Our standard events tend to be informal and can be executed without any money at all. But it all depends on the format you choose. There are many ways to create events with low to no costs, and ways to find funding for events with a budget as well.
Things you should know
- NetSquared does not provide cash sponsorship for your monthly events (but annual grants are often available for experienced organizers who want to hold larger gatherings)
- You are welcome to charge admission for your events, as long as you adhere to our core value of accessibility.We don’t turn people away! ie.) We usually frame the ask as something like “an optional $5 donation at the door.”
- You are welcome to seek out local sponsorship. This is your local group’s money – NetSquared doesn’t want it. 🙂
At NetSquared we encourage organizers not to be shy about asking for donations or in-kind support. Many groups hold events in office, meeting or co-working spaces without charge (often promoting the space/organization for visibility and recognition of the provision). Most if not all of the promotion of the event is done online, reducing any costs for printed materials. Events can be held in public spaces like restaurants, cafes, and so on, where participants can choose to purchase any food or drink if they want.
- Net2 Local “Letter of Agreement” Template– This document is draft agreement to be signed by both the organizer and sponsor ahead of the event to make their agreement official. It is purposefully worded to reflect the informal nature of most meetup groups.
- Net2 Local “Sponsorship Request Email” Template– This draft email text can be used by Net2 Local organizers who are seeking sponsorship to share with potential sponsors in their community.
- Further reading: How to get sponsors for your group – from howtorunameetup.com
- Financial request – San Francisco, CA, USA – We have a $3-5 donation; no one turned away policy and make back at least half our funds. We can use the extra cash to purchase some swag.
- Potluck model – Portland, OR, USA – instead of buying lots of food and drinks, people (if they were able and intersted) could bring something to add to the mix. We usually had cheese, crackers, cookies, bread, beer, juice, olives, etc.
- Ongoing relationships – NCTech4Good (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, NC, USA) – We invite companies to sponsor NCTech4Good for a year. Sponsorship at all levels includes logo on the conference website, conference program booklet, and meetup.com/nctech4good website. Higher levels include exhibit tables during the conference. In-kind supporters have the same benefits.
- One-time sponsors – Cambridge, UK – When we hold events in office spaces or co-working spaces, we request that the venue provide snacks and drinks for the attendees. They’re usually happy to do this as long as we acknowledge their support (through text and logo) on the event invites.
- Ongoing relationships – NetSquared NOVA (Metro Washington, DC) We usually try to find a venue that will provide food and drink as well. In return, we offer to promote the host via our meetup site and through a shamelss plug at the begining of the meeting.This is a really easy sell. In our experience, it is worth trying to find a great venue, as our members don’t want to feel like NetSquared NOVA is just another afterhours meeting.
- Templates – Sponsorship proposal and case for support from Net Tuesday Vancouver.
- Using Meetup to solicit sponsorships – Net2 New Orleans uses meetup.com’s sponsor listings to solicit new sponsors with a “Your Name Here” image. More here.