The Sport Performance Speaker Series Review

The Canadian Sport Centre Pacific (CSCPacific) & The Vancouver Sport Network host a monthly networking series and panel discussion called “The Sport Performance Speaker Series” for sport professionals, athletes, coaches and students.

For a city that is seemingly flooded with networking events across a number of industries, the sports industry is one that has yet to establish a consistent, well attended networking event where business professionals can connect, discuss their daily challenges and share ideas.

The Sport Performance Speaker Series has appeared to fill that gap. It has been running for 3 months now and has included a wide range of topics and impressive speakers including:

Vancouver 2010, One Year Later: Canada's Legacy

  • Cathy Priestner Allinger – Former Executive VP, Vanoc and Olympic Silver Medalist
  • Rob Needham – Executive Director of Sport, Canadian Paralympic Committee
  • Malcolm Bromley – GM, Vancouver Board of Parks & Recreation

Sport Sponsorship

  • Steve Podborski – National Director of Community Sport, Telus
  • Andrea Wilkinson – Director of Partnerships, Vancouver Whitecaps FC
  • Rob Mullowney – Associate Partner – The Twenty Ten Group

Canadian Sport For Life: From Playground To Podium

  • Alexa Loo – Canadian Snowboard Olympian
  • Istvan Balyi – Long Term Athlete Development Advisor
  • Andrea Holmes – Canadian Paralympian

The Details

The Sport Performance Speaker Series is hosted around the 3rd Monday of every month from 4:30pm – 6:30pm.  The events are hosted at the beautiful Creekside Community Recreation Centre in the former “Olympic Village” now called “The Village on False Creek”.  The amazing view of the downtown Vancouver skyline and North Shore Mountains make for a great setting, even on a rainy day!

The room itself is quite large and the sessions are setup with the panel of speakers up at the front and the audience seated in rows.  Each presenter is typically allowed 15 minutes to present followed by a Q&A session.

Some other unique features to the events is the donated appetizers and “drinks by donation”.  These features make the initial meet and greet a casual affair where everyone just mingles around getting to know someone new before taking their seats.

The Crowd

The attendance at these events has varied from week to week, but typically it is filled with Sports Executives from many of Vancouver's (and the lower mainland) professional and amateur sports teams.  There are also a number of business professionals that represent a wide variety of Provincial Sport Organizations, Non-Profit Sports Organizations and Corporate Sponsors.  In addition to these attendees, there are also typically a number of students and recent graduates that are looking to grow their network and break into the sports industry

The events are great for all types of people as they have a casual feel to them, with an educational component tied in.

Why Should You Attend?

Anyone looking to grow their network in the sports industry must attend these events.  As I mentioned, there are a number of networking events in Vancouver that focus on a wide variety of industries.  The Sport Performance Speaker Series is quickly establishing itself as the one “must attend” event for anyone interested in growing their network in the sports industry.

If you are a student or recent graduate looking to break into the sports industry, this is the one event that consistently draws senior level executives in the sports industry.  So, although other “sports industry” events might be well attended, this is the one you want to attend if you are looking to meet the right people to advance your career.

Closing Thoughts

If you are interested in attending these events, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the next event on June 20th will include both myself and Networking In Van's very own Jen Schaeffers.  The topic for the speaker panel is “Social Media: Marketing On A Budget“.  The event will take on a pecha kucha-esque format – featuring a bigger roster of presenters, and giving them only 7 minutes each with Q&A to follow. Here is the complete list of speakers scheduled to present:

  • Jen Schaeffers – Marketing & Communications Director, Sport BC  @jenu2
  • Trevor Turnbull – Sports Business Consultant, T3 Connect Sports Marketing  @trevorturnbull
  • Ryan McKee – Marketing Manager, Vancouver Whitecaps FC  @ryanmckee
  • Tina Rogers – Marketing & Creative Services Coordinator, Vancouver Canucks  @tinarogers
  • Kevin Jagger – Long Track Speed Skater & Social Media Leader  @kevinjagger
  • Nicole Van Zanten – Social Media Coordinator, Vancouver Canucks  @nicolevanzanten

Unfortunately, by the time this article is posted, the event may end up being sold out.  The response has been amazing with over 120 RSVPs within the first week of announcing the event.  However, if you would like to be put on a waiting list, the organizers are going to be compiling this list in case there are any last minute cancellations leading up to the event.

Check out more articles on Networking In Vancouver by Trevor Turnbull


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