Who to contact
Next, you need to start to pinpoint who you want to be contacting. I could keep this simple and just say contact everyone. The reality is that you are going to want to contact a LOT of people and most of those people are going to delete your emails. But putting out a wide net is important to bring in a few people that dig what you have going on. But who does that even mean? Well, you want to focus on companies who have a product focused on the type of people you have coming out to events.
A tip when trying to put together a list is to check out who is sponsoring other LAN events in your country. This should give you a good list to start with but don’t stop there. Think outside of the box and put other companies on your list as well. In the past, I’ve had great luck reaching out to companies who haven’t even considered hosting LAN events, hell some hadn’t even heard of them before. A few have even gone on to expand their LAN sponsorships by reaching out to other events.
You should also be looking local for sponsorships. Companies that aren’t even tech related might be interested in being involved. In the past LanOC has worked with our local Walmart, Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Local Internet providers, Pizza hut, GameStop, and even a local movie rental company. Our early events also had TVs loaned to us by Aarons. What I’m saying is get creative and don’t be afraid to ask, but don’t ask just yet we need to talk a little about what you want to say first.
Once you know who what companies you want to contact, you still need to get the right contact information. For local companies, it's normally as simple as asking for a manager or owner and talking to them in person. But with most tech companies you will need to email them. Before just CCing everyone at every tech company you can find you should keep in mind that a lot of companies get a lot of requests for sponsorships and they will a lot of times have details on who or how to contact them on their websites. Sometimes this is a web form that will have all of the information they need. Other times they will have a specific person or email address they want you to use. Contacting a company who uses a form at another email address might be a quick way to have your email tossed even before they read it so follow the directions. For everyone else, I typically reach out to a marketing contact if they have one listed or I use a general contact email to politely ask who handles sponsorship requests.