Welcome to the summer months…where we count down to long weekends, vacation days, no more school (and for me that means no more making lunches for a while), the hot weather, and where even though the days are longer, my work hours are shorter. I love the summer. Summer is always a great time for me to network, go out for lunch, meet friends for coffee, and definitely try to promote my business. It is difficult to work around people’s vacation schedules, but when you connect with others, it is always worthwhile.
This month, I wanted to use my President’s Message to talk about sponsorship. Defined – to sponsor something is to support an event, activity, person or organization financially or through the provision of products or services, in exchange for access to a particular market. The WBN is a not for profit organization that relies on its membership dues and sponsorship to be able to provide the programs and events that we offer. The benefit and degree of marketing exposure enjoyed by the sponsor depends on the dollar value of sponsorship provided. Unlike philanthropy, sponsorship is done with the expectation of commercial return. The purpose of sponsorship is to deliver an increased awareness, or brand building and is quite different from advertising. Unlike advertising, sponsorship does not communicate specific product attributes. Sponsors hope that events or sponsorships become linked in the memory of the membership, and that will trigger a positive memory, and long term benefits to all involved. Sponsorship is a win-win for both the organization receiving the sponsorship, and the sponsor who provides support. I encourage everyone to look at our new sponsorship opportunities and take advantage of what is available to you, as a member of the WBN, to build your brand within our organization. Sign up for the sponsorship year is happening now, and you can be in place for our AGM in September to maximize your recognition as a sponsor. See our website for the sponsorship categories as there is an option for everyone.
Sponsorship can also be another concept – a sponsor can be someone who opens doors for you, or who pushes you into opportunities. I have been the beneficiary of many sponsors in my life, one in particular who has pushed me and helped me take advantage of various business opportunities which have helped me move my career forward. My sponsor has opened many doors for me, supported me as an individual, with no expectations in return (other than to see me grow). This sponsor gave me some very good advice early on in my career that I wish to share with you… My sponsor said to me… “I don’t start my day thinking about your career. That is your job, to think about what is best for you. I challenge you to start your day and think about what tasks you take on, what role you will take, and how this will move your career forward.”
So, another thought to ponder in these coming summer months, can you sponsor someone in your workplace, in the WBN, in your community. Can you help someone to move forward in their career, their business, their life? One of our core values of the WBN is to develop – to help people grow professionally and personally, to be open, to learn and to create opportunities for others. I believe each and every one of us can be a sponsor – it is up to each of us to decide how.
Enjoy your summer… and remember, your feedback is always welcome.
Rosa Maria Iuliano