It's not all about the money
When budgets tighten and limited financial support is available we need to examine the most effective way of using available resources.
You need knowledge and skills to creatively generate revenue and minimise expenditures. Resilience, the ability to not only survive but to thrive in difficult economic times, is born of such knowledge and skills.
Education, training and skill development require thinking about the long term. Knowing where you want to be rather than where you are now. Those that learn how to bridge the gap between now and the future are more likely to succeed.
Recently, Events Tasmania ran a knowledge and skill development workshop on DIY Marketing, led by nationally acclaimed presenter, Kim Skildum-Reid.
Renowned Tasmanian event organiser, Paul Cullen, had this to say about the new knowledge he had gained from completing the workshop.
“I guess the answer is that Kim took the old model of corporate sponsorship by the neck and threw it out the window. That is, the old-boys-at-lunch arrangement saw many sporting clubs and charities rely on personal favours to get the money they needed.
“In a much grittier economic environment these days, that style of sponsorship is almost gone.
“Then there's the perennial cap-in-hand type of fund-raising that approaches companies to say 'You've got heaps of money, you should give us some', without considering what the company might gain from this, or how many other requests for the same thing they've dealt with that week.
“Kim's approach is radically different. It proposes that there are many possible relationships to be made with any charity or event, and it requires thought and preparation to come up with the right approach. If a company can reach a particular section of the community, or deliver a narrowly-focused marketing message, or provide a benefit to their own staff by means of sponsorship, then there may be sound benefit in the relationship.
“Kim Skildum-Reid’s workshop of the science of building sponsorship relationships was an eye-opener: it literally changed forever the way I go about this essential element of public events.”
This is powerful testimony to the value of learning and development. Paul has been in the events business for more than fifteen years working on projects such as The Taste, the Mid-Winter Festival, Taste of The Huon, Antarctica Centennial Year celebrations, and now as the Director of the Australian Wooden Boat Festival.
“So what Kim's seminar changed for me is the way I think about these relationships and how I plan an approach to a prospective sponsor with a sound proposal, one that will deliver benefits to both partners. I reason from the company's point of view: what's attractive about this deal, and why would I want to grab it,” said Cullen.
Events Tasmania support includes coaching and skill development initiatives for organisations and event managers, production staff, volunteers and boards.
Support ranges from guidance on how to set up your event business, to strategic and business planning developed from feedback about needs and priorities. Delivery is through forums presented by national and international event experts, other government department business development support, and direct coaching and advice from Events Tasmania.
The majority of Tasmanian events are run by volunteer organisations. A number of larger events, from a regional to major level, employ full-time managers and grow their staffing, both paid and volunteer, some six months prior to the event date. So although financial assistance is tight, development programs build skill and knowledge and operational capability.
The Events Tasmania development program is open to events of all sizes.
We’ll leave the final word as to what he thinks of the value of the Events Tasmania Development Program to Paul Cullen.
“It is encouraging to see such a broad cross-section of the Tasmanian events industry attending these workshops. Tiny events in rural areas benefit from the real-world skills taught, without the expense of sending staff to Melbourne or Sydney.
“Experienced practitioners can get master class-level rejuvenation and inspiration from some of the best in the business, and I can’t tell you how many useful connections have been made during the afternoon tea breaks. It’s a fantastic initiative from Events Tasmania and builds priceless expertise within Tasmania. Long may it continue!”
As part of Events Tasmania’s on-going learning and development program Kim Skildum-Reid is returning to Tasmania, later this year, to conduct additional workshops.
For more information on the Event Development Program go to www.eventstasmania.com/advice or ring Events Tasmania development program manager, Charles Bracewell on 6237 6434 or Heidi Flood on 6237 6431.