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5 benefits of building a community through masterclasses

Written by Staff Writer

November 22, 2022

By Sinazo Mkoko

“The need for connection and community is primal, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food.”  – Dean Ornish.

It is through connections that communities are built, it is through connections that people grow and improve their lives and it is through connections that people share their experiences and learn from each other. 

Communities are built through mutual interest, and the global movements we’ve seen, started with communities that shared a common goal. Topco Media has always fostered connections that result in communities being built and one of the ways they’ve done this is through a masterclass series. 

When you break it down, masterclasses are lessons given by an expert/experts in a particular field to a group of people with the aim of educating and empowering them. The masterclasses usually take place in public spaces, and some are broadcast on different media outlets. Associate Consultant with Whole Systems Partnerships, Tabitha Arulampalam, stated that being part of a masterclass is “dedicating time to be inspired and challenged”. 

She stated: “A masterclass needs to inspire and challenge and it needs to have the ability to move people into action, for themselves and their organisations.”

The Lincoln University of Business and Management shared that one of the benefits of being part of masterclasses is that they can be an “Excellent source of inspiration”. 

It is for this reason that, every year, Topco Media runs a series of masterclasses not only to provide assistance to clients on how to do their jobs better but also to share information and support developing business executives and entrepreneurs, small- and medium-sized business owners, and assist businesses while educating South Africa on the future world of work and generally to help companies do more business to grow our economy.

A leader in South African business-to-business communication, at its core, Topco Media aims to celebrate, reward, and advertise the best in South African business and government while educating, informing, fostering relationships, and facilitating an understanding of a range of topical issues, and subjects.

Among the masterclasses Topco Media, in partnership with different sponsors, has covered thus far are the Cybertech Masterclass Series, Standard Bank Top Women Masterclass Series, Simplify Masterclass Series, Old Mutual and Oracle Masterclasses covering COVID-19 pandemic challenges, and more. 

In part one of the Standard Bank “Empow(Her)” masterclass series, we saw more than 1400 attendees and for the last series which happened at the Standard Bank Top Women conference, we had almost 200 attendees attending live. Attendees were brought onto the screen to ask questions and many just spoke about how great and necessary this was for them.

These masterclasses have helped sponsors in building and connecting with broader communities through Topco Media platforms. When we spoke to our masterclass partners, these are their top 5 benefits of partnering with us on masterclasses: 

1. Branded, edited video footage professionally packaged into series parts with your company’s organic content where you’ll be seen as an industry expert. 

Topco Media will provide your company with branded and thoroughly edited video content packaged into series parts. It’s your company’s organic content where you will be seen as an industry expert. We’ll be able to share the content with your community –  and your company can share with its community, thus building a bigger community with mutual interest. 

2. Masterclass series profiled on Topco Bulletin for download (+40,000 Top Companies database and growing) 

 We have weekly newsletters with a database of over 40 000 subscribers and your company masterclass series could be shared with our community thus attracting more decision-makers to what your company has to offer. 

3. Masterclass receives extensive PR exposure

We have a wide variety of platforms that we use to ensure that your company attracts the right target audience. These media platforms come in digital, print, broadcast marketing (social media, website and press releases. 

4. Masterclass will be available for download on the Topco Media website

Your company and your community will be able to download your masterclasses content and share it widely. Topco Media will send data of downloads to your company at the end of the series.

5. Up to 3 guests are invited per series to present learnings in the masterclass including a Topco representative to introduce the sponsor. 

Topco Media is more than happy to send personalised invitations to identified presenters on behalf of sponsors, at the sponsors’ request, of course. Your company can take control of the masterclass, but with our extensive experience in this area, we’ll be more than happy to walk the journey with your company. 

Weighing in on the importance of partnering with a company with an established community, Topco Media Brand Manager, Babalwa Mkobeni, said it’s important for a company to sponsor a masterclass with a company such as Topco because the company is a leading research-based media house in South Africa. 

“Over the past 25 years, we’ve been doing research, thus giving us the intellectual property of more than 40 000 key stakeholders across sectors, which we’ve listed as either top gender-empowered, Top 500, Top Empowerment, Top Performing companies, and more. So it’s great for a company to sponsor a masterclass with us because we have the ability to guarantee them an audience. 

“We know how to target a specific audience depending on your company’s needs. Masterclasses also give companies the opportunity to choose their topic of discussion, meaning that they are able to target their thought leadership positioning.” 

At the “Empow(Her)” masterclass series, Head of Enterprise and Direct Banking Propositions at Standard Bank, Jenine Zachar stated: “I’ve got the privilege of working with entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs in the moments that matter, to help them, to help their dreams come true as they are looking to start, manage or grow, scale their businesses.”

Nondumiso Mthwa, CEO of Idwala Property Group added: “Standard Bank is willing to take up bets on entrepreneurs and walk this journey with them.

“I’ve had the opportunity to attend the “Empow(Her)” masterclass series myself and I’ve drawn some valuable insights and lessons from the panel of experts that were invited. I enjoyed how they interacted with the audience, and shared their journeys and knowledge thus making everyone believe that they are capable of achieving great things by simply starting with what they have.” 

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