Forty-six aspiring Ateneo Celadon members rose to the challenge and participated in this year’s Celadon Marketing Seminar. Organized by the Corporate Relations Department (CORREL), this year’s seminar sported the theme, Marketing Seminar Superheroes and was held as a two-phase project on October 16 and 28.
The marketing seminar aimed to instill in the participants the marketing skills necessary in the function of CORREL like contacting companies for partnerships and closing out deals through lectures from experienced officers held on the first day of the seminar and a formal marketing plan presentation competition held on the second day.
“The previous years’ participants were only exposed to thirty percent of the rigors that CORREL members face in their line of work. This year’s seminar, with all its new incorporations, has managed to expose the participants to a full one hundred percent.”
Day One: Challenge Accepted
Even a campus-wide power outage on the afternoon of October 16 never stopped day one. Event hosts and organizers Deanne David, Kim Pavon, who adapted the stage codenames, D-Force and Kim Impossible, and Clarissa Chua, were undaunted as they kickstarted the seminar with an opening prayer and a general rundown of the objectives of the event.
The participants had to find their hidden name tags throughout the room, to discover their team mates for the course of the seminar. The participants split into six teams with seven to eight members each. The teams were named after various superheroes, namely Superman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Flash, Batman and Wonder Woman.
The flow of electricity returned. With everyone energized, the participants were now challenged to perform a skit per group solving various everyday problems using the superhero powers each participant listed in their application forms
After rounds of humorous acting, the participants listened to two CORREL officers talk about the necessary marketing skills based on their own experiences. CORREL VP Jesse Lui dealt with the basics of acquiring sponsors and partners for financial forms of support for various Celadon events by using professional skills, traits, and speech ability. He also gave the participants a glimpse in making a contract or a memorandum of agreement between parties involved in a partnership.
Dianne Tan, AVP for Corporate Training, highlighted her experiences on the difficulties of convincing major corporations to sponsor an event. She explained that companies are mainly looking for sponsorship opportunities that may help in the growth of their popularity and sales. She also gave the participants tips on proper communication etiquette when contacting or negotiating with a potential client.
After the talks, an open forum session was launched between the guest speakers and the participants. During the forum, Jesse said he often focuses on the list of sponsors usually seen at the bottom of the billboards rather than the brand advertisement itself. “The sponsors listed in those billboards can actually present possible partnership opportunities,” he remarked half-jokingly.
The first day of the seminar wrapped up with the awarding of tokens of appreciation to Jesse and Dianne.
Day Two: Bold New Horizons
A series of challenges confronted our budding marketing heroes on their way to day two, which gave them a taste of being everyday marketing heroes. These included contacting mock sponsors for supporting certain Celadon events assigned to each group, creating a memorandum of agreement, and preparing a formal proposal presentation to convince the mock sponsors on why they should be supporting the events assigned to each group.
Groups had to bring out their A-game to and have a shot at winning the seminar.
The group who can manage to successfully accomplish all these tasks as a team will earn the support from the most number of sponsors and showcase the best presentation on the second day of the event will be declared the winner of the marketing seminar challenge. Seventy percent of the winning grade will come from the memorandum of agreement and the acquisition of the sponsors, while the presentation will constitute thirty percent.
The judges were Jasmin Yiu, MACA’s VP for External Relations; Kim Hung, COA’s Finance Officer; and Aldwyn Tan, Celadon’s VP for Financial Affairs.
Schedule complications lessened the number of available participants, but the presentations pushed through.
Sean Ng from Team Aquaman received the Best Dressed Award and Monica Lagonera from Team Batman bagged the Best Speaker Award from her solo presentation as her teammates were not able to appear for the second day. Team Superman managed to land the first runner-up position. The champion for the 2015 Celadon Marketing Seminar was awarded to Team Batman.
Monica Lagonera, Team Batman’s lone representative that day, explained that despite the numerous exams and assignments of that week, the event proved to be very helpful and quite an experience for her and the rest of her team.
Day two closed out with Jesse revealing that they have conducted numerous changes in this year’s marketing seminar, which included conducting the simulations in order for the participants to have a better grasp on how they can really apply what they have learned in day one. Jesse also revealed that the participants who have really persevered throughout the course of the challenges will soon receive further training under CORREL officers in the Marketing Mentorship Program and may be presented with an opportunity to lead future marketing projects on their own.
He considered the event to be successful in a different perspective compared to the seminars of previous years as CORREL took many experimental risks for this year’s marketing seminar.
“The participants of the previous years were more isolated as compared to the teamwork shown by the participants of this year. The participants of this year are now better prepared for the upcoming training and field work that CORREL will provide for the participants in the longer run. The previous years’ participants were only exposed to thirty percent of the rigors that CORREL members face in their line of work. This year’s seminar, with all its new incorporations, has managed to expose the participants to a full one-hundred percent,” revealed Jesse.
Deanne David and Kim Pavon explained that this year’s seminar was truly a shared effort amongst the three of them.
“Though it was quite tedious due to the rigorous time constraints, the event proved to be very fun and very fulfilling as we saw the much incorporation in this year’s event come into play,” the duo explained.
They were extremely pleased to know that the event has managed to give the participants a full hands-on experience in the intricacies of being a part of CORREL and that the event itself may prove as a valuable stepping stone for the participants’ integration into the department.
Written by Ervin Llobrera
Photos by Justin Ang