Attending Conferences 101: Connecting with Alt Summit Winter 2015 Sponsors

By: Eden Hensley; Photos by: Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

In less than 80 days many of us will be gathering in Salt Lake City for Alt Summit Winter 2015. Between now and then, we will have the opportunity to get to know many of our event sponsors through mailings that come to our doors, online Twitter chats, and more. How we engage with event sponsors prior to touchdown in Salt Lake City can set the stage for successful relationships.

Successful connections with sponsors begin before you meet in person. At Alt Summit, depending on whether you eat dinner with your favorite brand on Wednesday night, you may have only a few minutes to make a first impression and stand out from a crowd of other bloggers standing next to you.

The way you get noticed by brands is simple.

  1. Clean up your act. Make sure your social media bios are consistent. Just as you are going to be researching brands they are going to be doing the same--especially for those creatives and bloggers who are dining with them.
  2. Blog consistently and regularly about your core topics. While we love reading all about how excited you are to be attending and what you are doing to prepare, if you talk about Alt Summit to the exclusion of all else, brands might be unsure what your content strategy going forward is. An editorial calendar can really help you space out topics.
  3. Do your research. Visit the sponsors’ websites. Read their blogs. Subscribe to their newsletters. You want to know how brands have worked with other creatives and bloggers; you do not want to pitch an idea they have already executed.
  4. Interact with sponsors online and through social media. Follow the sponsors on social media. Engage with them. Like photos. Comment authentically.
  5. Tailor your elevator pitch to the brand. Do not completely change your elevator pitch. Why you do what you do and how you do it should be consistent for anyone you talk to. What should be different is why what you do matters to the brand. For example, how do you reach their target audience? How are their values and your values aligned?

Not every brand is going to be a fit for every creative or blogger. It is ok not to pitch every sponsor. Focus your time on the brands that are a match for you.

Itching to Start Interacting with a Brand?

Today November 5th at 9AM PT / 12 PM ET, we will be kicking off the first of many co-hosted Twitter chats. Join Kirkland’s and the Alt community to discuss showcasing your personality through home décor choices. Be sure to follow both @AltSummit and @Kirklands before the chat begins. One lucky participant will receive a $25 Kirkland’s gift card, see yesterday’s post for complete details

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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.