11 January 2017 • Lotte Hoes
Serious Request: ‘We deserved the high fives we gave each other!’
‘Hey, you guys! I know the minor’s given you some tough times, but I sure am proud of you! Cheers!’ In a café in Breda, lecturer Arno van Dijk raised his glass to the students taking his Event Management minor. Shortly before, the students had presented a cheque to a Red Cross employee on the square in front of Het Glazen Huis in Breda: during their last block, they had raised 10,050 euros for Serious Request.
This just barely missed reaching what they had raised last year: 10,081.81 euros. Joanne Heidinga, another lecturer for this minor, didn’t attach that much importance to this comparison. ‘After all, Event Management requires a lot of effort. The students had six weeks not only to arrive at a plan for their group but also to organise their event!’
Making money from the ball pit
The students can well agree that Event Management takes a lot of work and isn’t always easy either. The outpouring of relief was obvious in the café as they toasted the final amount they had raised. ‘This minor has taught me that you can never do enough preparation for an event,’ said Ysabel van der Meer. Her group raised 1165 euros by organising a kids’ party for students.
‘The venue was a big indoor play facility. The students could dive into a ball pit, play tag, drive minicars…We spent a lot of time on the preparations but I was still organising the last details on the day itself. In any case, the lecturers said that every group would have to raise at least 1000 euros, and we did a good job of that. ‘We deserved the high fives we gave each other!’
You get to know yourself better
The kids’ party for adults ran smoothly, but that wasn’t true of every event. The candlelight parade planned by Jeroen van Brugge’s group, for example, couldn’t be held because they didn’t get the permits arranged. Instead, they organised a benefit evening in Café Rootz and came just 50 euros short of raising their goal of 1000 euros.
‘That was because, unfortunately, we had to give part of our profits back to Rootz, but we still had a lot of fun that evening,’ he said. ‘We organised all kinds of little activities like beer pong, twister, poker and a lottery.’ He also had a positive take on the minor as a whole: ‘Your group had to arrange an awful lot of stuff in a very short length of time. You learned lots about how to get things done, so you also got to know yourself better.’
Too long in planning mode
Jordy Dekker’s group also had to change its plans during the course of the minor. Their initial idea for an auction fell through because it would probably fail to attract enough people. So they, too, held a benefit evening, although their venue was the Hague5, a pool hall. ‘In the end, the 805 we raised was far below our goal,’ he said. ‘I think the reason for this was our promotional efforts: more people would have come to our event if they had known about it. We made a good profit on our cocktail bar but we could have earned a lot more had more people shown up. I can’t blame the minor, though. We got good supervision.’
When asked what he had learned in the previous weeks, he said, ‘ It’s really important to start turning your plans into action as soon as possible. We spent too long in planning mode without knowing if our ideas would actually work. I’d advise future students not to wait around when it comes to asking their favourite venues about whether they’re even interested. That would make a lot more efficient use of their time!’