|The Awesome Table at SOBCon ’09,
an expensive but well-worth-it conference.
Becky McCray, Neenz Felaefine, Paul
Merrill, and Sheila Scarborough.
In some fields, it’s considered common practice. In other fields, it’s practically unheard of. I remember hearing legendary former Texas Governor Ann Richards speak, when her tour was sponsored by a pharmaceutical company. So sponsor relationships come in all sizes.
Sit down in person with the potential sponsor, and talk through what they need and what you can offer. Find a way to benefit both of you. There is no short cut. You have to dedicate the time to find the right exchange of value.
Thanks to Todd Jordan for helping to refine these ideas.
Next week: Not finding conference sponsors? Sponsor yourself.
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Adele McAlear says
Becky, The exchange of money for information is exactly what I offered last year to attract sponsors to offset the cost of attending SXSW (where we met in person for the first time.)
Other things I offered: I videotaped sessions that my sponsors were interested in, then transcribed the video so that the content could be sliced, diced and searchable. I also went out of my way to meet people that were pertinent to my sponsors’ businesses and provided a report of those conversations and their contact information. I did an executive summary of the experience, relevant to my sponsors’ needs, and had the whole thing (1 1/2 inches thick) spiral bound. I burned the video to DVD and sent that along too.
The sponsors were impressed with the results. So much so that one of them is sponsoring me again this year :)
My only advice when you are seeking more than one sponsor is to make sure they are not competitors. Complimentary businesses in the same industry work best.
(And, my thanks also go to Todd Jordan who last year encouraged me in my quest to find sponsors.)
See you at SXSW!
Becky McCray says
Adele, you went above and beyond for your sponsors. Not only did you give them good info, but you proved to them that you took your responsibility seriously. Great work! Thanks for sharing that real-world experience.