How To Find Sponsors for Your Next Blogging Conference

If you read these here pages even casually, you may have noticed -he said with a smirk- that Triberr is putting on a conference for bloggers.

This is a brand new experience for us.

It’s kinda weird. It’s a lot of work. We have no idea what we’re doing. And most importantly, it’s proving to be one of the best things we could have possibly done.

The success of any conference seams to hinge on one primary, and most important factor. Sponsors.

So, I’d like to share with you how we managed to wrangle up sponsors for TribeUpNYC. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to do the same for your next event.

Work Up Front

Based on my discussions with Nick Kellet, the Founder of List.ly, and Liva Judic, the Overlord of OverBlog, I decided that the event will NOT have sponsors.

Instead, it will have Co-Organizers, Event Partners, and Event Champions.

Nick insisted that the sponsorship model is broken and mostly doesn’t work for sponsors. And he’s right. I’ve been to some sites where only sponsor logos are displayed, but aren’t linked. Kinda pointless, if you ask me.

Sponsors are expected to fill up the bag oh swag, and most of us pick through it, pull out 1, maybe 2 things that we might end up using, and throw away the rest. So wasteful.

Liva and OverBlog have sponsored many events, and Live was in absolute agreement.

So, first things first, we “re-branded” the word “sponsor”. :-)

We have Co-Organizers, Event Partners, and Event Champions.

Value Proposition

Then we worked on what we could offer to our “sponsors”.

The feedback we got from folks in the conference-making industry is that the sponsor package we offer is insane.

Our sponsors get a TON of benefits, and our price-points are insanely low.

A post like this one is not even part of the package, and yet, every single sponsor will get a link, a mention, and an impression. Why?

Because I’m thankful, and it’s the right thing to do.

The How?

How did we manage to wrangle up sponsors?

I’m personally terrible at logistical stuff, we have no history of delivering an event like this, and smart-money is on…well, somebody else.

So, first things first, we decided to partner up with Internet Media Labs.

More specifically, we decided to partner up with Brandie McCallum, aka Lttlewys, because she an organizing wonder-woman. Amy Vernon jumped into the fray at her own peril, and has been a tremendous asset.

Brandie and Amy are handling logistical stuff on the ground. And IML is providing the space.

We couldn’t have asked for a better arrangement and a more complimentary set of skills in a partner.

You guys rock! :-)

And then we started collecting sponsors. First came My Blog Guest.

My Blog Guest

Ann Smarty, a highly regarded SEO expert, who also happens to run a community site for guest bloggers, signed up first, and signed up big.

How did we get My Blog Guest? Well, I think the answer has two parts.

First, Ann has been a member of Triberr since the very beginning. Her user ID number is 129.

So Ann has had a relationship with our platform for well over a year. But that’s not all.

The other Founder of Triberr, Dan Cristo, (and you can feel free to call him the other white meat :-)), is not only a monster SEO expert in his own right, but him and Ann have had a mutual profesional admiration ever since Ann joined Triberr.

And I think that was the second ingredient.

Of course, that’s just me talking. I will ask both Dan and Ann to give their thoughts on this in the comments below.

M80

Another Dan get.

You know, I’m usually the reckless one. Not Dan.

When we announced the conference, we didn’t have a single sponsor. I wanted us to wait, and get some sponsors first, but Dan was like “nah, screw that…let’s just do it”. And so we did.

M80 is a Social Media Marketing Agency for some of the biggest brands in the world.

The President of M80 and Dan are lunch-buddies.

I’m pretty sure Jeff (the President of M80) is sponsoring the conference first and foremost because he likes Dan. And why wouldn’t he? Dan is awesome. :-)

But once again, I will ask both Dan and Jeff to chime in as to what they think cinched the deal.

RockLinkedIn

How much would you pay if I told you that you could learn how to maximize LinkedIn to improve your profesional standing and make more money?

And what if I told you that the training is done by the two most knowledgable, most experienced, and insanely fun teachers?

Seriously. How much?

And what if it was free?

This is one of those crazy things, you guys. Lori Ruff and Mike O’Neil are both on the list of Forbes’ Top 50 Social Media Influencers, and they are both insanely knowledgable, and fun.

Just go take a look for yourself.

Lori and Mike, with their RockLinkedIn series of professionally produced training videos -where you are so thoroughly entertained you forget you’re learning stuff- is one of those things where they decided to dump a TON of value on you, for free.

I seriously have no idea what their monetization strategy is here. My best guess is that they want you to consider them as your go-to source for corporate training in LinkedIn, which is what they do for a living, so it kinda makes sense.

Even if you don’t need LinkedIn training, you want to check out RockLinkedIn. It’s THAT good.

What’s Next for TribeUp?

We’re doing 6-8 of these events in 2013 across US.

The idea behind the conference is to talk cutting edge blogging technologies, platforms, and techniques.

TED has “Ideas worth spreading”, we have “How to move the blogging industry forward”.

The speakers are the trailblazing elite, and the attendees are the “who’s who” of the blogging, and social media world.

If you’re interested in sponsoring, get in touch.

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi :-)

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Google Plus