Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and season’s greetings from Tenon!
A couple weeks ago, we handed you this year’s gift, and let you shake the box:
Do you run an #a11y or #webdev related #meetup anywhere in the world? Need sponsorship money for expenses like CART, streaming, speakers, or food? Reach out to @shepazu or email email@example.com.
— Tenon.io (@TenonAPI) December 6, 2019
Now it’s time to unwrap it, and show you the details.
We’re still working out the finer details, and a lot of it will be determined by what you ask for. Throughout 2020 –and maybe beyond!– we’ll be learning what you want in your meetup sponsorships, and what works best. Here are our initial thoughts.
We want to have a positive impact for accessibility in meetups. This could be paying expenses for a dedicated accessibility meetup, or paying for accessibility services at a developer or design meetup.
We can reimburse expenses with receipts, or in some cases, handle the costs directly. We’ll sort out those details when we hear from you.
You can read more complete list of the kinds of things we’ll sponsor on our Tenon Meetup Sponsorship form page. Here are some of the highlights.
General expenses for accessibility meetups
If your meetup (or event) is dedicated to accessibility, we’ll cover costs for food, service membership fees (e.g. Meetup.com, though not exclusive to that site), swag like custom T-shirts or marketing materials, or raffle materials (e.g. books).
Accessibility services for meetups
These are things like captions for video recordings, or CART or a sign-language interpreter, if you know of the need in advance.
We want to build local accessibility communities, with local speakers. But we know that having expert guest speakers now and again can improve those communities of practice. So, we’ll cover the travel expenses for speakers to come in (within reason, of course).
If you like, we’ll even send you Tenon promotional material. We can offer extended trials and training for the Tenon API, for your raffles. We can also provide you with as many Tenon T-shirts and stickers as your attendees want.
In addition to financial help, we have a few other ideas in mind to help you with your accessible meetup.
If you need help finding speakers, we can also suggest some that we know and trust, experts in accessibility in general, or topic specialists. We may even be able to send in a Tenon speaker, like Karl Groves or me (Doug Schepers).
Every month, we’ll publish a list of meetups we’re sponsoring the next month, and promote your event on socials like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This is a great opportunity to spread the word about your meetup and get more attendees.
Along with our post, you’ll have a chance to talk about your meetup in your own words. Let our readers know how your event went, and what you’ve got coming up.
We’re hoping that by sharing the know-how from local organizers, we can inspire others around the globe to launch or improve their own a11y meetups. Together, we can light up the candles, one by one.
Maybe you want to plan a local accessibility meetup, but don’t know where to start. Or you’ve already done a few events, but you’d like to do it more frequently or improve your upcoming events. We’ve all been there, and this is something we can help with too.
We’re planning a series of blog posts early in the new year that will offer advice on planning your event or running an effective meetup. We’ll have guest bloggers from successful accessibility meetups to tell you their stories, articles on making sure your event is inclusive, tips to build your community, and more.
We’ve had a few people reach out to us about sponsoring conferences, as well as meetups. We’re definitely up for sponsoring or speaking at conferences. Just email Doug with the details and your prospectus, and we’ll get right back to you with bells on.
What’s on the price tag?
How much money can you ask for? How much per event? How much per year? How often?
We don’t know.
We aren’t sure yet how many people will take us up on this offer. Our budget is obviously limited, and we want to make the most of our sponsorship dollars, so we reserve the right to evaluate each sponsorship opportunity for its impact on accessibility.
This program is experimental, and you can help us define it. We’ve already added and changed it based on early feedback, and we plan to keep learning and growing, with your help. The total budget, and how much each meetup can ask for, is one of the things we’ll be learning as we go.
What are we looking for in a meetup?
One thing we do know is the kind of event we want to foster. We’re looking for events that have an accessibility focus, have a good attendance record (or potential, for younger meetups), and will keep us informed on how well the event we sponsored went.
No strings (or ribbons) attached
The natural question is, what do we want in return? This is a pretty unorthodox idea, casting a wide net for local events we can help out, so you might expect us to have some unorthodox requests in return (like gold, myrrh, or frankincense… whatever those latter two things are).
Nope, no odd requests. Just the typical considerations for a sponsor. We’d like you to acknowledge Tenon as one of your sponsors in the normal places, like advance promotional materials, opening comments, sponsorship slides, on T-shirts where appropriate, and so on.
We’re also interested in stories on your local accessibility scene, who’s really making a difference locally, and what struggles you’re having. We’ve already heard from folks outside the US who are still building awareness and who don’t necessarily have the benefit of well-enforced regulations around accessibility, so we’d love to help make a culture shift there. None of that information is required, but our ears are open. (We may or may not make a list of which places are naughty or nice.)
If you’re running an accessibility meetup, we want to hear from you. You don’t have to appreciate (or even understand) all my cheesy holiday puns. But we hope that you’ll accept this gift and pass it along.
Accessibility meetup organizers and speakers are already giving everyone a gift: the gift of knowledge to those that want to improve their accessibility skills, and the gift of inclusion to people with disabilities.
We appreciate that, and want to help. So, get in touch. Fill out meetup sponsorship form to get started!