[Yapc-na-organizers] [Fwd: Re: Sponsorship document]

Jim Brandt cbrandt at buffalo.edu
Fri Sep 22 10:06:45 PDT 2006

Jeremy Fluhmann wrote:
  I’ll try and work on something today, but if anyone has
> suggestions or is good at doing something like this, please let me know. 
> :-)  I already have some information from Pete about what they did for 
> their sponsorship document.
> We’ll also put together a larger sponsorship proposal for a few specific 
> companies that might be able to provide a larger contribution.

My main suggestion is to keep it simple. We're not Gartner or even
OSCON, so you don't want your sponsorship rules/opportunities to
outnumber your sponsors.

I like the platinum/gold/etc. idea and it's well understood. The trick
is coming up with a clear benefit for each level, other than just being
listed in a bigger font with a bigger logo. Although for some sponsors
that might be enough.

In my experience, the sponsorship of conference components is mostly for
sponsors who want their name attached to something. When I did YAPC, I
created a short list of these items with a dollar figure attached. When
a sponsor asked if they could sponsor something more prominent, I
offered the items. For example, O'Reilly sent a ton of books and also
wanted to offer money, but they didn't just want it to go into a big
pot. So they sponsored movie night and we had special coupons printed up
that said "O'Reilly Movie Night!"

It's always easiest if the sponsors just give money into a pot and you
can spend it as needed. It also eliminates any accounting to prove to
the sponsor you spent their money on the thing they thought they bought.

I think Josh and Pete found that things got too complex and moved to
simplify. Is that true, guys?

To address another question that came up, you can ask TPF to provide
checks up front for deposits and such. We don't expect organizers to
shell out their own cash and float it until the conference. We just need
documentation to show where the money is going.

Also, on the keep it simple front, you should weigh the effort required
to bring in things like beverages vs. the cost to have it provided. If
the cost savings is significant, it might be worth it. However, you'll
be busy the week of YAPC. Do you really want to be running to the store
to pick up a case of Coke? You often get things like plates, cups,
napkins and clean-up when you get the host caterer to take care of things.

To comment on the auction/dinner conversation, they are two separate
things. The auction was originally to raise money. The dinner is to have
a nice social event with everyone together. We have traditionally put
them together because it's convenient. The cost of the dinner has always
been an issue, and with such a low conference cost it probably always
will be. The host group always needs to decide how to handle the social
night given the budget and sponsorship they have available.

This is great discussion so early in the process!


Jim Brandt
Administrative Computing Services
University at Buffalo

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