart of West Oakland.

Shipping container home SXSW talk

Photo courtesy of


But why stop there? SXSW – both official and unofficial events – afford vendors the opportunity to present their products to a whole new audience. Why not merge this love of new, innovative ideas, music and culture with a sustainable storefront that is transported once an event is complete? Just think if your company could be packed up and shipped to any festival in the world… with shipping containers, the possibilities are endless.

At Saf-T-Box, we couldn’t think of a more ideal location or festival to showcase the dynamic possibilities of shipping container structures. SXSW 2016 is well on its way, but maybe 2016 or 2017 are viable options. Let’s discuss the customizable options for your movable vendor storefront today.



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