image Right off, I’d like to say that this isn’t a straight up plea for money like you often see. This isn’t a PayPal link and a beg for cash, I’m offering something in return for your sponsorship. Read on to hear some more.

SXSW is coming up, and folks are already taking the pulse to see who’s going to be there or not. If you’ve not figured out whether or not you think you should be down there yet or not, you should ask yourself whether or not you’d like to network and meet the who’s who of Web 2.0 culture. I didn’t attend last year, due to the fact I had to moderate a panel at a conference on the other side of the country, but I certainly wish I could have been there.

This year, however, I took advantage of the fact that I could get press credentials and an “in” to the conference way early. Here’s the only problem: at the moment, I’m still attached to no particular publication other than my own site, and don’t have a publication that’s decided they’re willing to pay for my travel costs yet.*

Rather than gamble with the situation (I’m talking to a number of publications right now about a permanent gig, but none have offered me a package that included travel costs yet), I’ve decided to look for sponsors to send me to the conference.

Why Would I Send Rizzn to SXSW?

Sarah Lacy and Mark Zuckerberg.

There’s a good chance it’ll be more than just me there (I’m investigating the possibility of bringing one or two writers with me), so if I can swing it, I plan on having a significant presence there. The problem? This costs money. 

That’s where you come in.  But why should you send me your hard earned dollars to send me here? Aside from a prominent placement and thanks on the site, here are a few of the benefits to sending rizzn.com to SXSW.

  • You get to have a presence at SXSW without the large expense. I live in Texas, so it’s significantly cheaper for me to travel there than it is for you.  On top of that, a few people in the city already know who I am from my high profile work here and elsewhere (and my occasional visits to events in town).  That way, when I wear a shirt with your logo on it and hand out your schwag when it’s appropriate, people have a bit of an inclination to listen to what I’m saying (and know I’m not there solely to sell them something).
  • Chances are if you’re reading this, I know your business and industry. And that means I can give you a post event wrap-up suited to your business, and introduce you to the contacts I make at the event that I believe might be advantageous for you to know. I can pick the conference tracks to attend and give you a custom wrap-up for your organization and what I think it means for you.
  • You’ll be supporting our continued coverage here at Rizzn.com, and allow us to bring my readers writeups, reviews, interviews and video. Based on your sponsorship level, we’ll continue to name and promote you as a sponsor of the site.
Robert Scoble, Pete Cashmore and Marty the Caveman. Contrary to popular belief, Marty wasn’t hired to replace me.

How Much Will It Cost Me?
I’ve put together a budget of what it’s going to cost to keep me and a team there, and as we get closer to the date (without reaching the goal), it’ll obviously go up, but you don’t hafta fund the whole trip.

I’ve funded conference visits like this in the past, and I structure the sponsorship a little like a PBS pledge drive – if you pledge, say $500 and my goal is $1,000 for instance, you aren’t liable to pay me unless I meet my goal.

If you’re interested in making something happen, contact me via any of the contact methods listed in the right hand column of my site. I’m really just looking to defray the gas costs and some of the hotel stay this time around (and, if possible, the cost of bringing in some folks to help cover it with me), so without going into exact numbers in this forum I can say that it’s a pretty low goal (particularly compared to the $10k goal I had to pay for a CES trip a couple of years ago).

If you’re viewing this outside the site, simply ring me up (903/253.0143) or email me <guesswho@rizzn.com>. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

* If you’re a publication looking to subsidize my travel expenses to SXSW, feel free to ring me up as well, and we can make arrangements for my coverage.