With SQLSaturday #49 we tried something I call micro-sponsors, charging $5 for a blogger to sponsor the event. It’s a way to do brand building and to contribute in a fun way. It’s not a huge amount of money, about $4.50 after the merchant fees, and I think for Orlando we netted $50$60. At least for SQLSaturday Orlando it’s not a revenue engine, though I think it was worth doing.
I set the price point thinking about wanting someone to be able to sponsor a lot of events, we hope to have 50+ in 2011. Now that I’ve looked at it some more, I think that’s the right idea, wrong implementation. It’s a bit of work to plug in your info 50+ times a year, pay the $5 bill 50+ times a year. So, need a slightly better plan.
What I’m thinking is that for $100, a blogger (defined as an individual blogging for themselves, even if they are independent consultants) could sponsor ALL the SQLSaturday events for a year. Enter the info once, pay once, have your info show up on all the events for one year. Give these bloggers a badge for their blogs to acknowledge their support. I’ve done some informal polling and there are a least a few of us that would do it in a minute.
What about the money? Even if we get 50 bloggers to do it, in the scheme of things it’s not a lot of money, and there is no good way to divide that up across an unknown number of events easily/fairly. Instead, I think we should find something good to do with the money. My first though was a scholarship, but that’s helping one or two people at most, and while it would be good, sometimes we need to do good closer to home.
My idea – entirely up for discussion – is that we use it to fund quarterly prizes for speakers at SQLSaturday and chapters. I’m thinking a couple prizes. One could be to draw a name from the new (first time) speakers, one might be for the person with the most in person presentations, etc. Maybe $100-$250 per prize depending on the size of the funding pool.
I need to talk to the the event leaders (many will be at the RoundTable at the Summit) to make sure they would support this, and make sure we decide how to give these bloggers exposure without reducing the value that the big dollar sponsors get. We should probably also continue to support individual event blogger sponsorships, and I’d say that the events should just keep that money, easier to manage that way.
Is it a good idea? Maybe we should do something different with the money? Think about the micro-sponsor thing, how we can do more with that? I think I’d pay a few bucks to be listed somewhere at the Summit, what about 24 hours of PASS, etc? Note that for all of these ideas I’m not trying to just raise money. Raising money is good, and we should good things with it. But we’re also teaching brand building, and I think that’s useful. Looking forward to your comments.