WHEN a group of marketing students was set the task of coming up with ways of raising thousands for a local charity they knew they would have to pull something special out of the hat.
However, even their course tutor didn’t imagine that they would come up with ideas as unique as those they conjured up.
From a magical spectacle involving magicians and fire eaters to a casino night James Bond would be proud of, the talented Huddersfield University students came up with some spectacular ideas for fundraising nights.
The final-year students were set the brief of organising events to raise money for the Laura Crane Trust as part of their degree course.
In teams they had to come up with an idea, plan how to market it, book the entertainment and the venue, secure sponsors and, more importantly, get ‘bums on seats’ on the night.
And even hardened businessman Alan Sugar would be impressed by the inventive and highly imaginative results.
As the students prepare for the premiers of their fundraising events– all will be in April– they took time out of their busy schedules to talk about their work.
One team, including a few dapper-looking young men in James Bond-style tuxes, enthused about their project, aptly titled Licence to Thrill.
The team are holding a 007-themed casino night at the Galpharm Stadium. The glamorous black tie event will come complete with a Monte Carlo-style casino, three-course meal and cocktails and, of course, James Bond’s Aston Martin!
Organiser James Taylor said: “We wanted something fun that everyone can enjoy and the James Bond theme seemed like the perfect idea.
“It’s aimed at local businesses and will give them the perfect opportunity to network with each other.
“We’ve been working hard networking with local businesses, putting together a direct mail campaign.
“Sponsorship is the key to the success of the night. Once all the big costs have been covered the money raised through ticket sales can go towards helping young people with cancer.”
“It’s hard work and quite an ambitious project – it’s one of the biggest that’s ever been tried on the course before– but we’re ready for the challenge!”
Another team of students are looking to take members of the public back to 15th century Venice with a magical masquerade night at the Briar Court Hotel at Birchencliffe.
The evening will include a champagne reception, three-course Venetian meal and entertainment from fire jugglers, a magician and an opera singer.
Kate Jenkins, a member of the team, said her team have been busy securing sponsorship from local businesses and are now busy looking how to promote the event.
She said: “It’s been a lot of hard work, but we’re hoping that it will be really rewarding and help raise a lot of money for the charity.
“The course is very practical and it’s been great being able to do a big project like this. Most employees look for that practical aspect, so something like this really prepares us for future jobs.”
One team is relying on the wealth of local talent to create their fundraising night.
The Fashion Rocks event, to be staged in the Students’ Union, takes its inspiration from the Swarovski Fashion Rocks extravaganza staged in London each year.
At the students’ event three local rock bands will provide the music for models as they strut their stuff down the catwalk.
Student Alex Beardsley said: “We’re in bands and we saw the Fashion Rocks event on the TV and how big an event it is. So we decided to create our version to showcase local talent.
“We also wanted to do something appealing to younger people, because the Laura Crane Trust is for young people.
“We’re trying to get sponsorship at the moment, but we’ve learned a lot by doing this, like how to approach people and deal with businesses. It’s been a really valuable experience.”
Other events being staged by the students are set to be a Latin American Night with fun, food and dancing; an Arabian Night, with story-telling, belly dancing and exotic food and drink; and an event celebrating Huddersfield’s creativity, being staged in partnership with the Mid-Yorkshire region of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
There will also be a 1920s-themed barman competition, a five-a-side soccer tournament and an international celebration of culture.
A donation from the profits made by the events will be given to the Laura Crane Trust, which was nominated by the university’s Marketing Society.
The students’ tutor, Nadio Granata, said he was proud of their work.
He said: “Their projects are fantastic. They are very creative and they will be great for the community, the university and, of course, the charity.
“From a marketing point of view it’s extremely important that our students can put their learning into practice.
“This project gives them something they can really get their teeth into.
“It is also a great way of integrating the international students into the community as they get to find out more about the town.”
To find out more about any of the students’ events or to book tickets, contact him on 01484 473090 or email N.Granata@hud.ac.uk