Sep 17, 2011
We appreciate you taking time to consider sponsoring SQLSaturday #84 and we’ve put together some information that will tell our about plans for the event and show you how your company will benefit from sponsoring our event.
SQL Saturday! is a one day free learning event focused on SQL Server that is being organized by the West Michigan SQL Users Group (WestMISQL, www.westmisql.org. Details of the event can be found at http://www.sqlsaturday.com/84/eventhome.aspx. Below outlines some of the highlights with regard to sponsors.
· Provide a great networking experience for SQL Server professionals, vendors and employers.
· Build our speaker pool. We’ve worked hard to get local speakers for the event.
· Build relationships with sponsors. The local user groups are funded entirely by donations and we hope that you will see them as a good venue for highlighting your products, services or just as a good place to look for SQL talent.
· Provide a first class training experience for our attendees. Even though it will be free, we plan to make it as good as or better than a similar paid event.
We fully expect to draw in at least 250 attendees from Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Toledo, Chicago, South Bend, and Indianapolis. Our target audience is SQL Server and Database professionals working in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. Traditionally, our attendees come from all experience levels ranging from beginning level to senior level positions in many different companies. We are advertising via SQL Server, Business Intelligence, .Net/Developer, SharePoint, PowerShell and similar user groups in Michigan, Ohio, Illiinois, and Indiana, as well as through community blog posts, Twitter, Facebook – both at local and national levels, as well as mentions in newsletters of SQLTeam.com, SQLServerCentral.com, Simple Talk, SQL Cruise, PASS and MVP Forums. We are also working with our personal contacts and asking our friends, vendors and business contacts in the community to help us get the word out.
Our event follows the standard conference model. We have speakers committed to supporting at least 30 sessions across 5 time slots. These sessions will run 60 minutes; with 15 minute breaks between to allow time to visit with our sponsors. Sponsors can arrive as early as 7:00 am to setup. Registration will open at 7:30 am. Sessions will begin at 8:30 am. A continental breakfast will be provided on site. The last session will end around 5:00. The day will conclude with a mega raffle session.
We are working to provide our attendees a “speed pass” registration process which will allow the attendee a little more time to spend with the sponsor prior to the first session. They will submit a pre-printed registration showing they have printed their own registration paperwork. They will exchange the “speed pass” for their event bag.
Upon arrival, attendees who did not choose to register through “speed pass” will complete the registration process and receive an event bag. The event bag will contain a lanyard, full schedule, flyers and other items from sponsors – PLUS – two items that will be of particular interest to our sponsors. The first will be a set of printed raffle tickets with the attendee’s name and contact information. They will have the option to give their tickets in trade for whatever free items you may be giving away or just to enter a raffle, if you are sponsoring one. This should help avoid delays encountered while people queue to fill out contact forms at your table. These will also assure that the information you receive is legible. The second item will be a Sponsor Stampede bingo style card. Attendees can earn an extra raffle ticket at the end of the day by visiting all of our sponsors.
We will end the day with a closing session and prize raffles. For the raffles, we are looking at prizes like Zunes (don't joke - I have one and love it), GPS units or game systems, free training, gift cards, books, etc. To qualify for the raffle, attendees will earn a raffle ticket for the end of day raffle by completing an evaluation form and can earn additional entries from various contests throughout the day.
After the event we will send a follow up email that will recap the day, provide links to the files from the event for download and provide a list of all sponsors with a links to their designated sites on the SQLSaturday.com site. This provides sponsors with one more opportunity to interact with attendees once the event has completed.
Lunch will be provided to sponsors that have registered. Please have everyone from your team that will be attending register at www.sqlsaturday.com so that we may have enough food available.
Sponsorship ranges from $300 to $1500 depending on the package you select, and we’re always willing to discuss custom solutions to meet your needs.
Bronze Sponsorship Benefits - $300 prepaid
Silver Sponsorship Benefits - $500 prepaid
Gold Sponsorship Benefits - $1000 prepaid
Platinum Sponsorship Benefits - $1500 prepaid
· Includes all benefits of the Gold Sponsorship
· Option to design a sponsor-centric lunch session to spotlight your product or present a user focused session
· Electronic copy of the attendee list that includes email address, first and last name plus company, if provided (Sponsor must agree to provide an opt-out on all email sent to the list and to clearly state the list was obtained from SQLSaturday.com) Please note that with SQL Saturday under the management of PASS, each attendee has the option to opt out at the time of registration. Any attendee that opts out prior to event will not be included in this list.
All fees must be paid in advance. To register as a sponsor just visit www.sqlsaturday.com and fill out our sponsorship registration form. We’ll email you an invoice that can be paid via credit card or check.
The biggest challenge with community events is capturing contact information for follow ups. Few attendees will have business cards, and having them hand write their info often leads to a 30% or higher loss due to inability to read what they wrote! We provide attendees with a set of pre-printed raffle tickets (see below) that will contain their name and email address; they are then able to put these tickets into the raffle box at each sponsor table to try to win a prize. This gives you 100% readability and 0% loss! It is also more effective than any other technique we’ve seen for trying to capture contact information and that includes scanning their name badge.
Because we want you to be successful all of our sponsorship levels include the requirement that you provide a prize of at least $100 in value, and that you provide a full color 8-1/2 x 11 flyers that highlights the prize(s) you are providing for the raffle.
We provide the raffle box. We will have one table for all absentee vendors placed in the same areas with our onsite vendors. Raffle ticket collection will proceed through the end of the day. If someone from your team is present we’ll ask them to draw the winning ticket, otherwise we’ll draw the ticket. Attendees must be present to win. If there is a physical prize we’ll give it to them, otherwise we’ll forward you their contact information for you to follow up with (for license keys, etc).
After the event we will mail you all the raffle tickets from your box. There may be duplicates; depending on how exciting your prize is attendees may contribute more than one ticket to your box – but that’s a good thing, they are willing to provide you their contact information in return for the chance to win.
We hope you’ll see the value in sponsoring SQL Saturday Kalamazoo. We pledge to work along with you to maximize the value of your sponsorship. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Tim Ford, President, West Michigan SQL Users Group