conference overview

An agenda overview of the Western Sponsorship Congress® Alberta Forum is posted below. Please note that it is subject to change. We are finalizing our line-up of great speakers and will post a detailed schedule soon. 


tueSDAY NOVEMBER 27

8.30 am - 11.30 am Sponsorship 101 Boot Camp 

Please note that the Boot Camp is not included in the Congress registration and must be added separately. Register early as the Boot Camp sold out in 2017.

12.45 pm - 1.15 pm Registration

1.15 pm - 1.30 pm Opening Remarks

1.30 pm - 2.30 pm UNDERSTANDING THE ART IN THE ART OF STORYTELLING, Brent Barootes, Partnership Group

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This opening keynote will look at how we can better understand our audiences from both a sponsor and brand perspective. The session will focus on using the tools of today for better engagement, activation and storytelling. Through the Art of Storytelling, Brent will bring these tools and tactics to life with examples you can relate to.

2.30 pm - 3.00 pm Networking Break

3.00 pm - 4.00 pm Concurrent Workshop Sessions: 

Session A: CAUSE MARKETING 101 - BUYER BEWARE! Tips and tools to help you maximize your partnerships, Christi Cruz, TELUS

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Looking to increase your organizations’ ability to partner with corporations in a new and exciting way? As the popularity of cause marketing grows, your organization should know the basics of a good cause marketing campaign. Learn how this can be a great tool in your fundraising toolbox. What is it, how can you use it and what do you need to watch out for to ensure that your organization asks the right questions before saying yes.

Session B: GOOD TIMES IN PYEONGCHANG: Canadian Royalty, Lucky Loonies, Folkloric Comebacks, Drunk Germans and the Brand Winners and Fourth Place Finishers of the 2018 Games, Russell Reimer, Manifesto Sport Management

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You watched PyeongChang 2018 Games on television and now you can gain insights from the agent that represents many of Canada’s best athletes — including Mark McMorris and Tessa and Scott — and learn how brands uncovered their stories to reach and engage fans. With personal reflections about some of his athlete clients, Russell explores which brands won the PyeongChang Games and which brands finished off the podium.

4.00 pm - 5.00 pm Keynote: EVOLVING YOUR ORGANIZATION’S BRAND AND REPUTATION THROUGH SPONSORSHIP & STORYTELLING, John Windwick, ATB Financial 

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Ever wonder how corporations make decisions on sponsorship? What criteria is used to determine their sponsorship approach?

John will walk our participants through ATB Financial’s approach to a winning partnership, the criteria they use, identification of key objectives, and tailoring your pitch for a winning proposal. Find out what companies value in their pursuit of the best partnerships. Learn how to analyze opportunities, create and develop strong partnerships and build a win-win for both brand and property.

5.00pm - 6.30 pm Networking Reception


wednesday NOVEMBER 28

8.30 am - 9.30 am Keynote: INVENTING THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL EXPERIENCES / WHY WE SHOULD CARE ABOUT GAMIFICATION, Sean Karoonian

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Competitive video gaming & esports has emerged as the hottest conversation at the forefront of marketer, sponsor, influencer, and consumer minds globally. Yet with global prize pools reaching $100MM+ with 15MM+ Daily Active Users on Twitch - do we really understand what this nascent industry actually means yet? What it means for us today? And what it could mean for all tomorrow?

Experienced technology & video gaming executive Sean Karoonian will be joining us from Toronto to share insight to the growth of North American video gaming ecosystem and cross-platform monetization strategies leveraged to best support return on investment for sponsors and cause-marketers alike. Together we will discover valuable insights to how brands and agencies might best partner with game publishers, properties, venue operators, teams, agencies, and social influencers.

Sean is an internationally experienced full-stack marketer, entrepreneur, and speaker with a social conscience - gaining recognition at Canada's Best Managed Companies, Rebrand 100, and PROFIT 500 Awards. Supported by a strong industry network, he has had the opportunity to work with awesome partners on this journey so far to launch unique products & services with: Activision, PlayStation, Xbox, Samsung, NFL, EA, Warner Bros, Capcom, Transgaming, Big Blue Bubble, SoftKinetic, NVIDIA, Konami, Sony, Method, Astound, Huge, Dentsu, and Cineplex. Sean has been warmly welcomed as a Canadian newcomer from Belgium, Spain, and UK - where he first served as employee #20 something at SoftKinetic in 2009 - founders of 3D Time-of-Flight gesture recognition technology, now acquired by Sony to power PlayStation Camera and similar leading platforms. Sean has further just completed 100+ independent hours of a pro-bono pledge - lecturing & mentoring students at colleges and universities across Ontario in 2018 including: Ryerson University, Ted Rogers School of Management, McMaster University, and George Brown College.

This exciting session narrative will seek to translate key learnings and market analyses for any in-house marketer or agency present to best understand how to enrich their audience development initiatives and social experiences via the medium of gaming. The objective of this session is to demonstrate how to support brand equity growth and return on investment while helping audiences discover and engage with relevant content. Further Key session takeaways will include: Sustainable Brand Growth / Smart Budgeting & Investment / Inclusivity & Corporate Social Responsibility - for individuals, big brands, and non-profit organizations alike.

9.30 am - 10.30 am Concurrent Workshop Sessions:

Session A: WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP, Sandra Lundar, Calgary Stampede

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Webster Dictionary defines partnership as “a relationship resembling a legal partnership and usually involving close cooperation between parties having specified and joint rights and responsibilities”. Much like a marriage a partnership involves ongoing work, communication and is constantly evolving. In this session you will learn how the Calgary Stampede and the Calgary Stampede Foundation work both internally and externally to advance goals.

Understanding the needs of sponsors and donors
• The dating game, sharing stories
• What’s in the best interest of your sponsors, donors and your cause
• Identifying the best fit for all

Communication - listening and sharing
• Relationships – two way street
• Getting to the heart of the matter
• Shared values/shared goals

Examples of a good partnership
• Share CSF stories of how the right fit means long term relationships
• Internal and external relations are key
• Importance of stewardship

Session B: ENGAGING SPONSORS IN YOUR STORY AND ITS ENDING, Bobbie O’Connor, Fringe Theatre

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How can your story be leveraged to empower sponsor partnerships? Giving sponsors a part to play within your story connects them more directly to your mission, while also elevating their investment. Learn how Fringe Theatre is engaging sponsors to shape and become part of their story - further deepening their relationships and commitments as partners.

Session C: BIG DATA AND FORENSIC SPONSORSHIP PROSPECTING, Jim Kalogerakos, diD Analytics and Alison Hagan, MS Society of Canada

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Learn how to use big data to profile your property's audience. Go beyond demographics and analyze their lifestyles, interests, social values and spending patterns. Big data allows you to understand what drives the purchase decisions of your audience across 480 spending categories and their capacity and motivations to buy. How much do they spend on fast food, garden supplies, furniture, home renovations, sporting goods, auto repairs, cosmetic surgery, lotteries, charitable giving and other goods and services? Big data tells the story and can also zero in on specific brand preferences. When you can align your property and audience with a sponsor's business goals, it's win-win for the long-term. Armed with this type of data and insights you can now target the right sponsors with precision.

During this session we'll also summarize a big data pilot project with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Alberta & Northwest Territories Division.

10.30 am - 11.00 am Networking Break

11.00 am - 12.30 pm Storytelling Ted Style Talks

Listen to our 3 speakers as they share with you their story in a Ted Style Talk.

One of their stories really caught your interest and attention? Following their Ted Style Talk, each of them will provide a workshop session where they will delve deeper into their story, sharing working progress, knowledge and other resources with you!

Ted Style Talk #1: ARE YOU DROWNING IN DATA? TIPS FOR BECOMING AN EVIDENCE-BASED STORYTELLER, Dr. David J. Finch, Mount Royal University

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Today, we are bombarded with an endless volume of data and information. Some good, some not so much. So, for most of us the challenge today isn’t access to information. Rather, it’s the ability to transform this information into knowledge that will drive better decisions and ultimately persuade others – whether it be your boss, your client or your sponsor. This includes information on markets, competition, and trends that affect the environment you work in. To be an effective evidence-based storyteller, you need to transform raw information into digestible knowledge. In this session, we explore the principles of evidence-based storytelling including examining the systematic nature of evidence and how to use this evidence to tell a persuasive story.

Ted Style Talk #2: INSIDE THE GREEN RUSH: A look behind the curtain of the cannabis space in Canada, Peter Shier & Greg Plata, Naked Creative Consultancy

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After years of speculation Canada is changing the cannabis landscape globally, but it’s being done at the expense of the consumer. We’ve had a front row seat to watch others sit back and develop regulations and guidelines based on a litany of assumptions rooted in speculation.

What do these regulations mean to the brand, the LP, the consumer?

Where or more importantly how does the consumer fit in all of this, and what are their needs?

What’s missing? Open and honest communication that puts the consumer at the forefront. Key considerations like access, opportunity, education and above all, the element of choice.

After all, this is not just about education, it’s a re-education. It IS the end of prohibition, and the beginning of a new age. The guess work is gone, there is a method to the madness and the curtain has been pulled back to provide access and opportunity to understand cannabis and everything it is, maybe more importantly everything it isn’t.

Ted Style Talk #3: PACKAGING AND SELLING NAMING RIGHTS AND CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP FOR PUBLICLY FUNDED ORGANIZATIONS, Judy Haber, Performance Sponsorship Group

12.30 pm - 1.30 pm Networking Lunch

1.30 pm - 3.00 pm Knowledge Cafe 

During this session, you will be able to engage in table group discussions. These intimate tete-a-tetes will be in small groups to allow you valuable face time with our sponsorship experts.

-See Knowledge cafe table topics

  1. Brands – How do you measure success in a sponsorship investment? - Brent Barootes, Partnership Group - Sponsorship Specialists®
  2. The Art of Storytelling in Sponsorship - Peter Gardner, TORQUE Strategies
  3. How can a small property / charity / non-profit get sponsorship money from a big brand like ATB - Terry Andryo, ATB Financial
  4. “Getting in my door”… how do you get in to see the key decision makers? - John Windwick, ATB Financial
  5. How to attract corporate sponsors and facility partners - Judy Haber, Performance Sponsorship Group
  6. Why Brands Say No To Your Proposal - Jerilynn Daniels, RBC
  7. The Fundamentals of Sponsorship Contracts - Elizabeth Williams, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada
  8. Sponsorship & Events – Go beyond gold, silver and bronze levels - Arlene Schilke & Brent Taylor, Timewise Event Management
  9. Major Gift or Sponsorship? How you can marry together the two! - Alison Hagan, MS Society of Canada

3.00 - 4:30 pm 5 Minute Pitch moderated by Christi Cruz, TELUS and Jerilynn Daniels, RBC

Since its inception, this Congress favourite has helped delegates understand the sponsorship process from both a property and sponsor perspective. It’s an intense hour and a half of sellers pitching and sponsors spending a mock $100,000 budget, followed by delegates asking all of their questions.

-see sellers and buyers

PROPERTIES / SELLERS:

  • Patricia Guenther-Smith, Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet
  • Emmy Stuebing, Edmonton Public Library
  • Stephanie Mok, Calgary Folk Music Festival
  • Karna Germsheid, Grande Prairie Sport Council

BRANDS / BUYERS:

  • Terry Andryo, ATB Financial
  • Clare Sheerin, Mayfair Diagnostics
  • Kia Pyrcz, Pembina Pipeline Corporation
  • Erin Stankewich, Regina Hotel Association

4.30 pm Closing Remarks