Last week, I wrote about change. I talked about change in sponsorship and marketing as well as general change. I am on the same general topic this week. I am not sure how many of the 250+ people at the SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress™ in October in Calgary noticed, but women dominated the attendee list. Two people mentioned this to me specifically. Another person mentioned something that I did not notice. I am not sure if I should have noticed and said, “Hey, that’s cool” or “Holy crap, can’t let that happen again” or if I should not have noticed because it is the norm, or possibly should be.
“So what is he talking about,” you are saying. Well, the 5 Minute Pitch™ is a showcase event at the SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress™. There were five selling properties on one side of the stage that each had five minutes to “pitch” their package or proposal. These folks were all from Canadian properties and are at the top of their league. They represented properties such as the Calgary Folk Festival, the Calgary Hitmen Hockey Club, West Edmonton Mall, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, and CARE Canada.
On the other side of the stage were five buyers—key decision makers from prominent Canadian brands such as Best Buy, RBC, IBM, McMillan LLP, and Mr. Lube. They were moderated by Christi Cruz from TELUS. Interestingly, the representatives of all five buying brands and the moderator were women. All are at the top of their field representing top Canadian brands. The representatives of three of the five selling properties were also women. Nine of the 11 people on the stage were women. All are amazing at their jobs (as are the two men). They are all people whom the rest of us want to emulate. All of the women are leaders, mentors, and trend setters.
So, should I and others have noticed this? Should it seem like a phenomenon? Or should it just be reality? The panel, as well as the overall Congress, in my mind truly reflected where our industry is and where it is going. Women play a key role in sponsorship in Canada. Women continue not only to gravitate to the excitement, creativity, and experiences delivered by our industry, but also they are leading the industry. Women continue to tip the scales in numbers at the junior, intermediate, and senior levels of the sponsorship industry. For me, this is reality and part of the growth and development of our industry. I welcome and embrace it.
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.