So, I’m an undergraduate college student. This means that most of what I learn is useless. While that’d be fun to talk about, this also means that I spend as much time as I can on extra-curricular stuff, which, in my case, are events and competitions.
I’ve been to a fair number of college fests so far, usually to compete in something. It’s always kind of nice seeing students get things together with their own effort. Of course, it doesn’t always turn out well, but when it does, it’s worth it.
Every event needs one thing, for certain: funding. It isn’t always easy to acquire funding for such events, considering they don’t really make profits, most of the time. The host college/department usually puts forward some amount, but a large chunk of the budget is brought in through sponsorships.
And boy oh boy, you do not want to be involved in sponsorships.
Along with being a participant, I’ve also been involved in the planning and organising of such college events. The people stuck with sponsorship work always get the worst jobs, to be honest. It’s a whole lot of approaching companies, media outlets, and whatnot and practically begging them to give you a little money in exchange for whatever minimal coverage they’d get at the event. I have heard of other means of attracting sponsors, some through online means, but the face-to-face interactions seem to be the standard that students get pushed to.
Oh, and there’s also the crazy stuff that happens when the entire event team doesn’t coordinate. For instance, I’ve seen some contests at events we were planning with huge prize pools that were not remotely within the reach of the budget. Basically, everyone loses if there is no coordination.
I’ve been to lots of events that somehow get loads of sponsors for not all that much coverage, which does speak of the effort of their sponsorship team. Most events at my own college, however, have always been marred by great difficulty in procuring sponsors. It isn’t really fair on the students too, since they get pushed much harder than they should be in this area.
And let’s not forget the fact that the host college and/or department’s reputation is by far the biggest influential factor on how sponsors will react. I mean, not to say that it’s easy for them, or that their sponsorship team doesn’t do as much work, but well, with events like those annual IIT fests drawing in over 50,000 people from across the country (and even beyond, sometimes!), well, what more could sponsors ask for?
(That’s a rhetorical question. They will always ask for more.)
Maybe it’s just my preference, but I can’t really see this sort of work as being enjoyable, or even very tolerable.
So yeah, just wanted to put that out there. Stay away from sponsorship work if you don’t want to deal with all that, folks.