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How I Get Conference Sponsorships

So, you know that there’s a conference coming up, and you want to go. You’ve probably seen other bloggers, like me, get sponsorship for those conferences. Now you’re wondering… how do I get a sponsor?

Well, I can’t tell you how to get a sponsor but I can tell you how I have gotten sponsors for conferences. A few things to keep in mind before reading further: first, I’m a pretty well known blogger. I’m not bragging (much), it’s just part of why I am able to get sponsorships. I have a massive twitter following that is absolutely key to my being able to get sponsors. Secondly, I don’t get as many opportunities as you’d think. Why? Because I swear, talk about politics, and tackle other subjects that make brands a bit shy about working with me.

Lastly, it is absolutely key that you respect the boundaries of the conference you are attending. Find out what the rules are for personal sponsorships, and honor them.

That said, here we go.

1. Outreach

In order to get sponsorship for a conference, say BlogHer 12, the time to begin looking… is NOW. Yes, NOW. Companies set their marketing budgets at least a year in advance, and while they might have some play, you want to get in on that social media marketing budget list as soon as you can. So it’s time to begin your outreach.

Almost exclusively, I begin my outreach on Twitter. Please note that this is exactly what our own Danielle Wiley says NOT to do. So maybe you shouldn’t do it. But I do. When not doing cold calls on Twitter, I reach out to my contacts and already established partners. I’ve worked with some of the same companies repeatedly, so I often will send a quick heads-up email asking if they are interested.

2. Pitch

Once I have a query, I create the pitch. Here’s what goes into my pitch.

a) I like to make it look pretty, so I use my blog banner at the top.

b) First paragraph says this:

Let me tell you what’s attractive about me and why I’m a great option for conference sponsorship. My platform is considerable: My blog receives 60,000 unique page views a month, I have a whopping 57,900 twitter followers, and over 3,300 Facebook friends, and 1,100 Facebook fans.

c) Second paragraph details information about the conference and why they want to be represented at that conference.

The BlogHer conference is the largest social media conference for women in the world. This year over 3,500 people will be attending, many of them potential customers and advocates for your brand. The conference is being held in August, 2012, in New York City.

d) The next paragraph contains, in a single sentence, the dollar amount I am seeking, typically registration + hotel + flight.

e) Then I list what the sponsorship will include. This is a fairly typical package I offer.

What sponsorship would include will be:

• a 75×350 pixel ad embedded in each post for two weeks that reaches not only the readers that visit my site, but also the 3,000 subscribers that use feed readers.

• A post detailing my experiences with your product.

• Regular tweets before, during, and after the conference (at least 3 tweets a day for five days) with at least 3 per day mentioning your brand. Tweets would be in my traditional fun style.

• Distribution of information about your organization (within conference boundaries)

• Collection of blogger business cards to create list of bloggers interested in being part of or reviewing your organization, presented to you after the conference in an excel spreadsheet

Then a closing note.

That’s it.

Key points:

• never make your pitch longer than one page

• keep pitch stat and number heavy

• start with full amount, always, but remain willing to negogiate

• keep language direct and clear

Lastly, don’t for the love of GOD lie about your stats or influence. On the same token, don’t downplay your influence either. Good luck! Hope to see you at BlogHer 12!

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