The PASS Global Alliance Program (GAP)

One of the topics I forgot to mention from the Roundtable was a swell of dissatisfaction with the GAP. Not all understood it, and it’s clearly not “global” from the perspective of the non North American events. I don’t know if GAP is a good idea or not, but it started to help sponsors (and PASS) look at marketing overall. Here’s an example. Imagine you’re a vendor in our space. You’re going to get at least 2, and probably more, emails from each event asking you to sponsor. They all have similar but different sponorship plans. With 120+ events a year, how you do you manage that effectively?

One way is to give PASS a big check and have them distribute it to the events you pick. You still have to send SWAG, coordinate a speaker, send tweets and emails, but it’s a one time check to write and probably easier to manage. Not dumb to wish for easier, and kudos to PASS for trying to solve the problem at multiple levels.

I don’t think GAP should go away, but it needs to evolve. I don’t know if we can “make” sponsors allocate some of those funds to non North American events. Certainly we could encourage them – maybe even offer some dollar matching for those cases. Maybe we should just rename it!

2 thoughts on “The PASS Global Alliance Program (GAP)

  1. You’ve summarised my point from the round table precisely.if it is “global” then enforce the global distribution. I think pretty much ALL of the GAP sponsors have a global presence.


    1. Martin, the more I think about it the more I think the GAP name is just wrong. It could be “mega sponsors” or “alliance sponsors” or damn near anything else except global! I think the name sets an expectation that isn’t met (for the events) and in practice I don’t know that if that kind of expectation can be met, or is fair.

      Here’s the challenge. Imagine a whopper sponsor (think hardware manufacturer) decides to really engage. Do they give PASS say $20k and say divide it evenly across all events? That hurts the bigger events who would typically get more and maybe gets the vendor a smaller table/position than otherwise, hurting the sponsor. Or do they say pick the top 20 events based on X and give them $1k each? Hard to make that work for everyone.

      I’ve never liked the idea. One of the fundamentals of the event format is its locally owned. You get a copy of the entire sponsor list as a springboard, but its all on you from there to make a compelling pitch and/or make it work with what you get. Other than PASS directly putting in a few dollars (which they are moving away from) they should just stay out of it.

      I think GAP tries to make things easier for big sponsors who get inundated. A sponsor portal would be a far better approach.


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