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Marketing Ideas for Chapters & SQLSaturday

I’m part of the team putting together SQLSaturday #151 in Orlando this year, and one of the things Kendal Van Dyke asked if I could work on was marketing ideas. How do we reach more of those interested in SQL Server in or near Orlando? The task is to come up with ideas, then the team can look to see which are feasible and which look likely. Hoping that as you all read the list you’ll suggest additions, and maybe comment on any that I’ve listed that you’ve tried already.

1. Get an intern. Our local college kindly shares their campus with us, maybe they have someone working on a marketing degree that wants some practical experience.

2. Building on the college relationship, they know a lot of people in the community. How can we get them to push our message out to them in a way that everyone will find acceptable?

3. Are we trying to drive them to register for the event, or the chapter? Would it make more sense to try to get them to the LinkedIn group first?

4. Local staffing companies have killer lists, we need to find a way to use this proxy network better. How about giving them a code, give them a discount against the sponsorship fee for everyone that registers with their code (potentially reducing their cost to zero)?

5. Buy a newspaper ad.

6. Radio ad, maybe we could get a PSA?

7. Post on Craigs list. We’d have to do this repeatedly as it would roll off, and would need some work to see which section would work best.

8. Work the local .Net group to ask their members (mainly devs) to make sure their SQL people know about us. Worth doing, not sure how effective.

9. Make sure event listed in MSDN email.

10. Invest time (and money) in a solid flyer and maybe some posters,ask everyone to print/post at work.

11. Can we get bookmarks put into all the SQL books at the local bookstores?

12. Do we know the top 25 tech employers in the area? We should! Would be interesting to figure out how many of those people we’ve reached.

13. What can we pull from Census data? It would be great to know how many DBA’s were in Orlando zip codes,maybe we reach a higher percentage than we think. (Note: My guess is we reach half).

14. We know about a lot of tech companies based on registration info, how about reaching out to them directly, maybe at the CIO/director level?

15. Can we buy a list? Find a good list broker?

16. Do more with local trainers like New Horizons and DeVry.

17. Get the flyer on bulletin boards at local restaurants and coffee shops.

18. What about buying ads on LinkedIn and Amazon? Or doing a mailing to our extended LinkedIn network?

19. Make sure event listed on LinkedIn.

20. Where else would people look for events in Orlando?

21. Local government job placement/training offices.

What can you add to the list?


I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.


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