Creating a Commercial Fair for the Students’ Union

During the summer of 2016 I secured the role of marketing assistant for Staffordshire University Students’ Union and would be working with there marketing team on a number of tasks.

STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS UNION LOGO REDRAW

The biggest task was to hold a commercial fair as part of the Welcome Fairs. This involved contacting both national and local business and selling stalls to reach a target profit of £35,000.00 which is a lot of money. I was supplied with the previous years information and a lot of support from surrounding staff.

Contacting business took up the majority of my time but it was also important to plan for the day by communicating with venue and day staff as well a marketing so the right message was communicated to students. Booking the venue was sorted quickly along with tables and supplies for the day. Every new business signed up also had to complete a booking form for our Finance department to create an invoice. It was important the admin was kept up to date because of this.

Enter the newest task: an on campus NUS Extra printer that needed to be ready for enrolment and the fair. Although this should have been a simple task the software became a new challenge. However, I finally got it ready in time for enrolment to sell lots of cards to new students.

The fair stalls sold quite quickly the closer we got to the date of the fair with big companies such as Dominos, Spotify, Dilveroo and Lucozade all wanting to attend. So how was I going to fit them all into the venue? A very detailed floorplan was created that included electrical points, fire escapes and stall places. Many of the companies were bringing exciting equipment for the students to interact with which required more space than the regular stalls (and paid more for the space).

On the day:

The day of the fair approached quickly but we were prepared. We welcomed Spotify first who had to build a 180 degree camera set. Soon the companies were piling in and we made sure to welcome them all and show them to there space. The doors opened at 12am for students and the walkways were soon flooded with people.

University services explained where to find more information about the library, Erasmus and career services. Dominos and Dixi Chicken handed out free food while CityCabs gave keyrings so you always had there number on hand. Re-solv, the recycle team and NHS sexual health gave you important safety things to get by while at uni (such as glow in the dark sperm). The night clubs were out in force with Revolution, Chicagos and Fiction handing out goodies. You could even have a go in the confetti machine.

Deliveroo also brought a wind-machine and Lucozade had prizes for those who managed to get zero on their buzzer machine. There was lots to do! Outside we also had a poster sale to stop those hall walls looking bare.

We continued to make sure everyone was happy and as many people could enjoy the fair as possible. After a long clean down, the day was over and we could finally have a chance to rest.

It was a highly successful day with no hidden bumps and the day ran smoothly with positive feedback and student enjoyment. I enjoyed this role and would love to do it again! The most important part I can take from this is to be organised and plan. You may miss something but if you are organised enough it is easier to fit it in and adjust. Also don’t forget to enjoy yourself and make sure everyone else if happy too!

To find out more about the commercial fair 2016 check out this article by Regan Foy https://www.staffsunion.com/news/article/softwaresurvey2016/Staffs-welcome-fair-a-day-to-remember/

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