Jun 23, 2011 at 01:54 PM
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Shark Tank Meets Sponsorship Sales

For many, pitching is hard enough on your own. Now imagine doing it in front of an entire conference. At the Western Sponsorship Congress in October in Calgary, five properties will be selected to pitch their ideas for five minutes each to Canadian brand decision makers at ScotiaBank, Xerox Canada, EnMax, Alberta Motor Association and The Keg. The program is being called The 5 Minute Pitch. Their goal will be to get all $500,000 of mock sponsorship budget these five brands have to allocate. However, officials say that real sponsorships have been spawned by the competition in the past, including building naming rights deals.

It's an interesting new way to shake up the agenda at conferences, many of which have the same line-up of activities year in and year out. While four of the five slots for the 5 Minute Pitch are already filled, one spot will be awarded to an attendee of the conference, which you can learn more about here.

Here's some tough love advice from the organizers for anyone thinking about entering:

"Whether or not you enter the contest, the point is the same. Do the process right and you will reap the rewards. We have seen people on the 5 Minute Pitch wish they had never sat on that panel. Those are the ones who often fail to get the money in real life as well. They live in the past pitching stock Gold – Silver – Bronze packages. They are rigid and do not try to meet the needs of sponsors. They fail to do discovery sessions. They fail overall."

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