Monday, 14 December 2015

#DigCitSummitUK: Sponsorship & Delivering an ROI

Today we embark on week 5 of the #DigCitSummitUK journey which started off as a two people sharing a post in Twitter, arranging a Skype call to discuss the area of shared interest... and then arranging a conference in six weeks time.

Last week was a case of assessing if the interest was there from a speaker and delegate perspective. Today we have 64 speakers interested in taking part, and notifications were pinging off all over the place last Monday when we announced the venue and speakers due to the number of ReTweets etc.

There were 235 Tweets posted on #DigCitSummitUK last Monday (7th December), messages that were retweeted 1,175 times.

Since the first #DigCitSummit on 3rd October I sourced over 4,000 Tweets related to Marialice Curran and David Ryan Polgar's Digital Citizenship events with over 500 people Tweeting about these Digital Citizenship events.

Twitter & Skype Thunderclap 
Tomorrow at 2pm GMT/9am ET a message will go out to demonstrate how supportive the #DigCitSummit community is for Twitter and Skype to get involved with this event.

Not only are they the platforms that were the catalyst for this event, but they are universal tech toys that are part of every connected educators tool box.

Show your Friendship First... Or Delivering an ROI?
The synergy with these two organisations at the Digital Citizenship Summits is obvious, as is the story of An Amazing Skype call with a Connected Educator a compelling tale for connected educators to help with their on-going mission to get the unconnected plugged in. 

The organisers of the summit are keen to see diversity and collaboration.

When we added my assessment of what might be needed in Scottish Education regarding getting educators connected, Developing the Youth Workforce and my interests in Educator/EdTech relations (especially at conferences, see Mad Learning with a Connected Educator) we discussed who to invite to the Summit... and how to get them here. For me the quickest, best and most cost effective solution was to get some connected educators involved. But how to demonstrate the value of this?
  • Helping Anthony Doyle get a reach of 1.4 million people with his 300 followers (See DigCitSummit Twitter Reach and ROI), 
  • This Twitter/Skype Thunderclap 
  • Curating this #DigCitSummit Twitter data
We hope that we have been "showing our friendship first" while demonstrating our desire (and ability) to deliver a return on investment for any financial support for this event.

Edu/Supplier Relations & A Return on Relationship
When I heard about how different the atmosphere was at the first DigCitSummit, I had a fair idea of why it was a different experience... I also had a fair idea of how and why this would soon be lost if the sponsorship format was the same as other events with sales people invading the bloggers cafe etc. 

I thought I'd try something different... and ambitious.

I have asked people who will need financial support to name any companies that they would be happy to advocate for at BETT and the DigCitSummitUK.

We a list of 255 companies that overseas speakers and delegates would be happy to advocate for with a view to delivering a Return on Investment at BETT and #DigCitSummit.

What would this Return on Investment look like? I'm not about to speak on behalf of the #DigCitSummit brand or the 60+ Connected Educators about 255 tools, some of which I've never heard of... let alone used. 

So here's what I'm going to do, I'm going to lay out a potential value proposition and then encourage these educators to go and collaborate and co-create with these companies.

Value Proposition
It would be fantastic to get Connected Educators to two events in the UK and a lot of these educators have identified up to 20 companies that they would be happy to advocate for.

If 4 companies were to contribute £1,000 that would come in at a cost of £250 per event. If the company already had a stand at BETT then the Connected Educator would be able to stop by the stand for an hour or so and give a demo of their product. As word of mouth referrals are the best method of sales this could have quite an impact. 

Or, if the company is a startup and/or was focusing on US educators then this could be a cost effective way to get to BETT and find more UK educators and/or some early adopters if this was a relatively new solution to UK educators. A number of companies covering the travel costs for an educator is 

The best possible representative at the lowest possible cost

 And could be ideal for any US based companies who would not otherwise be at the event.  

Co-creation and ROI
We are encouraging educators to reach out to these suppliers to see if there would be an interest in supporting them with this event, and to then have a discussion regarding ways that any support could deliver an ROI. For anyone who sees this as an exercise in generating income is to miss the point.

Anyone who has followed any of my work will realise the extent to which I have seen the sales process in education is flawed and/or how important I feel developing relationships is... It is the start point for anyone aspiring to create EdTech products/services that are fit for purpose.

Working in this way ie Developing Relationships and Delivering Value for all stakeholders is what I have been working on for the last few years.

Underwriting an ROI?
At a cost of £250-1000 per event for two conferences over the course of 4 days, AS WELL AS the kind of results we have delivered online while planning this event, we are confident that an ROI and ROR is possible.

In case this is not achieved then maybe the DigCitSummit brand who have events planned in Spain and Australia could ensure that value is delivered. 

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