BarCamp Planners: Get a Salesperson / NN issues
For any people considering planning a barcamp in their area, one piece of advice is get a highly successful salesperson on your planning team.
Many of the people involved with planning a barcamp will be tech enthusiasts and geeks. Those people are not always the best salespeople. Having a good salesperson on your planning team will give you an advantage in two aspects of barcamps.
1. If you want to get sponsors for your barcamp, the salesperson will likely be much more effective at getting sponsors than will your average geek. Someone successful in sales knows how to present the benefits of a product (or event) to the potential sponsor in a way that will help the sponsor make the decision to support your barcamp. Sales people also understand the meaning of a deadline and working under last minute pressure to get the desired 'sales quota', so they will work effectively within the short timeframe of most barcamps.
2. A successful salesperson will help the barcamp planners produce effective marketing and PR materials to both attract the target audience and appeal to the media, if your barcamp wants PR in established media (newspapers, periodicals, tv, radio, etc).
Having a passionate and successful salesperson be responsible for signing up sponsors and effectively handling the PR/marketing aspects of the barcamp will make it easier for the geek planners to connect with other geeks to get them to come to the event and to plan their own sessions for the event.
BarCampMilwaukee doesn't have any sales people involved with the core planning team (as far as I know), which likely caused the group more challenges than necessary. But the great thing about barcamps is, BarCampMilwaukee will happen regardless of how good the planning team is at sales and marketing. And it will be fun for the people participating in the event.
To make your barcamp run as smoothly as possible, include a successful salesperson on your planning team. You'll wonder how you could have done it without them!
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