Getting the Professional Development You Need to Be Successful

Last week, the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada held an amazing day of professional development, and of course, the annual Sponsorship Marketing Awards. I was unable to attend, but hear great things about the day. Congratulations to all the winners and entrants for the 2014 SMCC Marketing Awards. With the most entries ever, this was a terrific part of the day and very well integrated into the day itself, with awards being presented throughout rather than just as a separate focus at the end of the day. To the innovators of this approach-well done! The quality of delivery, planning, and execution of sponsorship in Canada continues to grow and become even better as demonstrated by the submissions and the winners.

My reconnaissance folks tell me that the keynote speakers and spotlight presenters were tremendous, providing inspiration and great story telling. The All Star Music Panel discussion provided great insight into what is happening between corporate branding and sponsorship with music in Canada. It tied well to the ongoing success of festivals and events, which is exemplified by the work delivered by Norm O’Reilly, SMCC, and TrojanOne with the Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study. Overall, it was a terrific line up, and mix of award celebration and professional development.

Speaking of professional development and tying into the music platform of the SMCC Award and Conference, the Canadian Sponsorship Forum (CSFX) is just a little more than two months away! This is an amazing experiential event and will be fantastic in alignment with the RBC Ottawa Blues Festival. As our industry thirsts for more professional development and training opportunities, the CSFX is one of several annual events to get some of that professional development fix. This is Canada’s premiere experiential sponsorship event providing delegates with the opportunity to experience sponsorship from an activation perspective. With once-in-a-lifetime experiences behind the scenes at the festival combined with social events and fun, this conference delivers the goods on how to run and operate a major event or festival from a sponsorship perspective.

Following the CSFX, five and-a-half months from now, the largest and most focused sponsorship professional development event will be hosted in Calgary. The SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress is scheduled for October 21-22. It is the 10th anniversary celebration.

This year, the SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress™ will welcome over 250 delegates, and feature three keynote addresses by industry leaders from Canada, the USA, and Great Britain. Yes, the 5 Minute Pitch™, which provides an experiential panel interaction of buying and selling sponsorships that engages not only those on stage, but also those in the audience, is back and will be the finale. Delegates will have the chance to choose from over 30 breakout sessions, unmatched by any sponsorship or marketing conference in Canada. The sessions will be supported by over 40 presenters. Session presenters and delegates will come from a cross section of property rights holders (large, medium, and small), national, local, and regional brands, along with decision makers from sponsorship agencies. Sessions will be focused on tracks specifically for brands or properties, and some sessions to meet the needs of both groups.

The SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress™ will also showcase the release of the 2014 Consumer Sponsorship Rankings© (CSR 2014)-the #1 consumer study on sponsorship in Canada, with feedback and evaluation by over 2000 Canadians at an average participation of 15 minutes of interview time. The CSR is the only annual study of this type or magnitude. The only place to learn the highlights of this proprietary study is at the SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress™.

But wait, there’s more! Based on both brand and property feedback, this October the SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress™ will introduce a brand new product. It will be the debut of PitchFest©. Like “speed dating,” this unique and much needed event will occur during the 2014 SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress™. Thirty Canadian properties will get the chance to pitch their sponsorship proposals to ten of Canada’s top brands one-on-one! Each participating property will have the chance to get in front of three of the ten brands and present their proposal to brand decision makers. This is the only place in Canada that such an interaction and opportunity is available to rights holders and brands-another first in the Canadian sponsorship industry by the SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress™!

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.

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