Business of Software Conference 2013 – FAQs – guest blogs, speaking, sponsoring, deals…

This is a quick set of the most popular questions flying in through the door at BoS Towers over the last couple of weeks.

Are we accepting speaker proposals?

Yes. BUT PLEASE PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THESE GUIDELINES. We get about 10 approaches a day and we simply don’t get the time to respond to them all. We are incredibly fortunate to have had such brilliant speakers over the years and this means we get approaches from all sides to talk. BoS is unusual in that we don’t measure the value of the event on the number of speakers we have. I had a breathless email from the organiser of another event recently boasting there would be over 60 speakers on the main stage in a single day, my first thought was, ‘Meh’. You get 6 hours of speaking in a conference day and it takes 2 minutes to get someone on stage, introduced and settled, then each speaker gets an average of 4 minutes to tell the audience how much venture capital they have raised, how amazing their company is and how they are, ‘Crushing It’, so there isn’t too much time for useful insights. Maybe that’s just me but we work very hard to curate long form content that is actionable, interesting and makes you think.

Would we be interested in a guest blog post?

Probably if you have an interesting point of view, understand what BoS is about and have something relevant to say. If you want to recycle a press release or just generate link-baity content spam, please don’t expect a reply. Sorry. And no, we don’t do product launches, recycle press releases or other nonsense. Contact Zuly @ if you have an interesting idea.

Will we be doing scholarships and two-for-one deals this year?

I don’t honestly know. It will depend on whether we have some support from sponsors (see below). Two-for-one deals are something that we have done on a limited basis for a few startups in partnership with supporters in the past. I hope that we can do so again but this will depend on that support being forthcoming. While the price of a ticket is not cheap, we would make a significant loss on a ticket if we funded this ourselves and we want this event to be sustainable for the long term benefit of the community. Any startup deals we do offer would be very restricted in their scope, i.e. not open to previous recipients, not open to venture funded companies, not open to companies that have been going for more than a year. We totally recognise the value of bringing fresh people into the community, but we also have to do that in a sustainable way.

Can we sponsor the Business of Software Conference?

Possibly. We sure could do with some help in making the event sustainable in the long term but we will not compromise on the quality of the program or the experience of the delegates. Last year we were offered a sponsorship of $50,000 by an advisory firm to sponsor the event and all they wanted was to run a panel discussion. This isn’t what Business of Software is about.

Some things we would happily consider:

  • Sponsoring a social event – we run a reception on the Sunday night at registration (drinks and snacks) and we also have a great social evening on the Monday evening where we buy out a venue close to the conference for dinner and drinks.
  • Sponsoring a lunch or breakfast and this would allow you to get something in front of all of the participants in the event as they sit down to eat.
  • Sponsoring a speaker slot (though only a speaker that we have announced, we will not offer a platform to a speaker that a sponsor has chosen).
  • Sponsoring attendance for others. (See above)
  • Sponsoring delegate gifts – only nice ones though – we don’t like those ‘goody bags’ that are filled with rubbish.
  • Meaningful discounts on software (i.e. don’t offer a 30 day free trial when you offer everyone a 30 day free trial).

If you are interested in sponsoring, please remember that you will be getting in front of one of the most influential groups of people in the software industry. They are discerning people and they are very loyal, high value, customers for the right products and services. If you have the right product or offer to put in front of them, we are open to discuss how we can help do that but honestly, seriously, truly, don’t expect to put rubbish in front of them for free. (You know who you are…) Contact me directly if you are interested.

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