It is Monday morning and everything is in place for a successful start of the Event Week: a challenging project, an inspirational environment, a hopeful client and highly motivated students. When the chairman of the day opens the event together with all Tio students with a “haka” – to give everyone a boost of positive energy – the tone for the rest of the week is set: the Event Week 2017 is on!
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The kick-off for second-year Hotel and Event Management students from all five Tio locations takes place in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. In the morning, the project that the students will be working on and competing with each other over is presented. After an inspirational presentation from Erik Peekel, the chairman of the day, the students divide into groups and get to work.
After just an hour and a half of brainstorming, the students have to present their initial ideas to the client and each other. Several promising thoughts and ideas come up. With just three days to go until the exciting finale on Friday, this promises to be an intense week for the students!
Every year, UWV Werkbedrijf (a company which arranges payment for unemployed people in the Netherlands) hosts an event for young jobseekers to inspire them and bring them into contact with employers. In recent years, however, this event’s popularity has been declining. It is up to the event management students to turn this development around during the Event Week!
The assignment is as follows: “Develop an event that young unemployed starters would love to attend, where they can meet future employers in a setting that inspires both the starters and the employers and which suits the UWV brand.”
“I cannot wait to see how the students tackle this challenge,” says lecturer Joey Pals from Tio Hengelo. “They are not part of the target audience of jobseekers themselves, so that calls for creativity and different angles from which to approach the task. With a limited budget, they have to come up with something special. This is definitely a challenging project!”
The hands-on expert
Tio Utrecht brought in an inspirational guest speaker for the students. Lisa Rietveld has a physical disability, which makes it difficult for her to find work. During the Event Week, she tells her story.
“I cannot, for example, follow dress codes. That means I do not look as well dressed as the Tio students,” Lisa explains. “During this week, I shared my experiences with the students and gave them tips to put themselves in their audience’s position.”
Lisa is impressed by the concepts that the students come up with. “It is great to see what they are developing. I can tell that they are putting my feedback to good use. It is nice that Tio students are working on this issue in such a practical manner!”
The Event Week ends with an exciting finale on Friday. All students come together in TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht to compete for the best concept one last time. The competition is fierce; never before have so many students participated in the Event Week.
In the morning, the thirty-three videos that the students were asked to make these past few days are presented. “You can definitely see the students’ creativity in their work,” says lecturer Mark van Hoorn from Tio Utrecht after the presentations conclude. “There was some overlap, but some of the videos really stood out. I saw and heard some fantastic things today!”
Jury member Leon Kruitwagen, owner of the Event Managers Association, is also impressed, as he tells the students shortly before the winner is announced. “I heard a lot of excellent ideas today. Tio clearly houses a wealth of creativity!” He then gives the stage to jury member Ron van Steenis: “And the winner is…”
The winner of the Event Week 2017 is team 16 from Tio Hengelo! Ron van Steenis, event coordinator at UWV and jury member of the Event Week 2017, announced the winner during the grand finale in TivoliVredenburg. The ten students that make up the winning team beat the other 32 teams with their unique concept.
“This is awesome,” says Mirjam van Eldik, one of the members of team 16. “I did not expect this at all. The other teams were also very good, although I do believe our concept was the most unique!” Her team member Isabelle Nagel adds excitedly: “What sets our concept apart is the fact that it is a four-day event. Apparently, this impressed the judges. Fantastic!”
“This is an interesting project. I have never come into contact with the UWV before, but the project is aimed at people of our own age, so that is great. I think I will learn a whole lot about events this week!” – Katja, Amsterdam
“This is a tough assignment! It will definitely be an educational week. We will have to learn to collaborate with each other.” – Angelo, Rotterdam
“This is a great project. I am interested in the client as well. My stepfather has dealt with the UWV in the past, so I can ask him about his experiences. I cannot wait to see what this week will bring!” – Luca, Amsterdam
“It is quite a challenge to create something wonderful with such a limited budget. It is great to motivate young people to attend an event like this and allow them to network in an interactive manner. I expect to gain a lot of practical experience this week!” – Isabelle Suzanne, Amsterdam
“This is an educational project. Because the students themselves are not necessarily part of the target audience, they have to think outside the box. It is all about creativity!” – Dave de Bats, lecturer at Tio Amsterdam
“Third-year students told me that the Event Week is exhausting. The days are long, but also a lot of fun and very educational. I cannot wait! – Délano, Rotterdam
“I learned to rely on my creativity this week.” – Aisha Woearbanaran, Amsterdam
“I was dreading this week quite a bit, but it was not that bad in the end. The collaboration within our team was excellent.” – Jamie van Dolewaard