By Cole Parkinson
With a new conference making its way to Taber, the Taber Regional Joint Economic Development Committee (JEDC) is looking for sponsorship from local municipalities.
PowerUp Taber is an entrepreneurial conference designed to inspire, inform and empower entrepreneurs in southern Alberta and major aspects of the event will be start-up, scaling up and success.
The conference aims to bring business owners, entrepreneurs and business resources together from the region to connect and learn from one another through a variety of networking and learning opportunities.
“They are looking for some kind of sponsorship and I know the Town (of Taber) has been considering this but I don’t know whether or not it is in our budget,” explained Coun. John Turcato at the Municipal District of Taber council’s regular meeting on Sept. 24.
The PowerUp Conference is slated for Nov. 7 and 8, and will be held in the Taber Community Centre.
In terms of sponsorship for the event, there were five tiers as well as an opportunity to sponsor meal portions of the PowerUp Conference.
Event sponsorships are bronze which is up to $250, silver is $251-$500, gold is $501-$1,200, diamond is $1,201-$3,200, platinum is $3,201-$5,000. Meal sponsorships are Happy Hour Handshakes at $2,000, morning break at $1,200, lunch at $3,000 and afternoon break at $1,000.
While this would be the first PowerUp conference in the area, the hope is to continue hosting the event at different communities each year.
“The plan is to have it here and move it southwest and then back to this area again. It might not be Taber again, it may be Vauxhall or Coaldale. That is the plan,” continued Turcato.
With the first one being in Taber, the M.D. is excited for the collaborative approach between all of the neighbouring municipalities which has contributed to bringing the event to the area.
Stemming from the coming event, the M.D. of Taber is hopeful it can generate some buzz for the area in terms of economic development.
“Certainly, it is the first big sponsorship/conference the joint economic development has done and that includes Vauxhall, Village of Barnwell, (Taber and Vauxhall) chamber of commerce and some other agencies along with the M.D. of Taber. For many years the JEDC really hasn’t put together anything like this. Mayor (Margaret) Plumtree out in Vauxhall did one out in Brooks and she brought the idea here,” said Kirk Hughes, director of planning and economic development. “I think it is very good for the JEDC to get involved in this and I am very excited to see the joint economic development opportunities that will occur because we will be bringing in some of these folks into our community. It really is the first time to highlight our region and it follows along with some of our other initiatives.”
With both council and administration on board for the event, councillors were more than willing to provide some funds to help get the conference off the ground in its inaugural run.
“I think we should look at this and I would be comfortable with somewhere in the middle of the diamond (sponsorship level) because it would give us a chance to give opening remarks for the M.D. and to have a booth at the Happy Hour Handshakes. That may promote opportunities that we have as well if we are looking for entrepreneurs in our area we can showcase the new small business tax potentially and the process for licensing agreements so people know what it takes,” said Deputy Reeve Tamara Miyanaga.
A diamond sponsorship comes with the organization’s logo listed independently as a sponsor on the digital signage during the entire conference and at Happy Hour Handshakes, the logo on the website and all event material, a one minute opening remark at the conference after registration, an opportunity to set up your booth during Happy Hour Handshakes and the full conference, and one ticket to the full event.
Coun. Jen Crowson suggested they sponsor at the diamond level at $1,500 and also the afternoon break at $1,000, which comes with their logo listed independently on the digital signage during the afternoon break, the logo on the website and all event material and recognition as the Afternoon Break Sponsor.
“I think it is a good initiative because it is something that has brought that committee together and it showcases the area,” said Reeve Merrill Harris.
Council inquired if they could afford to sponsor the event within their current budget.
“We have a budget for economic development of $10,000 a year and I just checked and we haven’t even spent $2,000 yet,” said Bryan Badura, director of corporate services, who also stated the exact number spent within that budget was $1,721.
A motion was made to sponsor at the diamond level at $1,500 and $1,000 for the afternoon break which was carried unanimously by council. Councillors Brian Brewin and Murray Reynolds were absent from the meeting.