Going to Conferences can be expensive especially for small business owners. I also commit some time in creating content for Papaheroes.com and Veglatino.com which are efforts that are currently done on our own time without any financial compensation.
I surround myself with individuals that have creative ways of sharing information with me and play significant roles into many of my efforts. I consult with them on many of my key moves. I spoke to Mark Hayward and explained my concerns with not being able to make it to SXSW this year eventhough I had already bought my Airfare and Badge.
He quickly gave me a few ideas on how to approach my dilemma and recommended to reach out to the communities I am a part of.
Reaching out to Those Close to me
I first contacted the San Juan Marriott because I have established a good relationship with them. I have done Blogger Outreach events for them locally (which I was compensated for). On other occasions I have been a guest and customer of the San Juan Marriott and I was happy with the great customer service they deliver to their guests. I have written these past posts:
- #LaVistaBloggers Was a Great Experience Thanks to @SanJuanMarriott
- San Juan Marriott Video Bloggers
- A+ for being Social! Tourist or Mystery Shopper?
- Prioritizing Your Customers
- My Home Away From Home @Sanjuanmarriott
Next I contacted Chris Brogan who has been a big influence in my life both personally and professionally. I am lucky enough to be part of his Team at Human Business Works and I count on his support on many of my projects. Chris quickly told me the importance of establishing the precise amount needed to cover my expenses. It is critical to use that number as your target with the purpose of meeting your goal of being sponsored.
“BETTER BE SPONSORABLE”
I got the advice from George Torres better known as @urbanjibaro (on twitter) to read Peter Shankman’s post on Being Sponsorable.
- I created a consulting package at a discount to be included as part of the Sponsorship.
- Many small businesses might not have the budget to hire a consultant to help them to improve business processes or getting an understanding on emerging technologies. By offering the opportunity to let others know what their business is about (ads and mentions, etc) and coaching them to leverage new technologies to go after better and new business opportunities will definitely help you show them the value in them sponsoring you.
My expenses will be partly covered by the San Juan Marriott making it easier for me to offer sponsorship opportunities on the SXSW trip. Asking for only one company to sponsor you might seem ideal for you but for companies running with limited budgets asking for support from multiple sources might create an issue.
We still have an opening for another sponsor if you are interested but if you would like us to contact your company for the opportunity to sponsor our team in future conferences and events feel free to contact me.
Have you thought of getting sponsors prior to attending a conference?