2011 competition promo videos

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Here’s a suggestion for the organizers of business plan competitions to drum up more interest and support for their upcoming contests: produce a promo video and post it on YouTube.

Better yet, hold a separate promo video contest and invite students (or the public) to submit their own creations. Maybe even reserve a piece of the prize pool for the winning video!

Yes, of course, a number of business plan competitions do have promo videos already, but too many of them are boring or self-indulgent. A 5- or 10-minute shot of the head organizer reading a script? A sappy ‘save the world’ piece highlighting all of God’s creations and accompanied by soaring orchestral music?

No thanks.

And you would be surprised at how many competitions in this era of social media have absolutely no video presence on the Internet.

Just for fun, compare these two videos promoting the Marquette University Business Plan Competition.

Here’s the first one by Marquette, obviously the “official” competition promo video:

And here’s the second one, produced by some Marquette students:

You don’t have to like (or dislike) either video, but you can probably guess which one will score more points on YouTube.

A few months ago, we posted our selection of the 5 best business plan competition promo videos. One of them, “Sexy Pitch” for the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition had attracted an impressive 6540 views on YouTube last time we checked.

A promo video certainly doesn’t have to be rap to be good. We appreciate well-produced promo videos that explain the competition’s history and profile past winners as a way of encouraging participation.  We will be making our 2011 selection of the five best promo videos in a few months, but in the meantime, we direct your attention to a couple of recent ones that do a good job and, we suspect, will be in the running:

Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition (Purdue University):

HBS Business Plan Contest (Harvard):

Photo credit: McBeth

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Joe Hurley is a CPA, author of "The Best Way to Save for College - A Complete Guide to 529 Plans", founder of Savingforcollege.com, and co-founder of Bizplancompetitions.com. He has also recently started making maple syrup.
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