• Secure sponsorship and volunteers
With SiouxperCon: Return of the Con just five and a half weeks away, sponsorship has been locked in and advertising is well underway. After a few years of strategy and practice, the convention is running more like a well-oiled machine, gaining momentum both in popular featured guests and attendees. (To read All the Pros to Cons - Part 1, click HERE.)
When it all began, the SiouxperCon team, including Shane Gerlach, consulted a lawyer to make sure they were compliant with all non-profit regulations. As a non-profit, all the staff volunteer their time. “Putting on a convention of this size takes an army of volunteers,” shared Gerlach, “Recruiting and training volunteers is always a barrier, but one we have been able to overcome so far. As we grow, having more volunteers will be one of our biggest hurdles to overcome.”
1. If you don’t ask you won’t know the answer! “Get outside of what you think your core sponsorship is,” imparted Gerlach, “Don’t pigeonhole yourself into one particular set of sponsors.”
2. Amend your sponsorship levels to what your community partner is comfortable with. It isn’t necessary to have just a few regimented sponsorship levels. You know your bottom line and the sponsorship needed, create unique opportunities for sponsors of all budgets to reach your goal.
3. Follow through on what you have offered for sponsorship. “As a new event in the area we pride ourselves on making sure, when we join in partnership with a local entity, we promote their events, advertise their business, and include them in announcements,” explained Gerlach.
The costs of hosting SiouxperCon, including space rental and guest appearance costs, takes away from the donation the organization makes to two community charities; REACH Literacy and the JY6 Foundation. Sponsors are brought in to help defray costs. “We are constantly seeking new community partners and are thankful Black Hills Federal Credit Union and Brookings Books and Comics have been with us all three years,” said Gerlach.
Do you have sponsorship tips to add? We would love to hear from you! Make a comment below.
Stay tuned for Part 3 where we discuss convention growth.