[Conferences] finding sponsors

Giovanni Bajo rasky at develer.com
Thu May 28 22:11:11 CEST 2009

Hi Catherine,

I'm an organizer of PyCon Italy, nice to meet you!

On 5/28/2009 7:48 PM, you wrote:

> We've cooked up the following text for a sponsorship prospectus for
> PyOhio; I'd be interested in getting comments on it from any of you.
> (If you like it, feel free to imitate.)  It's intended for conversion
> to PDF with rst2pdf.
> I'd also like thoughts about how to contact and interest semi-random
> software companies in the conference.  We have a fair number of
> .NET-centered companies here in Ohio... very little else.  IronPython
> means that they have good reason to get involved - and their smartest
> programmers will definitely be interested - but how do we make
> contact, catch their attention, and let them know that?  I'm afraid
> that unsolicited emails to each company's general contact email
> address will go straight to the Trash folder.
> It sounds snotty, but the fact is, mediocre programmers are the ones
> who say, "I just do VB (Java, C++, whatever) - not interested in
> anything else".  The best programmers - the ones companies need to
> recruit and nurture - are the ones who, regardless of their day jobs,
> perk up at chances to learn new things, especially things as awesome
> as Python.  I know that, you know that... how do we get that message
> to potential sponsors?

This is called the "Python paradox":

Feel free to get some inspiration here:

> One solution would be to go on the road to .NET groups with an
> IronPython presentation, making company contacts as we go.  We'll
> hopefully be doing that, but that's a slow process (more likely to get
> us sponsors for 2010 than 2009).
> Ideas?
> Thanks, and good luck with all your conferences!

I think the "Why sponsor PyCon" part is a little unimpressive -- you 
probably want to mention more direct forms of ROI to possible customers, 

  * Recruiting opportunities
  * Visibility of developer-targeted products
  * Visibility of the brand

I would cut a little the introduction and focus more on this kind of 
stuff. You should probably customise the mail to every company you send 
it to, depending on what kind of opportunities you think they would be 
more interested in.

Also, I'm not sure how it works in US, but in Italy it would be a large 
disincentive not to be a registered no-profit association: both 
psicological ("where is my money going?") and tax-wise.

As for the e-mail recipient, rather than going straight to the front 
door (info at foobar.com), we found out that it usually works better to get 
a technical contact first, and ask him/her to be introduced to the 
marketing manager or whoever is in charge of sponsorship agreements. 
Given a company website, you can try and find technical contacts through 
mailing lists, blogs, etc. You could also evaluate e-mailing last year's 
attendees and ask for help in form of contacts with companies.

Good luck!
Giovanni Bajo
Develer S.r.l.

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