Third-year Events Management student Eve Davidson raised £2,000 for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) with her cohort as part of a module at RGU. Eve took part in the Aberdeen Student Festival where her team organised a fundraising quiz to promote Scottish culture and history. She shares more about her course and experience organising the festival.
Can you tell us more about yourself and why you chose to study Events Management?
I’m from Edinburgh but I moved to Aberdeen to study Events Management at RGU. I just wanted to get away from home and meet new people! I’ve also been getting some work experience with a company from Edinburgh for a few years now, and I’m actually their summer intern this year.
I studied Business at school and I really liked it. However, I wasn’t a fan of the broadness of the subject. That’s why I wanted to get into something business-related but more niche. I spoke to my guidance teacher, who helped me make a decision. As I’ve always been very outgoing but also very organised, she advised me to look into events. I started doing research and got some work experience in the field. I quickly realised that this is what I would enjoy doing. And I do enjoy it, so I’m glad I did it!
How has your course experience been so far?
I love the course so far. Because of Covid, the end of the first year and the whole second year have been online, so the third year for me has really been the best. In first year, I was getting my bearings, meeting people and thinking “what am I doing?”. In third year, I had my ground and I was feeling more confident.
We’ve had a lot of interesting modules in the past three years. For example, we had a module this year called “Event Impact and Legacy”, where we studied the Olympics and discussed what impact it has left on the host communities. We’ve also had a module about cultural studies for which I did my coursework on the impact of social media on backpacking experience. That was a really good research project which helped me think about my dissertation for next year.
But the main highlight this year has definitely been the Aberdeen Student Festival! Not only because we got to raise money for charity, but also because it was our first actual live event that we’ve ran since starting university. It’s what we all want to do, and this was definitely the most engaging part.
What is the Aberdeen Student Festival project?
The Aberdeen Student Festival is a project that Events Management students carry out in their third-year as part of a module called “Festival Management”. It’s a three-day festival with the overarching goal of raising money for a chosen charity. This year, the charity was the National Trust for Scotland.
We were split into groups and we all chose a role based on our personality types. Then, we had ten weeks to plan and run an event. RGU gave us a budget of £200 and a brief to follow. This year’s brief was based on VisitScotland’s Year of Stories theme. It was hard to stick to because it opened up so many ideas that we wanted to do. The theme that we agreed on as a class within the brief was “Past to Present”. We wanted to bring past stories about Scotland and its culture into the present and see how it relates now.
My team decided to organise a quiz called “Quizzin Thru Scotland”, a Scottish themed quiz night with live music held at Exodus. The event was a huge success. We sold out the venue for our quiz, which was crazy. The venue’s capacity was between 60 and 65, which we filled. I did not think that we would do so well but I’m extremely proud!
What was your role within your team to help organise the event?
I actually took on the marketing role, even though I had never really done anything like it before. We had a marketing module in second year, and I did it in school, but it was never something that really interested me that much. But I decided to try it because university is a good time to try new things and learn new skills. And I really enjoyed it in the end!
Even though each team had their own event to run, we all worked with the students sharing the same role as us to help organise the festival as a whole. Me and the two other marketeers created posts for the Student Bulletin and wrote articles for newspapers such as the Ellon Times and the Press & Journal.
Aside from that, I made the posters and the flyers for our team’s quiz and liaised with RGU:Union to get them printed. I also took over social media responsibilities, as the person in my team in charge of this role had to leave. It wasn’t too overwhelming because marketing and social media coincide a lot.
On the night, I was filming for social media and helping with sound checks. I was also the person who liaised with our host, Neil Martin, who runs quizzes around Aberdeen. I managed to book him by contacting him on LinkedIn.
How did the fundraising work?
As a cohort, we managed to raise £2000 pounds for the National Trust for Scotland!
We sold tickets for people to buy as a team, which made sales slower at the start as people were trying to pull their team together. But then obviously when two teams were bought, it meant that already 16 people were planning to attend. On the night, we did a raffle to raise more money. We managed to get quite a good few sponsors, such as Grub and Original 106 FM, who provided good prizes for the audience to win. And then we did little things like “guess how many sweets in the jar”.
We also organised some fundraisers prior to the event. We did lucky squares – which was an online thing where you could win Union Square vouchers – and organised a class litter pick to raise more money.
How did you feel about raising awareness of the National Trust for Scotland?
I think all my classmates would agree that we didn’t know much about the National Trust for Scotland. When we spoke with a staff member from NTS, she told us that their demographic is a lot older. Through social media, they are trying to lower their target market in order to get a wider range of people to their sites and involved in their events. So that became our aim as well.
Our main mission was to educate our attendees on NTS, what they do, and the importance of their work. That’s how we came up with the quiz idea. We had one round of questions which was about myths and legends. Within that, we used the myths and legends that are at NTS sites. Our host would name a mythical creature for example, and ask where it could be found.
It was definitely a good charity to choose for our age because it opened our eyes. Some attendees even came up to us saying they learned a lot from our quiz and that they will visit some of the sites.
What was the highlight of your experience?
With all the teams, we raised over £2000 pounds for NTS, which was obviously the main highlight because that was our goal all along.
Other than that, learning to work as a team properly when running events was really good as well. We’ve had to do scenario events at university, but when it came down to actually running an event it was interesting to see how we got on and worked through things together. We saw a lot of each other, which definitely brought us all closer.
In what way will this experience benefit you in the future?
In relation to the marketing role, that’s something I never tried before and it’s made me realise that I need to branch out and try out new things. I’m quite good at sticking at what I’m comfortable with. But next year I’m going to try a different role for our “Live Client Event Project” module. The experience taught me to be more outgoing and taking more risks. I also learned the importance of timing in marketing and getting your content out at the right time. And obviously, I learned a lot about teamwork. I’ll take a lot forward.
I already feel more confident in myself as an event planner!
Studying Events Management at RGU