Blog Conference Sponsorship: How to Get it Right!
Learning from the Sponsors who understand what it means to interact with bloggers.
I was told Mom2Summit really ‘gets’ the whole sponsor interaction when it comes to bloggers.
What you should look for in the sponsors, when attending a conference like #Mom2Summit:
- Brands who have a go-to plan for the bloggers, why are they at the blogging conference, pay attention and ask them?
- Companies who care just as much about the blogger in front of them as they do about the ‘big blogger’ across the room.
- Representatives of brands who are willing to answer hard questions, and who are able to respond respectfully.
Three examples of brands I thought REALLY connected and understood why they were there.
- Microsoft – They came with a plan, and had real follow up.
They had a team in a suite (they also sponsored a meal) representing Microsoft Office 2010. PR representatives were there as well as the blogging team and both Mac and PC experts. I spoke with Jevon Fark (@Farkonia) previous to the conference and knew that a main goal for them was to get the word out to bloggers that Office 2010 has really amazing functionality. (I didn’t even know what OneNote was before Mom2Summit!) I do now.
Because I knew they were going to be there I lugged my laptop along in order to get help setting up Outlook. I plopped down and had 2 team members help me get it up and running. When I mentioned this just might save my marriage.. they asked.. would you share your story on camera?
(I tried hard to get out of it.) But in the end I let them interview me and turns out they placed the interview on the Office blog (along with several other blogger interviews). How cool is that? Also they are following up with a ‘31 days of Outlook’ campaign. They provide in depth information about how to more efficiently use Outlook with a mentor assigned to help you.
Prizes. They gave away several computers. What makes more sense to a blogger than the chance to win a laptop!? I didn’t win one, but my room-mate did. I’m not saying if you don’t have prizes or incentives you shouldn’t sponsor a blogger event. But it can’t hurt. At least give out a treat at your booth eh? Be creative, how will I remember you otherwise?
- Jelmar— Bringing their company president, tells me they are truly interested.
I can’t say that I hung out at the CLR booth, but I did manage to sit in on a fabulous session where the President of Jelmar was one of the speakers. It was a session about work/life balance and for whatever reason there were only 6 people in the room. It turned into a round table discussion and by far the best session of my whole conference.
I genuinely left that session feeling like I made a friend of the Jelmar Corporation. Or at least I know that Allison J. Gutterman (@AJGutterman) has a young child who got his first haircut in the Jelmar offices. She wanted to know, do you blog about that type of thing on a company blog? Where’s the line?
I did not walk up to the CLR booth because I don’t use that product. But after finding out directly from the President, that it’s a family owned company dedicated to finding green cleaning solutions, I didn’t need the booth. I was convinced.
I don’t know if Jelmar has a follow up plan with bloggers, but I do know that if I had a great idea for a cleaning article the CLR team would listen, because I know there are humans behind the curtain.
- Edy’s—Get your shake on.
You really can’t go wrong with a milk shake on the go as you walk into a conference session. I did’t get a business card from the Edy’s rep. I Didn’t need one. I know who they are. (I can probably Google a press release and find a PR contact.)
My point is, I had seen the Edy’s new portable shake thing in the freezer case at Safeway, but I hadn’t tried one yet. Now I have. (Okay I had a couple!) I’m more likely to go buy my own the next time I’m in the store.
Did Edy’s come with a plan for the bloggers? Yes. Give them free shakes.
Did they have a future plan to connect with bloggers? I don’t know. But I’d like to find out.
Each of these Brands came with a plan. Each connected with bloggers in a real way. Much more real than tweeting or asking for a Facebook Like.
What should brands and sponsors do to reach bloggers?
Carissa is not affiliated with any of these brands.