MAMP Workshop Attendees Leave With Pitch in Hand

Written By Josie Gulliksen
June 8, 2015 at 1:48 PM

MAMP Workshop Attendees Leave With Pitch in Hand

The goal of the Arts & Business Council of Miami’s Miami Arts Marketing Project (MAMP) workshops is to provide arts groups with the tools to implement strategies that elevate their marketing, social media, and potential corporate partnerships.

At the most recent one titled “Pitch Session: Gearing Up for Corporate Sponsorships,” they walked out of the Arsht Center armed with a formidable pitch in hand to use at their next meeting with a possible future sponsor.

A panel from the corporate world faced their audience, prepared to share the tips and insights that would attract their interest. Panelists were Janet Altman of the accounting firm Kaufman Rossin; Deborah Koch of JPMorgan Private Bank; Abe Ng of Sushi Maki Restaurants and Stacey Glassman Mizener of Metro 1 Community, a full-service real estate organization.

The four complemented each other, agreeing on many topics and also offering their own personal experiences.

Altman kicked off the conversation, stating that the giving their company does connects them with the community as well as with other people who want to engage and eventually work with them.

Following that thought, Koch put herself in the audience’s shoes, saying that she knows “what it’s like to pick up the phone and ask for sponsorships. Sitting on the corporate side we always look for people who know what our company does before they dial because there are so many pots of money within one particular business.”

Being good corporate citizens is first and foremost for Sushi Maki, said CEO Abe Ng. “We try to push Miami to be more of an amazing place than it is.” He then encouraged workshop attendees to serve on boards where they can be heard.

At Metro 1 Community, Glassman Mizener says they focus on shaping neighborhoods and so “we want to hear how your organization is impacting lives in your neighborhood,” she said when addressing participants. She stressed the importance of starting with people that believe in what you do and build organically from there. In addition, she encouraged people to create a video short that they can put up on their site because “we’re also looking for an ongoing presence. Make it enticing for a corporation to choose you.”

A visual presentation by Ng followed where he showcased the various facets of the company, including culinary arts initiatives, visual arts where they incorporate street art, and community and philanthropy, where they collaborate with Whole Foods and Dolphins Foundation.

Knowing what an arts organization can offer their company is important to Kaufman Rossin says Altman, because “we find it compelling that you have a long-term relationship with our company.”

Providing unique experiences like a VIP experience, backstage passes or one-on-one time with an artist is what Koch suggested to the organizations present. “This way you’re providing us with various opportunities rather than just one,” she says.

Another good suggestion from Ng was to perhaps latch on to a corporation’s community events, provided the organization can bring added value to that event. “That’s helpful to them and joining them this way can help the arts organization steer in to other companies,” he says.

Perhaps one of the morning’s most interesting analogies came from Glassman Mizener, who compared the art of the corporate pitch to dating, implying that you have to court the company. She suggested perhaps inviting someone from the corporation to a private rehearsal and providing them with an “aha” moment.

“Doing a little romancing before you make ‘the ask.’ Also, ask a lot of questions of the potential donor, so you can give a proposal that’s truly meaningful to that company,” she says.

Facilitators then worked with the individuals from the arts organizations at their tables and helped them identify what their organization’s assets are, find potential partners, and then come up with an actual pitch. They then moved on to their Group Think exercise, working with a Sponsorship Opportunity Worksheet on their pitch, which was then presented to the panelists for their feedback and suggestions.

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