14 January 2015back

Creative Internships Blog Week 14

Ava Plowright, Wales Millennium Centre

Well, that’s it! The Christmas and New Year break is over and we’re all back to reality. The late mornings, indulgent eating and lazy hours are all behind us, as we attempt to drag ourselves back into our routine of early wake-up calls, sensible lunches and being productive. I personally forgot all of my passwords on my first day back, and locked myself out of my computer. Twice. But when negativity sets in, and I begin to miss those Christmas days, reminding myself how lucky I am to be taking such positive steps in my career, so soon after finishing my MA, is a real source of positivity.

The New Year at Wales Millennium Centre brings with it my first solo business sponsorship renewal meeting. The sponsor in question has been a supporter of ours since the Centre opened 10 years ago, and the business has a really strong relationship with us. Inheriting these long-standing relationships has been a big responsibility to take on in the early stages of my Internship, and I have worked hard to ensure these relationships are nurtured and sustained. It’s been the part of my role here at the Centre which I have found the most enjoyable and rewarding so far.

With the renewal meeting also comes the End of Year Report, which I have spent the first week back at work compiling. This report details the benefits given to the business over the sponsorship year, in return for the funds donated – from accreditation to boost the company’s marketing activities, to VIP hospitality and unique experiences for the company’s team of staff. 

But it is not always the transactional element of the sponsorship which makes it truly valuable to our business partners. Yes, they gain measurable benefits in return for their money, but it is often the less tangible elements which mean the most. Our sponsors enable us to run our inspiring range of community and education projects, which provide immeasurable benefit to so many people, young and old. The stories these people have to tell are crystal clear proof of how valuable business sponsorship of the arts really is, and we are working to include this more ‘human’ element in our End of Year reporting.

Our sponsors are a vital piece in the Wales Millennium Centre puzzle. Renewal meetings and End of Year Reports are a chance for us to ensure that our business partners truly understand what they help us to achieve by donating, and how much we value their support.

On a personal level, securing a renewal from one of the business accounts I manage will tick off one of my Internship targets, so wish me luck!

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