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Sponsoring

(Related Pages :: BSides || SponsorPitch || Media)

 

Support Your Local BSides

 

If you wish to sponsor Security BSides, either one event or many, please visit the specific event's wiki on the front page and contact them directly. Keep in mind, each event is run independently and have their own sponsorship opportunities hence the need to contact each event directly.  In the event contact information is not listed, please email us at: info (at) securitybsides dot org and we will forward your request to the appropriate coordinator.

 

They have costs just like anyone else and would like your help in keeping this community project going.

 


 

 

 

Sponsoring a BSides Event?

 

Here are some benefits

 

  • Being part of the media conversation: As people talk about us they talk about you or at least see you.  Security BSides has been covered in magazines, podcasts, videocasts, blogs, and even inscribed on microchips.  Get caught up in the conversation and be part of what people are talking about.
  • Brand recognition and awareness: Depending on the level of sponsorship, you may recognize your brand placement at some or all of the following: t-shirts, signage/lanyards, lunch sessions, or attendee badges. Based on your level of participation, create and custom branding may be arranged including transportation, banners, and podcast interviews.
  • Big Fish in a Small Pond: For some, sponsoring large events is not within their price range leaving them with no option for communicating their message. BSides is just the place for you! This small, community atmosphere brings together active and engaged participants who want to absorb information. Sponsoring a BSides event enables to be that big fish in a small pond and better communicate your message to an active audience.
  • Stay in touch with the industry: BSides enables its supporters and participants to identify and connect with industry leaders and voices. These participants represent the social networking of security. They are the people who you want to engage to solicit feedback and bring voice to your conversation.
  • Targeted and Direct Audience: You didn't enter the security industry selling your product to everyone the same way, so why approach events that way?  Instead of marketing to the broader "security" community connect directly with the security practioners who write about, talk about, recommend, and implement security products and services.
  • Be associated with the next big thing: Nobody knows what the “next big thing” will be, but these events are community driven with presentations voted upon by the industry. There is no magic to how it works, but we believe that listening to the underground can help prepare you and help identify what the next big thing might be. 

 

 


 

Case Studies

 

One attendee wrote the following:

 

"The vendors who support the SecurityBSides conferences aren’t the same old vendors who throw cash at the same old conferences around the world. The vendors who sponsor the SecurityBSides conferences are similar to the people who organize, attend and speak at the conferences. I had never heard of some of the sponsors before I saw them sponsoring SecurityBSides conferences but some of them provide innovative solutions to information security problems faced by many business around the world. I think actions speak louder than words so I’m happy to say that we have recently signed a 3 year deal with a company I first became aware of through their sponsorship of a SecurityBSides conference!"

 


 

Hosting a BSides Event?

 

Why Sponsors?

 

  • The Event is NOT about the host (individual); it IS about the participants: Sponsors are just another form of participation.  They donate the resources they can and in return you provide them a benefit for doing so.  You need to balance this donation/benefit and you do this by focusing on your audience.  Asking yourself What's In It For Me (WIIFM) is a question you need to answer for all participants including the sponsors and attendees.
  • Symbiosis: Sponors and the event can co-exist as a symbiotic relationship.  The sponsors help an event be bigger and/or better than it could if you tried to run it on your own.  Sponsors may donate small things (coffee, lunch), larger items (location space, money) or their time (marketing assistance).  The key to remember is that you do not need to do everything yourself.  In fact, maintaining a symbiotic balance between you, the sponsors, and your participants will make the event better than you ever could alone.
  • Balance: Remember that you don't just want a rush of people to all sponor the same thing.  You need to create a sponsorship framework based on the needs of your specific event.  For example, you don't want 5 people volunteering to bring lunch, so break it up into your needs:
    • Capital - this is the most common form of sponsorship
    • Marketing
    • People power (physical hands/feet on the ground)
    • Food
    • Organizers (also known as 'cat hearders')

 

What's the Pitch?

 

  • Cost/Benefit:  You want your sponsors to identify a return on the money/time/resources they are giving you.  Companies want an audience for their product and you have an active, intimate, and focused audience. By sponsoring your event, you can put their logo on: the website, t-shirts, podcasts, thank you introductions, signage at the event. 
  • Messaging: Sponsors want to get their message across.  For some of them this means associated with the event, but most want to convey their product, service, or affiliation.  When talking with a sponsor you need to keep in mind that your event is not important to them.  What matters to them is how many impressions they can make on your audience.  This is being paid for from their PR/Marketing budget.  Having their name and logo associated with your event is not enough.  You can convey their message in the following ways:
    • Custom podcast that you will include in the stream of audio talks for the event
    • Custom blog post included in the event blog stream
    • Verbal "thank you" at the beginning of each talk
    • Lunch or special platform for them to discuss their product/service with your audience
    • Personal introductions to key people at your event
  • Being a part of the conversation:  Some sponsors care about being part of the event.  They simply want to be associated and caught up in the 'social media' stirr.  As people talk about your event they can get coverage as your friends pass the message around to their friends and the like.  The more your event gets written up and talked about on blogs, newspaper and online magazines, podcasts, and tweets so will their name.  This is marketing they cannot buy!
  • End Result: It is said that half of all marketing dollars are wasted but you never know what half.  Your sponsors want your audience to reach out to them.  Make sure you encourage all your attendees to email or call your sponsors and thank them for supporting the event.  The more callbacks the sponsor gets the more benefit they will feel from the event.  If they sponsor your event and don't get one lead, you may find they don't sponsor again.

 

Here are some recommended approaches

 

  • Sponsor participation: We have found that local sponsors work best for time/materials, but those who provide funds can originate from anywhere within the community.  Remember that sponsors need to give and get something from the event.  Those who can actually attend and participate in some way will be get a bigger benefit than those who cannot.
  • Diversity: Many small sponsors are better than a few big ones.
  • Encourage in-kind donations: Request that sponsors order food and other food stuff directly, minimizing the organizer's duties and responsibilities as well as the amount of money they touch.
  • Chunking: Chunk (or microchunk) your sponsorships. Break your budget items into manageable chunks that companies can "adopt". For example, let one company pay for the lunch, and another for shirts, etc. Chunking is nice because it means the companies can write checks directly to the vendors, and you never have to touch any cash. This limits your personal liability and makes companies feel safer.
    • Don’t get anyone’s company books involved. Too messy. Either deal in all cash or get a special paypal account. At the end of the day, you don’t want to be holding extra money. Best to get people to sponsor things like chair rentals, a meal, etc, and never touch the money yourself. 

 


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