Getting Sponsors for Podcamp, Barcamp, or Any Other Event...

I had a question come in this week about event sponsorship. There are a lot of grassroots events out there and that in the current economy you might think it would be difficult to find sponsors but it’s actually easier than ever. As far as what sponsors are looking for, it’s very simple, the majority of them just want to sell more stuff. Companies that are Marketing savvy may be satisfied with access to the audience (meaning, an attendee list with good emails and maybe snail mail). The criteria for choosing your possible sponsor targets: Your attendees are their number 1 prospects, when they advertise, the put ads in locations where your attendees read or spend time. They have a active marketing organization with budget. There are 3 possible types, forward thinking ones that are already in social media (these are your number 1 prospects, because you don’t have to educate them as to the value of an event like this), ones that are doing advertising (they have budget and will be interested in an event like this that will be more effective and trackable than ads in magazines, radio, whatever), and third are companies that don’t actively market (and are a waste of your time). You have access to them – this can be challenging. It’s not enough just to email somebody or call the front desk, you need access to an upper level decision maker. Front line and most middle management aren’t looking for more work to do, so they will probably ignore you (like the folks at M-Audio who had no interest in Podcamp 1, and missed the bus). Forward thinking middle managers and top level guys are the ones who will see the value in sponsoring an event like this...

A Source of Inspiration...

I have been very impressed with CVS Pharmacy‘s program that goes above and beyond.

More Live from Hubspot...

23rd Annual Marketing Over Coffee Awards...

Nominations close in 1 hour for the 23rd Annual Marketing Over Coffee Awards! This is the last chance to show the world your greatest marketing accomplishments for 2008. Finalists will be announced on the podcast tomorrow, and winners announced next week – only 5 will be honored! Just comment here, or over at Marketing Over Coffee, all it takes is a link. One other thing – now that I have cleaned up all of the infrastructure problems I’d really appreciate it if you would be willing to favorite me on Technorati. If you have any link scams that you want help with, I’m willing to barter! (Just kidding… no evil scams...

Google Friend Connect in Action...

I had a Google alert trip this morning, Neville Hobson interviewed Scott Monty and Scott’s bio mentioned that he has been a co-host on Marketing Over Coffee (although I thought it went great, Chris Brogan referred to that episode as adding not only a 5th Beatle, but one with a Tuba). Regardless of your opinion on past content, the reason I’m posting is that Neville has implemented Google’s Friend Connect. As opposed to joining a Ning group or any other closed network where you have to fill out a bunch of stuff, if you are already signed into your Google account you can join in two clicks. It’s very cool, check it...

Finding Relevance

Making your message relevant puts you above the crowd, I thought this was great when I got it:

The Gap Between Cool and Everything Else...

This gap is clearly evident in Guy Kawasaki’s post of his Powerpoint extreme makeover. The only issue is the classic ghetto marketing conundrum – you already need to be cool to be able to afford a graphics artist that really rocks.  But you get what you pay for… not only does it look great but it extends the message and his story. This is critical because although they downplay the importance of the slides, many people retain more information presented in a visual fashion. Why don’t more people incorporated tactile feedback in presentations? Logistics I...

Crutchfield’s Dream Campaign...

As a card carrying gadget geek it should be no surprise that I get the Crutchfield catalog at home. Since I buy cheap crummy cars that are good on gas since they are just going to get abused on 128 or parking in Boston, the first thing I do is upgrade the speakers. They are always knowledgeable  and accept returns, which happens frequently if stuff doesn’t fit (which doesn’t matter to them because I’ve had enough equipment stolen that they make it up). The catalog this week had the results of their “You dream it, we’ll help you build it ™” contest. I don’t even remember seeing it before, but if I did I’m sure I thought “there’s no reason they would give me free stuff, they already know what I buy, and the wife is not about to let me put a kicker or glow neon on my sweet wheels for our quaint New England town.” I have taken to heart many of Christopher Penn’s statements about taking time to protect your mental state. We are bombarded with trash news and celebrity crap at a relentless pace. If you into sound systems take a few minutes and check out the sound system Robert Vega built for his...

Social Media Roast of Scott Monty...

At a recent conference I was discussing a party for Scott Monty to celebrate his new position at Ford. A flash of creativity created the first ever Social Media Roast. You are cordially invited to attend dinner on Friday, July 11th at the luxurious Ken’s Steak House (Home of the Famous Salad Dressings), in scenic Framingham, Massachusetts. Your $50 ticket gets you a steak and all the drinks we can afford, and the right to mount the podium and insult Scott in any way you think will be amusing. If the idea of a roast is new to you, check out this classic, though dated clip from Dean Martin’s series: To attend you must purchase a ticket from...

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO...

It’s not Spy vs. Spy. It’s different. I’ve only been to one SEO Event, as it’s much easier (faster, cheaper…) to do my research online. Recently there’s been a lot of chatter about one of Danny Sullivan’s events that some felt went too far into Black Hat Territory. I found a response that said “Guess what suckas! There is no White Hat!” of course I paraphrase. For n00bs (new people, to you n00bs), most believe there are two ways to do better in search engine results: White Hat – being “honest” and not doing Black Hat – making changes to your site, or getting links that have nothing to do with the user experience, and are done solely to score higher in the engines. Jason Calacanis deployed some f’ing astonishing Ju-Jitsu a little more than a year ago, stating that SEO was all BS. He issued a challenge made a lot of important points and said that SEO is “pissing in the community’s well”, based on his image of what the future would be (and I think he’s on the mark). The beauty of it all though is that it both validates the business model and drives traffic for his new venture Mahalo. A beautiful example of participating in social media and leveraging community. It’s not possible to buy or fake that kind of hype – but kids, don’t try this at home, you’re watching a professional stuntman here. Ok, so all that said… What to do? From what I’ve seen I think the wild west days are over. The web has become a communtity and the search engines are the law enforcement professionals. Black Hat has become like any other life of crime – it can provide benefit, but the downside is that...