If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you may have noticed that I’ve been doing a bit of speaking/traveling. Most recently, I attended Evo in Park City.

While there, I was able to stay in the most fabulous Links Luxury Rentals Arrowhead Penthouse (if you’re traveling to Park City TOTALLY worth the stay)…

Links Luxury Arrowhead Penthouse

Seriously friends, this was the view from my window…

Listen to some of my favorite ladies speak…

Rachael, Today’s Mama and Sheila, Clever Girls Collective

Catch a few friends dancing…

Led by my very funny friend Jenny, of Formerly Phread

Pose semi-awkwardly for about a million photos…

Me and Mandi, Vintage Revivals 

And spend time with my sponsor (and one of the most supportive brands on the web) McDonald’s

I first worked with McDonald’s in 2002 at the Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games, where they won my heart with their absolute support for the athletes. When I started my site about four years ago, I was thrilled to experience them championing bloggers in that same way. It’s been my pleasure to work with them several times since.

Between all of the nutritional snacks and the slightly more sinful treats offered in the McDonald’s suite…

Ruthie, What’s Cookin’ with Ruthie and Cassity, Remodelaholics

One of the most common questions I was asked is, “I love McDonald’s. How can I work with them too?” So today I am sharing a few general tips on conference sponsorship, as well as a bit more specific information about my friends at McDonald’s.

5 Tips for Conference Sponsorship

  1. Look to work with a brand you already have a relationship with. This will allow you to remain authentic and real, not to mention further an existing relationship.
  2. Ask early. There are hundreds of bloggers looking for sponsorship to conferences and events, not to mention that many brands budget for these types a long ways out.
  3. Make a specific request. Determine what your costs are…Are you looking to cover just the conference ticket, or are you seeking the funds to cover ticket, travel, hotel and incidentals? Ask for a specific dollar amount.
  4. Know what you can offer the brand in return. Understand the personal sponsorship rules at social media conferences (it’s a bit different at each event). Be aware of any limitations placed upon your blog due to your relationship with your ad networks or blog sponsors. Can you offer dedicated posts, a media buy, host a Twitter party, or wear a t-shirt? Maybe you can even offer to introduce bloggers to the brand if they will be in attendance. One thing I always like to do is figure out a way to incorporate my sponsor into my elevator pitch.
  5. Follow-up with the brand after the event. Make sure you complete all of your deliverables and then report back to the brand in question.
If you’d like to read a bit more about securing blog conference sponsorship Deal Seeking Mom has a nice post, there’s also a really extensive PDF on the topic over at Blog Conference Newbie and you can read a bit more about working with brands at BlogWorld.

Family Arches

Now, let’s talk a bit more specifically about my friends at McDonald’s…This year McDonald’s launched Family Arches – it’s an online community for parents interested in connecting, learning and sharing. It’s also a really great place for you to “meet” and start a real relationship with the brand.

By becoming a member of the community (it’s free), you will:

  • Have access to exclusive information about the brand and what it’s up to.
  • Have the opportunity to ask questions and provide product specific feedback
  • Enjoy the chance to win cool SWAG from McDonald’s, receive invitations to exclusive events and even put your hat in the ring for conference sponsorship
  • Connect with and befriend other influential bloggers and parents from around the country
  • Review great content – everything from nutrition and wellness to recipes and fun activities for kids
  • Have the chance to share content with a whole new group of readers
The community is still rather small (in terms of a worldwide brand). Now is the chance to join. Forming relationships with brands is really no different that forming relationships with other bloggers. We all remember who comments on our posts and interacts frequently, right?
Oh and in case there is still any question, you can read about my love for McDonald’s.

So who’s in?!

Disclaimer: McDonald’s sponsored my EVO’12 experience in exchange for helping with their suite, though to be honest those girls would have been stuck with me regardless because I sincerely think they are the best!