Today is Canada Day–our nation’s birthday! There will be celebrations from Ottawa to every major centre and small hamlet in the country. Most of the events will be hosted by municipalities. In fact, I recently saw a posting from the City of Coquitlam seeking sponsors for Canada Day offering stock packages ranging from $500 to $25,000.
In three years, this national annual celebration called Canada Day will be even larger… it will be our 150th birthday. In July of that year as well, our true step into adulthood and world recognition as a nation will also be celebrated. I hope it will be welcomed and recognized with much excitement and pomp as Canada Day. It will also be the 100th anniversary of a defining moment of Canada as a nation-the Battle of Vimy Ridge. I am sure there will be lots of papers pushed and asks made for sponsorship for these events as well. It will be quite the year for sponsorship of Canadian festivals and events. The question will be-how well will we deliver these opportunities?
Now is the time to begin planning–not six months out. Too often, we see a city seeking sponsorship to fund activities and events just a few months out. The City of Coquitlam began looking for Canada Day sponsorships in late April-less than 12 weeks before the event. Didn’t they know it was coming? Of course, we know these events are coming. We know we will need the money. Why do we always wait until the last minute and deliver the annual cry of “wolf,” saying how we need cash or the event will not happen?
The most successful events are those that are planned ahead. Plans are made for the activity itself, but also for sponsorship. The organizers are on the street over a year in advance talking to prospects and doing discoveries. They are presenting customized proposals nine months out and closing the business six months out. A financially well-planned event has 80% of its sponsorship revenue in place at least six months in advance. All the major and top tier sponsors are in place at that time as well. Whether it is a property; event, sport season, building naming, or program, the work must be done in advance. This allows you as a rights holder to be confident financially and the sponsors time to plan to activate on their investments.
So, Happy Canada Day! Celebrate our heritage and have some fun. But remember-tomorrow you start working on 2015 and beyond!
These are just one person’s thoughts. Yours are welcomed as well. Please add your thoughts or comments below. Thank you for reading and your feedback.