The Do’s and Don’ts of Conference Sponsorships

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Do you dream of attending the BlogPaws conference but just can’t swing it financially?

Have you considered securing a sponsorship to offset the costs of your attendance?

Great! Have we got some advice for you!

First, check out this Facebook Live video where BlogPaws’ Chief of Everything, Chloe DiVita, shares everything that is and isn’t OK for attending as a sponsored blogger. This video is full of all the advice you need to secure a sponsor and to ensure you’re following all the appropriate guidelines as a sponsored blogger.

After you’ve watched, come back here and we’ll recap the highlights!

The Do's and Don'ts of Conference Sponsorships - BlogPaws.com

There are two ways to get sponsored to attend BlogPaws: by seeking out a sponsor for yourself or by being sponsored through BlogPaws. Let’s take a look at each of the two types in detail.

You find a sponsor.

To find your own sponsor, you pitch a brand the value of sponsoring you to attend the conference. What benefits can you provide the brand that add value? To dig more into that specific piece, check out the story shared in this post, How to Get Sponsored to Attend BlogPaws.

When you secure your own sponsorship, the brand will expect certain things. Make sure you deliver! Some of the benefits you can provide include:

  • Wearing a T-shirt with the brand’s logo to the conference
  • Adding the brand’s logo to your business card (Note: It’s not OK to pass out the brand’s cards, but it is OK to put their info on yours.)
  • Branding your flat pet
  • Running a sidebar ad or writing a blog post
  • Creating a special hashtag that you use to promote the brand

What can you not do? You can’t “suitcase,” which means bringing the brand’s merch (such as the cards mentioned above, but also swag, handouts, and so on). That’s a benefit reserved for conference sponsors. You also can’t “outboard,” or hold an outside event on the brand’s behalf.

You’re chosen to be sponsored.

Often, brands that work with BlogPaws on campaigns throughout the year will select bloggers to sponsor to attend the conference. Those bloggers are chosen because of a strong relationship with the brand or as a reward for working hard for the brand throughout the year. These sponsored bloggers have a bit more freedom than those who find their own sponsors; however, they still can not host an event on the brand’s behalf.

In both cases, you’re responsible for following FTC guidelines that disclose your sponsored relationship.

In either case, the brand has selected you because they believe that you can help further their goals at the BlogPaws conference. So, make sure you over-deliver on any benefits you promise!

Bottom line: Securing a sponsorship can offset your conference expenses, while deepening the relationship you have with a brand. It’s your responsibility to make sure you follow the rules and leave the brand feeling excited for the opportunity to work with you again!

We know it can be confusing, though, so we’re here to help. What questions do you have about the do’s and don’ts of a sponsored trip to BlogPaws?

Not yet registered? Visit the 2017 conference page to register to join us in Myrtle Beach!

Maggie Marton serves as the BlogPaws senior editor. When not hiking with her two pit mixes, Emmett and Cooper, or playing with Newt the Cat, Maggie writes about them (and the pet industry) at ohmydogblog.com and maggiemarton.com

Image: Annabelle Denmark Photography