SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress 2013

While many of you across the continent read this, about 250 people will be listening to (or sleeping though) my opening keynote at the 9th annual SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress™ in Calgary. This event has been presented by the Partnership Group Sponsorship Specialists™ since it began. In over nine years, 1800+ people have attended. There have been stellar lineups of speakers over the years, including Stewart Stockdale from SIMON Shopping Centres, John Vidalin from the San Francisco 49ers, Justine Fedak from BMO Bank of Montreal, Grace Belmonte from NOKIA, Patrick Laforge of the Edmonton Oilers, and over 200 others, all of whom have given of their time and knowledge for the wellbeing and growth of the industry.
Today in Calgary, our emcee of CBC fame Fred Keating is doing an amazing job with the delegates, and keeping me on schedule! Other speakers this year include Jim Bryant of XEROX Canada, Dana Gladstone of Hockey Canada, Jennifer Johnson of TELUS, Cory Evans of Westjet, Scot Benson of Coca-Cola, Derek Kwansey of Lake Louise Ski Area, Alice Lee of Western Union Canada, Jim Bena of UPS, and over 20 others. Like the Canadian Sponsorship Forum and Sponsorship Toronto, the SMCC Sponsorship Marketing Awards and Conference brings best practices, professional development, and networking to our industry professionals. It is through this networking, training, and development that our industry leaders step to the next level, while our young aspiring industry professionals find the knowledge they need to grow and develop.
Training and development is essential to long-term success. As an official training partner of the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada (SMCC), the Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists™ takes this role seriously. Our ongoing training and development sessions, such as those held two weeks ago in Fort St. John, BC for North Peace Savings and Credit Union and its community partners, the City of Nanaimo and its community organizations, the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, the session for the WHL teams at their conference here in Calgary yesterday and MPI Ottawa allow us to provide industry best practices and knowledge across the country to individuals and groups to grow their sponsorship programs. This work is coupled with our ongoing one-on-one mentoring with clients, on both the brand and property sides, to assist them in building the internal capacity they need to be successful in the sponsorship industry.
I encourage you to think about your professional development. Consider how you individually can partake in upcoming training and development opportunities or how you can get your community together to have an organization such as the Partnership Group deliver training and knowledge to you and your industry peers as a group. Unless we develop and continue to build internal capacity among our industry members, the growth of our industry will outpace our HR capacity and we will all be in trouble. Why not visit the Partnership Group events calendar and see what industry training such as Sponsorship Toronto is available in your community in the near future and sign up to develop yourself and the industry you have chosen to be part of-like the 250 or so folks here in Calgary today at 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.


  1. I wanted to say thank you for hosting us at the congress! I’ve learned lots and I look forward to discussing how we will have surpassed our sponsorship benchmarks in 2014 with the help of this new knowledge at the 10th anniversary Sponsorship Congress! I wish you and your team the best of luck in this planning year, and remember to celebrate the BIG TEN!

    • Thanks Tanya, it was great you were able to make it this year. We look forward to your success going forward and seeing you at the BIG TEN on October 21-22 2014.


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