Budding event managers and hospitality stars got the opportunity to ask their industry idols their secrets to success at a special event at the University of Derby’s Buxton Campus.
Students on events courses at the University organised a conference, inviting six industry professionals to speak about their experience in the events, hospitality and culinary sector.
The students heard from Mark Lucas, Director of MultiSec Security, about the future of crowd safety management and Max Bartholomew, Business Manager at Flair Events, about his experience of working at 100 events in more than 30 different venues.
The event also featured talks from Shelagh Bourke, Director and Co-Founder of Rule of 3 Events Company, whose project includes The Gin Society; Adam Harper, former Junior Sous Chef at Fischer’s Baslow Hall, who has taken the helm in Rowley’s kitchen in Baslow; and Andy Heyes, University of Derby International Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts graduate.
The students were also given a masterclass from Simon Mawbey, Y NOT Festival Co-founder and Head of Marketing, who shared tips on how to promote and market an event across all channels. He also gave top tips on how to start a festival, explaining how the Derbyshire-festival originated from a 100-man party in a field to a festival attracting over 25,000 people.
Simon said: “It’s a crazy, competitive marketplace but Y NOT Festival has been successful; it’s quite surreal.
“It’s a significant event now and is nationally-established, like Latitude and Wilderness Festivals.”
The Events and Hospitality conference formed part of the students’ degrees to organise an event and see it through to the end. More than 70 students attended the one-day conference.
Sunna Ahmed, who is studying a Foundation Degree in Events Management, was one of the organisers.
The 22-year-old from Birmingham said: “The conference was a great opportunity for me to put into practice what I have been learning on my course.
“I was PR manager alongside the main organiser, so I learnt how to write professional emails, keep in contact with speakers, promote the event on social media and to students, as well as conduct group meetings. It was hard work but I learned so many news skills, including the importance of managing my time effectively.”
A highlight of the event was the introductory showcase of students’ experiences. Based on the idea that students are ‘The Future’ (the theme of the conference), the event was started by Charlie Brewer, FD Events Management, Emily Evans, Final Year BA Events Management and alumnus Ian Taylor, who all gave advice on making the most of student life and experience for the benefit of a future career in the industry.
Dr Vladimir Antchak, Lecturer in Events Management, added: “It was an interesting and very well-planned student conference. It’s amazing to see how our event students progress from being frustrated with a task to plan a conference to actually delivering a successful event.”
Olivia Ramsbottom, Programme Leader for Events Management, said: “The second-year Foundation Degree students planned the event from idea to evaluation, and along the way realised the real life frustrations and rewards of conference organising from creating the theme to sourcing and confirming speakers and dealing with last-minute changes.”