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How To Sell Sponsorships For An Event

I run a lot of events - everything from the Hacker News Seattle Meetup to Ignite: Seattle to Startup Weekends to the Seattle Customer Development Meetup. For most of these events, I end up selling sponsorships to cover the costs. My friend is planning a conference and recently asked me for advice on how to sell sponsorships. This is my email back to her:

The biggest thing you need to answer is "What does the sponsoring company get out of this?" For the tech meetup events I run, it's usually either A) They're recruiting and want to recruit people at my event, B) They're trying to promote their product or service and get more people to use it, or C) They recognize the importance of supporting the community, and they're successful enough that they can spare the resources (this one is extremely rare. People will often say this, but the real reason is usually more like #1 or #2).

Once you figure out what they company wants, you can tailor the message a bit to them.

Now that you know what they want, it's time to go talk to them. You need to figure out who the right person to talk to at the company is. A good hack to do this is find other events they've sponsored, talk to the organizer for that event (organizers tend to be very friendly people! Just shoot them an email if you don't know them) and ask who their primary contact was.

If the organizer doesn't know you, they may not be comfortable introducing you. Instead, try asking for the contact information and offer to cold email the contact and not mention the organizer at all.

Hardcore Personal Finance

On Tynan

One thing leads to another. I screwed up my 2007 tax return and got audited (not a big scary one, just a "fix this or pay us" notice), which motivated me to go overboard and learn everything there is about taxes, as they relate to my finances.

I then started a rudimentary expenses sheet in Excel, just as reader and blogger, Mark left a comment telling me that I should read up on double-entry accounting. So I did.

As as side note, I really appreciate it when people suggest things to learn about or read, as they relate to my posts. I can't think of the others offhand, but I know there have been a few other big ones.

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