In just over two weeks, TACK10 Group President and CEO James Chalmers will be packing up and heading out to Ottawa to experience the JUNO Awards as only a strategic partnership leader could; through the Canadian Sponsorship Forum Xperience (CSFX).

According to CSFX, “there are conferences that talk about sponsorship and experiential marketing, and then there are those that live it.” The three-day event (March 31-April 2), which coincides with and is hosted by the JUNO Awards, is known for bringing together the leaders of Canada’s biggest brands and most valued partnerships. Sessions are more than simply bodies in a room listening to someone on a microphone; they are engaging, interactive, and innovative.

That being said, the following are the TACK10 Tuesday Top 5 Speakers to Look Out For at #CSFX17. Every session is packed with informative and exciting content, which made the race for Top 5 a very difficult one.

1. Makers – Mark Stewart, Chief Innovation Officer at wonderMakr
March 31 at 11:00-11:45am
Mark Stewart’s session is less of a speech and more of a workshop… or a Jam Session as CSFX calls it. wonderMakr is all about the creative use of technology and Stewarts’ background is full of just that, working on innovative projects for his clients for over 15 years; projects that aim to connect the digital and physical worlds. In his Makers session, Stewart will discuss the past, present and future of technology with the tech experts in the room.

2. Proof is in the Poutine: Strategic Brand Building Through Entertainment – Ryan Smolkin, Founder & CEO at Smoke’s Poutinerie
March 31 at 2:00-2:45pm
Entrepreneur Ryan Smolkin not only created a new quick service restaurant chain, but a whole new category in the food industry when he developed the Smoke’s Poutinerie brand. Now the World’s Largest and Original Poutinerie, it is clear to see that Smolkin’s idea of building his brand first and his restaurant chain second is a strategy that has proven to be successful. This strategy is just one part of Smolkin’s talk, which will no doubt be the cheesiest and most plaid-filled of the conference.

3. Opportunity Knocks: Why Content Planning Should Never be Absent From Your Brand or Property Strategy – JP Shoiry, Chief of Content Strategy at Republik
April 1 at 8:30-9:30am
Whether it is through our social media channels and blog posts (like this one!), or the range of creative content we develop for our clients, content planning is always a staple of the TACK10 strategy. Leveraging his extensive background in creative strategy, Shoiry will present case studies on the importance of this planning, and the benefits that come from it. This session will focus on three main types of activation content, using property, sponsor and audience perspectives.

4. Taking Shots and Scoring Big: Activating Partnerships On and Off the Ice at The World Cup of Hockey – Sophie Kotsopoulos, Senior Director, Integrated Marketing at NHL
April 2 at 8:30-9:15am
The final day of the conference is set to kick off with Sophie Kotsopoulos of the NHL and her expertise in interactive programming and marketing. One of the examples TACK10 team members like to use when differentiating strategic partnership from sponsorship is the idea of logos on a hockey rink. While the brands that advertise on these boards get eyeballs, there is no added value given to any stakeholder. One thing the World Cup of Hockey excelled at this year was certainly their interactive partnerships, moving away from strictly traditional sponsorship. 

5. Connecting Communities: Partnerships for Social Purpose – Meriko Kubota, Director of Sponsorships & Community Investment at MEC
April 2 at 8:30-9:15am
This session takes place at the same time as Taking Shots and Scoring Big, so those attending will have to choose wisely! Both are worth a mention in our Top 5 because both focus on specifically partnerships and not sponsorship. A theme we often explore in our TACK10 content is leveraging strategic partnerships for corporate social responsibility initiatives. Kubota’s discussion centers on just that. With a professional background in both CSR and strategic partnership development, she has the knowledge to back MEC’s mission of extending their social principles through grassroots community initiatives.

With speakers from Google, Sleeman, Facebook, Shopify and many more, as well as music sessions and of course the JUNO Awards ceremony, the entire three-day CSFX event is sure to be one of high energy and valuable knowledge shared. Stay tuned for TACK10 coverage of the event starting March 31.