First year Events Management students took on the challenge to create an innovative event idea for Poole based luxury Yacht company, Sunseeker, as part of their Events and Leisure Innovation unit.
Four groups of students went head to head as they pitched their event idea to Mya Harman, a BU graduate and Marketing Executive at Sunseeker, in a dragon’s den style boardroom.
Mya started her journey with Sunseeker on her placement year while studying BA (Hons) Events Management at BU in 2011, and was offered a full-time role after graduating. As Marketing Executive, Mya is responsible for global communications from news and social media to organising global media press events and international boat show press conferences.
The students first chose their pitch groups using Belbin profiles to determine the inclusion of the different skill sets within the groups. The groups were then required to produce an academically underpinned presentation and pitch to impress the panel.
Team one created a charity ‘Solstice Summer Party’ which was presented as a festival-style event, held in Bournemouth for Sunseeker employees. The idea was that employees would attend for live music, food and beverages and outside summer games. The four students received great feedback from the panel who stated that they had ‘definitely covered all areas!’
One of the students Lauren, comments on the project: “This is definitely my favourite unit so far, I’ve learnt so much about event planning and innovation. I’ve especially learnt how much a big idea can blind you, and that sometimes practicality and logistics can get in the way!”
Team two had a very different idea for their pitch, which was to throw a product launch party for a new child-friendly yacht. The innovative idea was that the event would be held at St Katherine’s docks showcasing the new product and encouraging guests to purchase. Also receiving great feedback, team two left the pitch feeling promising.
Participating student, Lucy said: “I learnt a lot more about the business side of events management such as finance and research - there’s definitely more to it than meets the eye.”
Team three had a slightly different approach to their event idea, pitching a ‘stranded on a desert island’ themed event called ‘Seek Escape’. Marketed to Sunseeker employees and their families, this event was pitched as a fun-filled, family event in aid of a local charity. This event took a fun spin on the TV Show ‘The Island with Bear Grylls’. The panel enjoyed the adventurous approach the team took when creating their event idea.
Hebe, another partaking student, feels positive after their pitch: “I think we delivered a promising pitch. It was difficult sometimes working in a team when we have different schedules, so time management was key. A great aspect of working as a team was being able to play to each other's strengths.”
Team four took to the boardroom and pitched their multi-themed event idea, which was inclusive of three themes. Combining fiction, fantasy and adventure, the pitch featured Alice in Wonderland, Casino Royale, and a celebration of Sunseekers 50th Birthday.
The event would be held locally in Bournemouth with DJs, magicians and a casino. The panel loved the idea and how it would appeal to a diverse audience.
Charlie explains how he feels the pitch went: “I think our pitch went well, it flowed much better than we thought. It really reflected the amount of research we had to undertake, which was good. I learnt a lot about communication and discipline within a decision-making process - this experience really is to be valued."
The panel has a difficult decision to make as they choose the winning pitch. After the pitches were complete, Mya reflected the feedback to the students: "I’m really impressed with the standard of your pitches today and the way you all worked as a team was great - I’m really spoilt for choice! I was especially impressed with the research undertaken when creating your pitches, it was extremely insightful."