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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Eight Things about Bar Camp NYC 2 Sponsorships

Amit asked me to write a few words about handling sponsorships at Bar Camp NYC 2. The first thing to say is that Courtney Pulitzer rocks. Things got extremely busy at my day job and I fell far behind in my Bar Camp duties. Courtney swooped in at the last minute and saved the day. Thanks Courtney!

On the theory that it's better to have something imperfect now than something perfect later, I'm going to skip the slick writeup and just make a list:
  1. We went over budget. Not much, about $140 at last count, but one of our number got stuck unexpectedly with the bill. Although we worked it out, it was needlessly stressful.
  2. Don't forget tips when budgeting, especially if the vendor delivers. Many things will turn out to be just slightly more expensive than expected and it adds up.
  3. Google Spreadsheets was a lifesaver, both for pre-event planning and for keeping track of the budget on the days of the event. Making a local backup before arriving at the venue is a very good idea, though.
  4. If you can possibly manage it, have the sponsors purchase the food and handle the delivery. Not only do they get stuck with tips and other unexpected charges, it means they are more directly involved in the event.
  5. Although one of last year's sponsors declined to re-up on the basis of "insufficient benefit", most of them didn't seem to care that much. They either already knew, or had fairly low expectations for return on their $200 donation.
  6. On that note, lots more people knew what a Bar Camp was this time around. Part of that was hitting up the sponsors from the previous event, but part was a generally greater awareness.
  7. Donations were mostly in the $100-$200 range, with a couple of standouts contributing more. Everybody got the same sized logo on the sponsor wall.
  8. People promise things, but then forget. Expect to send at least one, maybe several reminders to sponsors, especially the ones you line up early.


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