Sponsorship Marketing Professional Development

Last week, I was in Toronto to attend the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada (SMCC) Marketing Awards and Conference. What a great day! Over the past several years, I have seen such great growth in the education and professional development of our industry. The 2012 SMCC Conference was no exception. With speakers like Kim Skildum-Reid, director, Power Sponsorship; Brian Burke of the Toronto Maple Leafs; and Pete Bombaci of Movember Canada, and the first results of the 2012 Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study, it was an incredible day. Those who did not attend missed some amazing learning and trending opportunities.

To top off the day, the SMCC Marketing Awards were terrific. Congratulations to the winners and all who submitted. We truly have some amazing work here in Canada that delivers results. What I like best about these awards is that ROI and results achieved against objectives are a critical part of the judging process. It is not like so many other marketing and industry awards that are focused solely on “creativity,” the “great idea,” and “cool implementation.” All of that is for naught if the program does not deliver results. These awards require such outcomes in order to be considered and judging is heavily weighted upon them.

As I watched all that was going on, I thought about other opportunities for education and professional development. As our industry grows, we need to develop more industry professionals. More learning opportunities are critical. The thousands of people now involved in our industry need the chance to learn and develop. The opportunities are out there, but organizations (brands and properties alike) must invest in their people. They must send them to training and professional development opportunities. They must learn outside of the box. They must understand best practices and what others are doing versus staying within the silos of their own organizations.

In the next seven weeks, the SMCC One Day Workshop Series  on prospect development, getting meetings and discovery sessions for properties will be delivered in Toronto, Kelowna, Edmonton, Ottawa, Burnaby, Regina, Victoria, and Saskatoon. This is an ideal opportunity for properties to develop their staffs, and hone these critical skills and talents to bring success to their organizations. This type of training is critical to the future of our industry.

Beyond the next seven weeks, I urge you to look toward having your team or staff attend the Canadian Sponsorship Forum in Montreal in July and the SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress™ in October.

As sponsors and properties, our failure to attend these events and others, and send our staffs as well, will only hurt us all in the future. These are the kind of events that will shape and develop our future. I encourage you to invest and reap the rewards.

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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