How I Got Sponsors & $ for My SXSW Trip

Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

Going to Conferences can be expensive especially for small business owners. I also commit some time in creating content for and which are efforts that are currently done on our own time without any financial compensation.

Finding Sponsors

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:

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.


I got the advice from George Torres better known as @urbanjibaro (on twitter) to read Peter Shankman’s post on Being Sponsorable.

Once I read this I decided to tweak my approach to the San Juan Marriott in ways I could be sponsorable to them. I decided to do the following:
  1. 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.
  2. I mentioned the fact that when I travel everyone wants to come to Puerto Rico so that is my opportunity to recommend the San Juan Marriott letting my peers know that they are supporters of bloggers and other online efforts.
  3. I included some ad space on the blogs I also included the statistics (from google Analytics) of the blogs we run like & this blog giving them a clear idea of the traffic I have on these sites.
  4. I also looked for ways to tie their current business efforts to my sponsorship which I will be sharing in the near future on this blog.
Overall I made sure I could offer something attractive from a business perspective to my sponsors. I also did this with a few other companies I contacted but with the San Juan Marriott it was very clear that I could help possible San Juan visitors stay at the San Juan Marriott as I have done in the past.

Partial Sponsorship

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.

If you are going to the conference feel free to take a look at our list of SXSW Resources which is being updated daily.

Have you thought of getting sponsors prior to attending a conference?

Our Trip Gold Sponsor

San Juan Marriott

Feel free to like the new Red Coral Lounge page on Facebook or visit their website.

Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico


  1. Jim Fierce on March 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Congrats on gaining such great sponsors. I am looking forward to meeting you at SXSW. 

    • Raul Colon on March 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm


      Thanks for reading the post and the support!