Capping New SaaStr Sponsors Going Forward

A quick note here we’ll update over the coming weeks and months, but we’ve learned a lot in the past weeks from our incredible partners and sponsors.  The support has been tremendous and the connection the vast majority of our partners and sponsors have to our SaaStr community and to SaaStr has been heart warming in these crazy times.

We’re also learned as part of this is that going forward, it makes sense to partner more deeply with roughly the same number of total sponsors, rather than adding a ton of new sponsors, etc.

For example, while IRL events are rescheduled at the moment, demand for our digital assets has outstripped capacity now for the first time ever.  The ad unit in our #1 most-downloaded podcast in the industry is now sold out through 2021, and 70% of our newsletter assets are now sold out for the year.  These were sponsor options we didn’t pay that much attention to in the past, despite their high ROI, given the limited slots, etc.  Now, we need to make sure they are reserved for our existing and long-term partners.

Similarly, while we had not done virtual events or digital events before, demand there from our partners has already outstripped capacity.  Our first larger digital event, SaaStrSummit.com on April 22, will soon hit its cap of 10,000+ attendees.  And we should have 20,000+ at SaaStr BiAnnual in September.  These digital events will be different than in the past, and special.  But they also won’t have a traditional expo to fit 100+ physical booths and lead scanners into.  So again, we are running up against capacity limitations for our partners.

So for now, given more demand than capacity from our partners for most of our offerings, we want to be fair and create a new process to partner with SaaStr:

  • New sponsors will need to apply to sponsor, and must have a pre-existing relationship to SaaStr (e.g., attended events, long-time reader, etc).  Sponsorships will no longer be open to those who do not know SaaStr well. Instead, they will be encouraged to get to know us first.  We also will no longer sell media sponsorships to any new partners, and will reserve media opportunities only for existing partners in High Standing.  In addition, we will no longer be able to grandfather lapsed sponsors in with their prior seniority.
  • Existing sponsors will be prioritized over new sponsors.  We are excited to bring in new partners that can add value to our community — please reach out — but it will need to be fewer than in the past.
  • Existing sponsors for > 3 years (with no gaps) will be prioritized over newer sponsors.  Many of our top partners have been with us since SaaStr Annual 2015 (!).
  • Sponsors in “High Standing” will be prioritized for additional products (e.g., limited media capacity).
  • Additional participation opportunities will be provided only to existing partners in High Standing.  Every partner in High Standing has already been provided some additional promotional opportunities in the past weeks, and we will do more for you (at no cost) in the coming weeks and months.  Partners not in High Standing will be limited to the standard offerings.
  • Partners not in High Standing will need to apply to renew for 2022 Annual. No matter what 2021 brings, it is clear 2021 Annual will be full and there will be limited capacity to sell any additional tickets or sponsorships for 2021 Annual beyond that which has already been taken.  In addition, the expo is likely almost full for 2021 Annual at a practical level already (we already have almost 100 sponsors for 2021 Annual now).  It’s hard to imagine we could fit more than 20% more attendees and 20% more sponsors at 2021 Annual in February.  This will have a cascading effect and limit the expo space at 2022 Annual to less than demand.

More here to come.  We deeply, deeply value our existing partners.  Our IRL events and our community in general could not exist without you.

So we want to lean in on the partners that have really been there for us the past few weeks.  We will be there for you for a decade in return.  That’s our commitment back.

Published on April 10, 2020

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