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Students’ unique sustainability event shortlisted for national award

The University of Gloucestershire’s Events Management students have been shortlisted for a national events award.

The University’s latest cohort of Events Management graduates have been singled out for praise by the ‘Sustainable Development Goals Accord’ a report on the universities and college sector’s response to global objectives set by the United Nations.

The 40, then final-year, students took a unique approach to entertaining visitors at the 2018 Cheltenham Jazz Festival in May this year by creating a pop-up experience exploring ‘sustainable development goals’ which achieved over 800 interactions with festival-goers.

Now their work has captured the attention of the National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) and been shortlisted for an Award at their 15th annual Convention Dinner to be held on 21 November in Bath.

Clair Greenaway, Course Leader for Events Management at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “We’re thrilled that our graduates and staff are being recognised for their creativity and talent by being shortlisted at this prestigious Awards ceremony.

“The original brief we gave them was to create an entertaining spectacle at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival that would engage visitors, while also showcasing key aspects of the United Nations’ list of 17 Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs).

“They answered this challenge by working in teams to develop interactive pop-ups based around seven of the UN’s SDGs to provide an integrated journey through sustainability ideas and practice.

“This featured fun activities such as arts and crafts stands, mini golf through a cityscape, planting, an immersive ocean plastics experience, and a treasure trail. Children taking part were given ‘passports’ and encouraged to collect stamps by visiting each of the pop-up activities to gain rewards.

“The event also emphasised careful attention to the use of resources and included a review of visitors’ learning experience, evaluating 110 adults and over 250 children who handed in passports.

“The students reported a 100% increase in their understanding of the UN’s SDGs and completed the exercise with a thorough knowledge of how to positively incorporate sustainability into events, something they will undoubtedly carry forward into their professional careers.”

The event was an assessed activity as part of a final year module – ‘Event Design and Production’ – in the BA (Hons) Events Management degree, and was part-funded by the University’s LIFT Programme with support from RCE Severn.