The annual South by Southwest conference in Austin is happening this month and as usual, there’s a strong Vancouver showing. From local social media companies like Hootsuite to bloggers and digital media enthusiasts, our city’s technology elite migrate to Texas at this time every year.
A little while ago I was approached by Chevy to build a team from Vancouver, hop in a car, and drive to SXSW completing challenges along the way. Unfortunately I had to decline but I recommended this opportunity to my friend John Biehler, a true SXSW veteran and past speaker who knows of all the best BBQ locations.
Biehler signed on as Vancouver’s team captain and has since put together an enthusiastic group (with media, blogging, and PR backgrounds) who will all be piling into a Chevy vehicle next week for an unbelievable two week road trip. They’ve called themselves the “Eh Team” (in true Canadian fashion).
Eh Team Members
John Biehler – @JohnBiehler
Wayne Racine – @WayneRacine
Amber Turnau – @AmberTurnau
Leila Pejman – @ThePej
Michelle LeRoux – @MichelleLeroux
“After being offered (and accepting) the roll of team captain for the Vancouver entry in the 2011 road trip, I immediately scrambled to find others that met a pretty simple criteria,” John Biehler told me. “They had to be going to SXSW, they had to have a place to stay in Austin, and I had to be able to ‘live’ with them for days on end in the vehicle.”
One by one, he signed on teammates who fit his ideal descriptions to a tee. “Amber & Michelle were already going, thanks in part to my suggestion after talking to me shortly after I returned from the 2010 SXSW. They even booked their flights, rooms & bought their badges last summer after my insistence that rooms go quickly. Needless to say, they jumped at the opportunity to participate in the road trip.”
Once the dynamic duo from Whistler was confirmed, Wayne caught up with Biehler when a SXSW badge pretty much fell into his lap. “Leila was the last to confirm her participation,” Biehler added. “We had chatted at the SXSW mixer at the Waldorf Hotel a few months back about attending and once schedules and everything else came together for her, she was confirmed as the 5th team member.” I think it’s pretty safe to say that this is a ‘super group’ of local talent.
The Eh Team will be competing against 10 other teams from around North America who will also be making their way to Austin. To add to the excitement (and competition) they will also be fundraising for Raise a Reader with donations made through their team site.
You can follow along with their adventures down to SXSW on the Eh Team Blog or by searching #EhTeam on Twitter. They will also be hosting a send off party in style next weekend at Local Public Eatery Sunday, March 6th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm.
South by Southwest is a music, film, and interactive conference. The team will be attending the interactive portion (or SXSWi) March 11th until the 15th.