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Progress Update - May 9th, 2023
Speakers, Sponsors, Meetups, Volunteers, Tickets and more...
It’s been a little while since I posted my last update on the conference, but we have been busy around here.
First off, at a high level things are going great!
Within 3 days of the initial Call for Speakers going out, we had enough quality talks to run the entire conference! I’m continually impressed by what I’ve seen come in since then. The Call for Speakers remains open until May 25th, so get those talks in!
Remember, one of our goals here is diverse language representation. I’d still love to see some more representation so I even resorted to signing up for a few language forums to try to get the word out. Here’s my outreach for Elixir, Rust, Scala, Crystal, Golang, Haskell and Kotlin so far.
I don’t even know if these are the best channels to engage users of the languages. I absolutely need all the help I can get spreading the word about this conference so please, engage when you can and where you can. It will only make the conference better.
Sponsorship talks are going really well so far and I expect to have an initial sponsorship page loaded up this weekend. Our goal for this year’s conference is $15,000 to cover venue, photographer, videographer, food and other assorted expenses. We’re about halfway there based on the currently committed sponsors with great conversations going with several more so I’ve moved ahead with commitments on everything but the food!
One of the big aspects of this year’s conference is to help set everything for the future, so sponsors this year are getting an opportunity to attach themselves at a fairly low price to an event that will be used for the next year to promote the 2024 event. As advertising deals go, the reboot year of the Carolina Code Conference should be a great investment. We have a photogenic venue and great people to capture it, so you’re going to look good.
We specifically expect the recruiting value for companies looking to hire in software to be extremely high. This will be a great opportunity to network and make connections that will carry for years.
Sponsorship conversations are taking up a lot more time than I initially expected, which is great! Networking has been happening so far, so if you know any companies in or out of the area who may be interested in sponsoring and would like to connect me with them please reach out and make an introduction. LinkedIn has so far been the best channel if you’d like to connect with me to talk about it. I’m happy to have phone calls, meet for coffee or stop by your office to talk in person if we can find a time that works.
Additionally, on the wise advice of Tech After 5’s Phil Yanov, we’re also adding a Media Sponsorship for entities who can use their network to help us get the word out to a broader audience. Speaking of which, I’ll be attending Tech After 5 on May 17th in Greenville if you’d like to drop by to talk about anything.
If any area meetup groups would like to hear more about the conference in person, I’ll be happy to attend if I can. Last week I had a great visit with Tech Slam ‘N Eggs. If you know of any upcoming meetup groups where I can get the word out, I’m happy to do so. If you’re up for passing along the letter to tech meetups to a group that would be great as well.
I want to emphasize, this is not just for Greenville. I can’t easily travel outside of Greenville to attend but we are reaching groups in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and the rest of South Carolina. There have also been some reciprocal opportunities for potential speakers that we’ll be discussing soon too.
Many of you, thankfully, have asked how you can help. I’m still trying to get a handle on exactly how that can happen and I do plan to put out a formal volunteer opportunities post soon.
What will it include at a high level?
Design help - Graphics, web, swag, eg
Social media - Growing followers, subscribers and engagement
Sponsorship sales - Direct outreach and people who can close deals
Physical help - Setup and tear down at the conference
Stay tuned on that front.
Everybody wants to know about tickets and for good reason. In my initial plan overview I expected to have ticket availability information out last week and obviously that has not happened. I’ve had a lot of conversations with experienced people who have been warning me about the perils of free tickets creating a high no show rate, so I’ve been trying to make plans about the best way to roll these out in phases to ensure maximum attendance on the day.
This is not final, but my expectation for rollout phases in order…
Sponsors, speakers and volunteers
Community sponsors - several people have asked me about making a small individual donation to the event, so I’m looking to carve out a place for you with early access tickets
Meetup organizers - as a thank you for all you do for the tech community
More information will be available soon but the volume of time I’ve been investing in sponsor conversations has pushed back my overall plans here. I will have details soon but you can expect actual availability shortly after the speakers have been finalized on June 1st.
Keep those submissions coming for the Lyrical Code Challenge! We’ve gotten some pull requests so far but need a lot more activity here. I’m trying to think of a creative way to push this more actively on social media too.
Lastly you’re probably wondering about the new site and when we get off of this Substack? My goal here is to roll out the new site with the speaker announcement on June 1st. Circle back to web design volunteers to help make this better if you’re able.
Social Media Content Ideas
I’m close to resorting to Dad Jokes to fill the social media content activity, so if you’ve got ideas here…please provide them.
Events and Activity Suggestions
As always, we’re looking for ideas for activities around the downtown Greenville area for conference attendees. We’ll be running polls and trying to get inspiration from you where we can. Shout out your suggestions on social media or in the HackGreenville Slack #carolinacodeconference channel.
Wicked will be at the Peace Center from August 2nd through the 20th, including an 8pm showing the day of the conference itself. Great show if you’re expecting to be in town for the conference.
In the mean time, the best ways that you can continue to help are to engage with us on social media, share, spread the word, connect us with meetups and sponsors and ultimately help us build our subscriber/follower base. The bigger we can make the reach of this conference, the easier this will be year after year moving forward.
Thank you for everything you’ve done so far! The community excitement over this event is infectious and it is definitely going to be memorable.
Subscribe to be informed as things develop!