Finding an activity that engages the entire classroom is sometimes difficult. Throwing a pitch festival can be just the thing to energize and excite students. Like the crowd-pleasing television show Shark Tank®, a pitch festival involves students or teams pitching a product, service or other business to a panel of judges. Students must propose an innovative idea along with a business plan. The key is to make the event fun and educational.
Check out these steps, along with some school promotional products, to help organize a successful event.
Iron out the little details
Before introducing the idea to students or staff, make a game plan. In addition to presentation guidelines and budgets, make decisions about these small details to make sure things run smoothly:
- Choose a theme to help determine a focus for student pitches. Theme options are endless—try odd objects, nature or technology—and they add a fun twist to the event. You could even encourage students to pitch inventions from earlier time periods, such as the Industrial Revolution or the 1950s, to turn the attention to business planning instead of focusing on creating a new invention.
- Put a maximum on the amount of “money” each judge will have to invest during the program. Since funds are limited in the real world, setting a limit will help bring the event to life.
- Decide if students will practice their pitches to their teacher or classmates before they make their case to the panel of “investors.”
- Create a judging rubric for the panel to use when watching the pitches. Be sure to share this information with students as they work on their project.
Recruit your investor panel
Invite parents, staff or members of the community to sit on the panel that judges the student projects. Take the event to the next level by finding entrepreneurs in your area that would be interested in volunteering. When the event is finished, thank volunteers with a small gift, such as a notebook or journal.
Promote the event
In addition to business plans and product design, give students practice in public speaking by inviting the whole school community to watch the pitch festival. Print posters to hang around the school and other public places. If you’re looking to keep the event small, you can simply invite parents or even record video of the event and share after the fact.
Create a club
If your students loved designing their own products and participating in a pitch festival, turn your event into an afterschool club. This way, you can engage students year-round in an activity that teaches them about economics, marketing, public speaking and more. Don’t forget the promotional team gear, including hats and shirts.
Pitch festivals can be a fun, engaging and educational event for your classroom. Try these tips to host a successful pitch festival, using school promotional products to help in the process, and you’ll knock it out of the park.