One of my favorite ways to acquire new skills is through collaboration. I recently attended the Windy City Social Spring 2010 Marketing Challenge at Macy’s Narcissus Room. The event consists of three companies presenting case studies and nine teams are charged with the task of creating a marketing plan that will enable these companies to get the exposure they seek for a particular cause.
Participants at the event were assigned to create marketing plans for Chevy, Dreams for Kids, and the White Sox. Chevy’s desire is to raise awareness for their new car model, Chevy Cruse, before the car hits the market. Dreams for Kids, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping children in need are on a mission to increase volunteer and donation participation. The White Sox are seeking to increase individual ticket sales. Teams are then given 90 minutes to create a compelling marketing plan that would persuade business leaders from each organization to choose a winner.
My team was assigned to create a marketing plan for the Dream for Kids organization. Oftentimes, when you work in a group it usually takes time for everyone to feel comfortable with each other before the ideas start flowing. This was definitely not the case with my group! Our group leader, Beth Rosen, made everyone feel welcomed and definitely helped foster a creative atmosphere. It was amazing to me that this was the first time I had met many of my teammates and yet it felt as if we had known and worked with each other for years! The amount of ideas being exchanged in this short amount of time was absolutely remarkable. Somehow, we managed to narrow down all of these wonderful ideas ideas into a 5 minute PowerPoint presentation.
I was thoroughly impressed with the presentations that were presented during the challenge. Every presentation left the participants in the room with knowledge that in addition to helping out the sponsors could be applied to our own development as well. Once all of the teams presented their cases, it was time for the judges to vote for their favorite plan. The plans presented were incredibly creative and easy to execute, so I can only imagine how difficult it would be to pick a winner.
Considering the competition, I was extremely excited when the Dream for Kids marketing team voted for my group to win the challenge. I loved the opportunity to use my passion for marketing to help others. As if creating a marketing plan for a great cause was not enough, we also won some very cool prizes. This was my first time attending a Windy City Social event and it will definitely not be my last.