Do you remember the moment your parents finally took the training wheels off your first bike? Sure, there was that wobbly moment where you contemplated the feeling of your ass hitting the asphalt far below, but then you cranked on your pedal, built momentum, and finally gained speed.
At Volt, this is when our training wheels come off — we’re officially a sponsor at CUPRAP next week. It’s a crazy acronym, but a cool organization. CUPRAP members are higher education professionals working in public relations, media relations, marketing, publications, sports information, web and graphic design, and more. Founded in Pennsylvania in 1980, CUPRAP members now come from many states with 350 members from 100 institutions. You know, soon-to-be Volt fanatics.
Sure, we’re only one month old, which in doggie years puts us at approximately seven months, but we figured it’s time to get out and kick it up a notch. This momentous occasion got us thinking about how sponsorships should fit within a marketing mix. Why incorporate them? How do you stand out professionally and as a brand? What’s necessary to be successful? Is there value in networking? What can we do to shake things up?
Here’s what we came up with:
Is Networking a Waste of Time?
You know you’ve been there before. You attended a conference or a networking event with the best intention of forging real relationships, but as you walked around uncomfortably trying to meet new people you instead started to look for people who you already knew. It then dawned on you that this self-imposed masochistic courting ritual is rather silly. This holds true to introverts and extroverts. So why go at all? According to a Harvard Business Review article entitled Go Ahead, Skip That Networking Event, Author David Burkus echoes our sentiment that these events can be fruitless. He advocates for a more experiential activity to break the proverbial ice, rather than forcing shallow conversations and relationships. Makes sense. As a sponsor, perhaps we can design an experience that helps bring y’all together.