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Get Your Marketing Juju on at barcampAustin

The organizers of this year’s barcampAustin asked me if I knew anyone who’d be interested in sponsoring the event, so I thought I’d post the details here to throw out as wide a net as possible. The event is this Saturday, March 14th (soon!). If you’re not interested in sponsoring, it’d be awesome to see you, dear reader, or some of your people there (you can RSVP in Facebook). I’ve been every year, for 3 years, and it’s an excellent time, both professionally and personally. I don’t spend a lot of time pitching for other people, and the fact that I’m doing it here should show you how much I like and find value in the event. They do it during SXSWi when all the round-corner, Web 2.0 cool kids come to town, so there’s tons of people who come through and participate in the unconference format. This year, they tell me there’ll around 2,000 people during barcampAustin.

barcamp formats are great because all of the attendees decide on the talks and sessions in the morning, organize an agenda, and then go for it. The great thing is that people tend to be more engaged and participatory than big, for-pay conferences. Not to mention that attendance, and everything else, is free.

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Sponsorship doesn’t really have a formalized structure, but it usually starts at around $500, or it could be supplies like food, ice, or things like cups. They also need someone to sponsor the internet and wifi (around $175). You get your logo shown on all sorts of places and special mentions throughout. The money goes towards event rental, breakfast and lunch, A/V equipment, and all sorts of things: it’s definitely a not-for-profit enterprise.

The benefits to sponsors are exposure to a type of community that’s typically hard to reach: the elite developers and thought-leaders that come to SXSW and barcamps that tend to bristle at other forms of marketing. I’ve seen people like Microsoft take advantage of this to start seed-marketing for things like their Silverlight and web development toolchains (few things endear developer’s hearts like a few rounds of drinks on the house ;>). And you can start to imagine where other past sponsors like VMWare, Optaros, MindTouch, and GSD&M have benefited.

If you’re interested in helping out, I can pass you along to the organizers. I know they’d appreciate it. At the very least, I hope to see you there. I aim to be lounging around and hanging out with as many people as I can.

Update: thanks for all the response so far! We’ve had Appcelerator and All Web Leads sign up, Tiff’s Treats sponsor with some warm-n-tasy cookies, and others folks in the process of sponsoring. Super-special thanks to my buddies at Porter Novelli Austin for working helping out with this! I appreciate it, and keep it coming, they’re still in need of help ;>

Disclosure: Microsoft and MindTouch are clients.

Categories: Conferences.

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