Sponsorship Training

Sponsorship Training

We should be learning every day. Each morning, I undertake professional development by reading articles on sponsorship. I read content from LinkedIn, or magazines and periodicals while on airplanes or in hotel rooms. This keeps me current, increases my knowledge, and also exposes me to differing opinions.

Professional development is critical for us all—and we have to be able to access it. I see professional development as more than a just a lunch-and-learn or breakfast forum with 30-40 minutes of content. These are great and have a role in our overall learning, but professional development that truly makes an impact needs to deliver focused topics for a minimum of two to three hours, and maybe run two to three days. This is where we learn, are able to put ideas into practice, break into groups to apply newly-learned knowledge, and network.

I am bewildered by membership based organizations that fail to provide such sponsorship support to their members or clients. Membership in an organization needs to have benefits and professional development should be one of those. If your members are involved in sponsorship in any way, then you should be supporting them with sponsorship professional development opportunities.

A few organizations come to mind that have always done a great job on this front. Here are some examples.

  • AFP Edmonton continues to engage on an annual basis at least a half-day of sponsorship professional development for their members. These are leaders as sponsorship is critical to fund raisers!
  • SMCC (Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada) has an amazing monthly breakfast event in downtown Toronto and the chapters in Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver run evening sessions periodically with content and topics worthy learning from
  • Sport Tourism Canada’s – Sport Event Congress – Annually at the SEC, the STC hosts workshops and training on sponsorship. In 2024, the sponsorship panel was one of the top-rated sessions and they also delivered roundtable discussions on sponsorship!

If your organization is involved in sponsorship and your member association is not providing the professional development opportunities you need, speak up! Let them know this is critical to the long-term success of your organization. Or, if they don’t see the value in it, spend your conference dollars attending an event such as the WSC® Alberta Forum. You need to take care of your sponsorship professional development needs!

Congratulations to those membership organizations that provide their members with true professional development for their sponsorship needs. For those that fail to do so—all the best in your continued failure to grow your sponsorship dollars as a member organization or your member organizations themselves!

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