1. Could you give us a short summary of tasks that are carried by the sponsorship team? And what the overarching goal of the team is?
Griffin: While the main function of the team is to acquire sponsors for the year’s events, this can be achieved in a myriad of ways, including email correspondences, phone calls, personal relationships, and more. Finding brands that fit with the FS ethos, namely being environmentally sustainable and of high quality, is of paramount importance, and can really make the events the most enjoyable experience possible for guests, committee members, and sponsors alike.
2. What qualities make a good sponsorship team member?
Griffin: To be a valuable member of the Sponsorship team, one must above all have a fantastic work ethic. Creativity and ingenuity are brilliant qualities, but they don’t particularly matter if someone doesn’t have the work ethic to bring their ideas to fruition.
3. What skills have you been able to develop during your time on the sponsorship team?
Siobhan: working with the FS sponsorship team has really supported my development and helped me grow as a professional. It has helped me learn how to communicate effectively with different companies and I’ve gained confidence when approaching and negotiating deals with businesses. It has also taught me the importance of meticulous organisation to make sure we’re meeting all our deliverables and getting things done in time for the show.
4. Do the majority of your tasks involve exterior parties to the FS committee such as private companies?
Siobhan: while we do work extensively with businesses outside of FS, we have to work closely with different parts of the committee as well.
For example, we work with Finance to discuss things like funding, Graphics to create posts for our sponsors, and Social Media to publish posts that are part of our sponsorship deals. We have also been working closely with our Social Responsibility sub-committee to highlight the sustainable and ethical brands we are working with and finding new ways of supporting our charity partners.
I also enjoyed working behind-the-scenes with models during their photoshoots to capture our different sponsors’ products.
5. What are the most enjoyable parts of working on the sponsorship team in your opinion?
Siobhan: after months of emails, meetings and negotiations, I love watching it come all together in the lead up to the show. Putting together the goodie bags for guests and watching models use our sponsors’ products is so fulfilling. You feel this sense of solidarity with and pride in the rest of the sponsorship team because you can see the result of your hard work.
6. Can you give us some examples of memorable experiences that occurred while you have been on the sponsorship team?
Griffin: As the liaisons for our sponsor guests for the show itself, we were charged with greeting them upon arrival, and taking them to the corporate viewing gallery. Last year, upon finishing this task, the whole team met in the raised viewing gallery and toasted to a job well done as we overlooked the student guests streaming into the marquee. It was a great way to survey all that we had accomplished, and take a moment to appreciate what an incredible event the show can be.
7. Do you find that external outreach/contacting companies is challenging? Or are they often quite interested in partaking in FS events?
Siobhan: it’s amazing to see how many companies from around the world are enthusiastic about working with us and are excited about the events we host. It’s even more exciting when they reach out to us first to discuss sponsorship opportunities. It hits home that we’re working for a respected and valued organisation which people are keen to get involved in.
The Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on businesses has obviously made it a little trickier to do our jobs because companies might not have the resources for sponsorship. Despite this, we’ve had positive feedback and support from a range of businesses who have worked with us to find a way around the situation and many more who remain keen to partner with FS once the situation calms down.
8. Could you tell us more about the sponsors for this year and why they were picked?
Siobhan: We partner with a range of companies across different industries. As sustainability forms the foundation of the work FS does, the sponsorship team has focused on partnering with companies that embody environmentally and socially ethical practices. Our sponsors range from healthy snacks such as Love Corn and plastic-alternative CanO Water to sustainable tampons producer Daye and environmentally-friendly clothing provider Wolven. In this way, we aim to support businesses who want to make a positive impact and therefore foster ethical changes in the fashion industry.
9. Would you say that sponsorship is a position that allows no previous experience?
Siobhan: obviously prior experience would be a great asset when working as part of the sponsorship team. That being said, we’re interested in confident and proactive individuals who are enthusiastic about working with clients and supporting FS’ events. If you think you will be able to communicate professionally with international businesses, you’ll fit right in.