Archive for the ‘Conferences’ Category
How to Get Sponsors for Your Event

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

sponsor_moneyI have had several people come to me asking how I birthed utopYA, the conference and awards that celebrate women writers of young adult and new adult fiction, because they want to create their own conference or event and would like to replicate its success.¬†For them, I held a special podcast a year ago, where I shared how we did it. I’ll probably be sharing that podcast recording again soon in some way.

I can even count a handful of these events that were created by women who attended utopYA, and wanted to bring that same opportunity and spirit to their own towns. Let’s stop right here, and take a minute to celebrate that. Let’s celebrate that more opportunities for writers to connect with fans and each other are popping up all over creation [insert happy dance here].

To honor one of my mission aims — thoughtful collaboration with like-minded entrepreneurs — I thought I’d pull back the curtain on sponsorship for those looking to attract them to your own events.

Here are my top tips on the steps needed for successful event sponsorship:

Set your goal(s)

How much money do you need? What is it you need or want to accomplish with the help of sponsors that you can’t do on your own or in a different way? Be specific.

Create your hit list

Who do you want to sponsor? Do your homework. Find companies sympathetic to your audience and to you. Find companies active in sponsorship, but who aren’t over extended. Find companies who can help promote.

Determine Audience — both yours and theirs

Find sponsors who want the audience that is attracted to you.

Know what you have to offer

What can you offer them in exchange for sponsorship? What can you do for them or create for them or offer them that will make saying yes to you a no-brainer?

Cultivate Relationships

Sometimes this means starting local — know any business owners, friends or family members who can help?

Use Twitter, Facebook and other social sites to not only do homework, but to talk with your potential sponsors. Get to know them way before you ask them for anything.

Create Proposal

Put together a nice-looking and well thought out document outlining your event mission, purpose, facts about your audience, facts about your industry, any press you have received, and your sponsor opportunities.

Work with rock stars

I recommend working with someone who has this as their ONLY task for your event. Getting sponsors is not a job that is easy to juggle along with the 50,000 other things on the event “To Do” list. I say this from personal experience. Then bring your team in to help execute.

Be tenacious

If at first you don’t succeed, try again. At the very least, you want to be in their minds when you come a-callin’ next year.


Creating successful events is extremely rewarding, but definitely full-time work if you want it done right and well. I see a lot of entrepreneurs trying to juggle events with other hobbies and passions. I’m not saying it’s impossible to do both, but, undoubtedly, there will be times when one or the other will suffer because you aren’t 100% focused on one. Be kind to yourself when this happens. It’s in our nature to beat ourselves up when our desire to be superwomen who do it all gets challenged. Know in your heart what you’re meant to do, and go for it with every cell of your being.

Hope these tips helped. Here’s to success for all of us!

Tags: event marketing, event sponsorship, how to get sponsors, how to write a sponsor deck, sponsor proposal
Posted in Advice, Conferences, events, marketing | No Comments »

Why Writers Should Attend Podcamp

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Attention all published and aspiring writers. Here’s the skinny on why it makes sense for you to attend events like Podcamp.

1. It’s FREE

and now for the real reason —

2.. The publishing world continues to change, and it isn’t enough anymore to just write the book. You have to be the publicist, the promoter, the marketer and, in some instances, the publisher yourself.

This year’s Podcamp has several sessions worth your time and attention to help you understand the online world of branding yourself AND your book, podcasting, building your online author platform, understanding the legalities of it all, how to network, the growing world of blogging and how it can affect your writing career and a lot more.

My particular session is called A Novel Idea: How Social Media Can Make You A Better Writer. I’m editing my 10-week course into a 35-minute session.

I walk people through what I call the four phases of a book’s life: 1. Concept and Research, 2. Writing 3. Publishing and 4. Promoting (getting people to buy it). I give examples, tools and tips on how certain networks can help you in each of these phases. Before you know it, you understand social media because you’ve integrated it into your lifestyle as a writer…on a daily basis.

I have a goal of my own for this year’s session: I’m hoping that those who attend it will also participate. All of our heads together are better than my talking head alone on the stage. As there are new apps and ways to leverage them coming to light all the time, my hope is that attendees will share their successes along this road.

I wrote a blog post called How to Pack for Podcamp that discusses what you can do to prepare for it, as well as what you can do once there to get the most out of it.

For those readers not attending this weekend’s Podcamp in Nashville, TN, I believe they will be posting the videos from the sessions. If not, I will definitely be bringing the goods to this blog shortly thereafter.

Going to Podcamp and other events like it IS part of your writing job better known as the modern life of a writer. Luckily, this one comes with booze.

Posted in Advice, authors, Conferences, marketing, Podcamp, social media, Social Networks, writing | No Comments »

How to Pack for Podcamp

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Who needs a groundhog when you have merely to wait for Podcamp registration to open? I know Spring is just around the corner when the birds start singing (tweeting), the updated site blooms with sessions, and busy bees descend on downtown Nashville’s Cadillac Ranch to pollinate the town with a wealth of information, friendship and business.

If you’re new to Podcamp, and aren’t sure what it’s all about, be sure and read yesterday’s Siblings Not Spouses post “What the Heck is a Podcamp?” After you finish come back here because this post is about how to get the most out of your Podcamp experience.

So, how can you make the most of Podcamp?


Have an objective: Know what it is you want to learn — how to create awesome content, blog, build your online brand, social media and causes, WordPress websites, the world of mobile. Knowing what you want to get out of it will help you plan your day.

Do your homework:

1. Visit the site. I have always been impressed by the caliber of the speakers and topics covered at Podcamp, and this year is shaping up to be no exception. If there’s a gap and you have the expertise, suggest a session. If you see a session that speaks to the heart of your objective be sure to sign up for it when the sessions have been finalized.

2. Get to know the other registrants and speakers before the event. Check out who’s going, follow them on Twitter, and start or join the conversation.


Be flexible: Sessions can change, get added or canceled. It happens. It is an unconference after all. Also, some of the best conversation might be happening outside a session. Be open to missing a panel if you find yourself in a great conversation with a like-minded attendee.

Speak up: Ask questions. Share answers. Meet people.

In addition to learning a lot from the sessions, Podcamp is an opportunity to brush up on your public speaking and networking skills as well as build and strengthen relationships. I find that being surrounded by like-minded individuals who are all eager to kick ass in their chosen fields is a huge confidence builder and motivator.

Finally, have fun. Eat the grub, drink the beer, dress casual. Oh, and bring money for parking.

Tags: confidence, networking, public speaking
Posted in Advice, Conferences, Podcamp | 2 Comments »