Students win national award for successful charity challenge
Talented students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have been hailed by professionals in the events industry after winning an international award.
The team of six second year event management students won Best Student Event at the annual Creative Disruptors Awards, which is organised and judged by the International Live Event Association and honours people and companies in the events industry for their creative and inspirational ideas.
The award was given in recognition of the students’ successful ‘Breakout’ challenge, which they organised as part of a course live events module that required students to plan, deliver and evaluate a safe and sustainable live event. For Breakout, participants travelled in groups of two to get away as far as possible from the University in 30 hours without any money. Students reached as far away as Athens and Gran Canaria for the project which also generated a lot of interest on social media and raised £2,500 for Barnardo’s.
Breakout team member Joe Oakley commented: “It was an incredible feeling just to get to the final of the awards but then to go and win was just the cherry on top of the cake. Whilst it is an amazing feeling to be the winners, we all agree that one of the best things about the success is that it serves as recognition for our hard work. We worked tirelessly for months, late nights, early mornings and a gruelling 50 hour shift during the live event. Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed it - but it was just great to be recognised by a room full of industry ‘movers and shakers’ for the event. We were just ecstatic and in shock really.”
Speaking about Breakout’s success Joe added: “People who were interested in the event could spectate through our live web interface, which housed a live map feature to track the teams, a live blog and a place to donate during the event. I believe the strong brand and the way we have been able to make the best elements of the event stand out through our marketing also lead us to be chosen over the other finalists.”
"We worked tirelessly for months, late nights, early mornings and a gruelling 50 hour shift during the live event. Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed it - but it was just great to be recognised by a room full of industry ‘movers and shakers’ for the event"
Speaking at the awards ceremony, judge and President of the International Live Events Association Kevin Jackson said: “There were so many fantastic events to choose from in this category, but ultimately the students from UCLan won because their event demonstrated that the next generation of #EventProfs are thinking differently and acting as creative disruptors. This is especially important at a time when the entire events industry is recognising that it needs to become more and more disruptive in order to engage new audiences. We look forward to hearing about their next event.”
UCLan Event Management Course Leader Rod Train congratulated the students. He said: “It’s fantastic news that the group’s creativity and hard work has been recognised through this industry award. Not only did they manage to pull off such a successful event that really galvanized the people involved, they also raised a lot of money for a very worthy charity.”
Joe added: “Above everything else, the main aim of the event was to raise money and awareness of Barnardo's. Having worked closely with the Barnardo's team over the last five months we have become emotionally involved in what we have been doing. The work they do is invaluable and we just couldn't be proud enough to be supporting Barnardo's and what they do.”
The Creative Disruptors Awards is aimed at events industry professionals who are ‘disrupting the status quo to create, and contribute towards, great events’ and hands out gongs across eight categories; Best Partnership Collaboration, Best Disruptive Technology, Best Creative Use of a Space/Venue, Collaborator of the Year, Industry Influencer, Disruptive Journalism, Best Student Event and The Innovation Award. The prestigious ceremony was held at the Ministry of Sound in London.
Watch the UCLan Breakout video (https://youtu.be/sbhR00IKWbA)