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Sunday, January 15, 2012

College festivals/competitions-win/win for all parties involved

Till I was involved in the organizing of a national level financial competition open to select Bschools, I used to wonder what is it in for anyone to organize events? I was taking the rather naive view of people not apparently getting anything out of taking part in it, sponsoring it or organizing it. But after my own experience, and after watching other events at close range, I have got some insights about what each participant gets from everyone.
  1. Sponsors(private sector) see their sponsorship as campus relations and building the brand as attractive career destination. Hence, pitching to them demands hard nosed ROI.
  2. Sponsors(public sector) see this more as CSR than an activity demanding marketing ROI. Hence, they are a bit more easier to convince.
  3. Organizers:-These are typically student run clubs, which want to hold these events to get CV points, and build their club prominence. 
  4. Participants:-Besides getting prize money, participation certificates etc, the participants get to usually travel to a new campus(expense partly paid), gauge their competition of other bschools and network with others. 
  5. Judges:-These may be faculty, industry experts or businessmen. Especially for business plan contests, VCs may consent to judge those of premier bschools, so that they can get new ideas. Corporates may agree so that they can gauge the relative quality of Bschools from their teams.
Hence, the next time you are organizing an event, don't be despondent. The business case looks harder than what it is. Having a good brand like IIM-A helps for all the above, but otherwise also doable.

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