Sponsorship Growth and Personal Development

For some of you reading this Tuesday Morning Commentary today, you will also be listening to me live in Calgary. Today I am delivering our annual “year in review” and forecasting for 2011 with the opening keynote at the Western Sponsorship Congress™.

For the 6th consecutive year, this event has sold out a month before the actual date of the Congress. Today over 200 industry professionals are gathering in Calgary to learn best practices, understand trends, participate in workshops and panel discussions. It is going to be an amazing two days.

But it is really the past year that has been amazing. From a sport side, the winter Olympics took place in Vancouver and Whistler. It was amazing. FIFA’s world cup set new benchmarks with a hugely successful month in South Africa and the Delhi 201o Commonwealth Games just finished. Overall, outside in the industry we observed continued growth in the Canadian sponsorship industry in the way of dollars spent and invested by sponsors into Canadian sponsorship properties. Fairs and festivals grew, the arts flourished and we have seen a huge movement of municipalities getting into the sponsorship arena.

There are more people than ever are entering the industry and receiving training and professional development. This year at the Western Sponsorship Congress™ we are hosting over 200 delegates. These delegates have come from as far away as Atlantic Canada and through to Vancouver Island. In March, TrojanOne hosted their most spectacular Canadian Sponsorship Forum event ever in conjunction with the Paralympics in Whistler. They had over 200 attendees at it as well.

Ten days ago, Mark Sabourin held his Sponsorship Summit in Toronto with a great line up of speakers. In April this year the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada hosted a record attendance at its annual conference. In May, Rogers and Marketing Magazine (a sponsor of the Western Sponsorship Congress™ as well) hosted the first ever Sport Marketing Conference with over 200 registered delegates. Seven years ago there was just one small sponsorship annual event. Today there are five major events and many other regional and workshop style events.

Three years ago we were delivering three “One Day Workshops” a year. In 2010 we (mostly by request) held these One Day Workshops in seven Canadian markets and in 2011 we are adding Vancouver to the list. You can visit the web site now to see dates and markets. In addition, we see more training being delivered with Canadian content by Bernie Coulter and his Ottawa group. The thirst and growth of the professional development side is unyielding.

We are proud as a company and I personally to have been part of this growth. I believe such professional development and training is essential to a healthy growing industry. Our key mission as a company is to provide our clients with the long term internal capacity and tools to be successful in the sponsorship industry. This is why we support the training and development side so much.

I continue to receive emails and questions directly to my email, through our web site and through LinkedIn asking how people can get into the industry. I do 2-3 interviews a month with people looking to be a part of this growing trend.

For those of you at the Western Sponsorship Congress™ right now or those of you reading this commentary and also participating in our industry’s professional development world, kudos to you. It is your thirst, your energy and your desire to grow this industry that has made it so stable and so successful for those who are a part of it and will be a part of it in the future. Education, sharing of best practices and relationships are the success of our industry and I am proud to be part of that. Thank you for also being a contributing factor.

These are just one person’s thoughts. Yours are welcomed as well, please comment below, and thank you for reading.

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