The Innovation unit this year involved working with 9 local organisations across the Events Management and Events & Leisure Marketing programmes.
This year the organisations included: The Print Room, Aruba, Bournemouth International Conference Centre, The Langtry Manor Hotel, Haskins Garden Centre, The Captains Club, The Green House Hotel, Chapel Gate and QE Leisure Centre. The students had site visits to the organisations in February and then had to develop a new event or leisure product to suit their specific organisation’s needs. The organisations were invited to the School of Tourism in May for their students to present their new ideas in a Dragons Den format.
Gail Collins, Events Sales & Marketing Manager, BH Live said: “I am always pleased to see the talent and passion from the Bournemouth University students during their annual presentations to BH Live. It is reassuring to know that our industries will in the future benefit from the skills they are now perfecting.” Matthew Piovan, Operations Manager of the Print Room said “I always enjoy working with the first year Events students at Bournemouth University, it is great to see their fresh ideas and approaches to event concepts that can be placed into a trading business to help increase revenue and awareness. Having partaken in the Dragon Den’s presentation element of their course for a number of years, it is always fascinating to see the new ideas that the students develop that we as the business managers may not have considered hosting, but now with different angles and target markets in mind, we do look at considering one or two in the future.
Simon Morris, General Manager at the Haskins Garden Centre, said that he was impressed by the students approach during their fact finding visit to the centre and many of the ideas from the resulting presentations would be practical and viable to pursue: “We were impressed with their clear thinking and grasp of the realities of operating in a specialist retail environment.”
Learning to work together and building a relationship with a group and have an ownership for your work, is the greatest feeling
“In 10 weeks only, first year students had to understand and apply several new product development tools and processes, including PEST, SWOT, product portfolio analysis, Ansoff matrix, target market selection, idea generation and screening, creativity techniques and financial analysis”, said Dr. Miguel Moital, leader of the Event & Leisure Innovation unit. The teaching team, which also comprises Ms Pearl Morrison, Ms Kate Jones and Ms. Liz Gordon, agreed that once again students pitched some great new ideas underpinned in solid business cases.
“This experience was an extremely useful insight into industry and the demands that would have to be met when performing a pitch to a business. I’ve learnt the importance of knowing the different processes of an events structure. The pressure of the pitch and the significance of time management when insuring the main points of the event have been portrayed in an exciting, innovative manner. I am very thankful for this opportunity and will definitely benefit from the experience in the future.” Alice Matthews (student)
“Throughout the process of my Innovation, Dragons Den experience, I discovered that just coming up with a realistic idea is not so simple and fast as it first may seem. Especially working in a team, having a group with personality and opinion can be both beneficial and problematic and very challenging at times. However being able to delve into the background of a company and relating an event to their values can be very rewarding. Particularly creating something new to a real life company can be very daunting, but after learning to work together and building a relationship with a group and have an ownership for your work, is the greatest feeling. Although some areas could be tweaked, it is just a small look into the events industry and how it works, and the experience has only strengthened my determination to become a successful events manager in the future.” Verity Odukogbe (student)
“Personally I found the experience exciting as well as challenge, allowing me to work with individuals I hadn’t before and learning my own strengths and weaknesses. Having a ‘real life’ business case made the process more challenging however more motivational as we had something to deliver, I loved the experience and would recommend to use in the future!” Abigail Mackenzie (student)
By: Pearl Morisson and Dr. Miguel Moital