A new initiative designed to support the grassroots game through potential lead generation and success stories has been officially been launched by the Hampshire Football Association (FA).
“Business Blind Date” was launched in October 2021 specifically for Hampshire FA sponsors. The initiative invites all sponsors in attendance to Hampshire FA’s commercial networking meetings (exclusive to the association’s sponsors) to place their business cards in a box that circulates the room at the end of the meeting. Hampshire FA representatives then randomly select two business cards out of the box and the two representatives arrange to meet post-meeting on a date and time of their choice, to discuss all things business.
Once the two business cards have been drawn out of the box, Hampshire FA representatives from the business & marketing team get in touch with the individuals to arrange their ‘date’. The two representatives are provided with a venue and hospitality free of charge in the process by the association. If the two representatives exchange business or become a lead for each other, that success alone is enough to be regarded as a ‘date’. A follow-up of the meeting with testimonials/reviews from both representatives is then shared across the website and social media sites detailing what the two got up to and if they plan on working with each other following that meeting.
In the process, both organizations receive media exposure, the two companies may well go on to work together and the county FA would, in turn, receive exposure as a commercially driven and innovative organization that may well attract new leads to its commercial program.
Our first two representatives included Graham Scambler of Graham Scambler Photography & Video (Bronze Supporter and media partner of Hampshire FA) and Tarlia Parker, Account Manager representing PTS Compliance (Silver Supporter and Suite Sponsors at Stoneham Lane Football Complex).
Here’s what occurred on Hampshire FA’s first Business Blind Date:
“The food was outstanding; I didn't eat another thing all day so congratulations to Matt on an excellent meal. We didn't stop talking for two and a half hours and we found out that we can both help each other. PTS wants to show off their fleet so we can utilize the drone for that to get some aerial images of the vans and then some new headshots and stock images for the website. I also need all my equipment PAT tested so hopefully we can come to some arrangement, possibly in the spring” – Graham Scambler, MD of Graham Scambler Photography & Video.
“PTS Compliance are needing updated marketing images. We are looking to get that done in spring which Graham and I have discussed. Graham mentioned he might need a handful of his photography equipment PAT Tested so that was quite handy to know!
"It was very interesting to hear about how Graham became a photographer and to find out more about what he is hoping to achieve in the future. Graham was not aware just how much PTS Compliance has grown over the past few years, so it was great to inform him of those developments” – Tarlia Parker, Account Manager of PTS Compliance.
The idea behind Business Blind Date is simply to create (potential) leads for each other in a way that is fun, engaging, and different from the usual networking norm. Hampshire FA save this initiative best to last at our networking events for that added dose of suspense.
“At an event, we usually decide who we wish to speak to or see, there is usually a delegates list and we start mentally piecing together a plan of who we’re going to meet or talk to. We’re simply removing that process and challenging the norm. We’re also adding that layer of fun and mystery into the mix as we choose everything from the venue, the menu, and the mystery of course being who is pulled out of the box to accompany you. Mix it with a touch of business and voila we have a Business Blind Date.
"Furthermore, the hospitality industry has also been one of the hardest-hit industries since the pandemic unfolded, so we’re extending a helping hand to our partners by arranging these dates at their venues." – Neil Cassar, Hampshire FA CEO.
Hampshire FA’s next commercial networking event will take place on Wednesday 2nd March 2022 at Stoneham Lane Football Complex in Eastleigh. Are you interested in becoming a Hampshire FA partner? Get in touch with the Business Development Lead, Isabella Pearson: Isabella.Pearson@HampshireFA.com