Learning from our past mistakes

Most of my previous efforts in planning and organisation for previous adventure project s despite perhaps looking organised on the skin were fairly ad-hoc. This was especially problematic in the sponsorship/fundraising area. My excuse is time and in my last adventure, having to engineer my travel didn’t help. Nevertheless, I look back and think that I could have addressed potential sponsors better and focused on companies who would have been serious.

Hopefully this time, I can approach this more systematically. Luckily I stumbled across a nice resource provided by the Royal Geographical Society:
These are taken from their Expedition Handbook. Suprisingly these are quite useful to help think about what the purpose and the objectives are for achieving an expedition. A few poignant notes that I would like to share:

What is the purpose?

  • An expedition should have a clear concise statement that explains the overall aim
  • Include supporting objectives
  • Have a meanginful purpose
  • We can make observations, but how can these observations be used to benefit society as a whole?

Gaining Sponsors:

  • Avoid the ‘scatter-gun’ approach, focus attention on companies who can directly and easily benefit from this project. It saves your time.
  • Don’t assume that the company will use this for promoting themselves and their products externally – it can be a vehicle for internal use
  • Don’t overstate what you can offer. Instead under promise and during the expeidtion over-achieve and exceed their expectations.
  • Avoid ‘Dear Sir or Madam’. Be specific to whom you apply – if you don’t know find this out.
  • Try to contact the Managing or Marketing Director who have vision to see how this expedition will be useful to their company.
  • Constantly thank and re-assure the sponsors.
Looking at this, I feel that I need to think more carefully about what I want to achieve and deliver. Travelling around the world in a rickshaw and pickup passengers is quirky enough already, but in terms of making this a research expedition more needs to be considered.