Not long ago I was happy to visit one of the school events, which was organized by Les Roches postgraduate students as part of their program. I must say it was so good that I could not help sharing it with you.
The name and theme of the event was “Roaring Twenties”, and everything from the entire set of decorations to the dress code for the guests was in the 20s style. There were great performances, choices of finger food and drinks, followed by a very nice 5-course dinner and a lucky draw with plenty of prizes, such as stays in a luxury hotel, baskets of chocolate, perfume, and much more.
After attending the event, I wanted to find out more about it. So, a big thank you to Paolo Borgiallo, the Event Manager, who agreed to do an interview with me to share with us in detail how the event was prepared and how the atmosphere was created!
1) Paolo, what is the exact name of your position and how you got it (e.g., votes, self-nomination, etc.)?
I was simply the Event Manager 🙂 I was elected by my classmates on the first day of the Events Management course along with my two Assistant Managers, Catalina and Silvano.
2) Please tell us briefly about yourself, including your program and why you decided to go for it.
I was born and raised in Italy but I spent the past 5 years living in China, between Beijing and Shanghai. I started the postgraduate program at Les Roches, Jin Jiang in Shanghai, and I transferred to Bluche in January for the second half of the course. Like most students in the postgraduate class
I am a career changer: I used to work in events and communication, so having the chance to try my hand at a 100% hospitality-focused event for the first time was a lot of fun. It brings together the skills I have and what I would like to do in the future.
3) How did you come up with the idea / theme of the event?
It was chosen by the class. Everyone was invited to think about it and submit their ideas, and then we all voted and the project that got the largest number of votes was chosen: the Roaring Twenties won by a landslide.
4) Tell us more about the preparation of this event.
The whole class took part in it: we were divided into 7 teams (8 if you include Core Management), each in charge of a different aspect from Kitchen to Marketing to Decorations… Each group met regularly throughout the 15 weeks that we were given to put the whole thing together, from the beginning of organization to execution, and of course we also held regular meetings with all team leaders to bring ideas together and make sure that we were all working in the same direction.
We were given some general guidelines to follow, for example the timing of the event or the number of courses for the dinner, but aside from that we were free to make plans as we liked. Of course considering that our initial budget was zero, first of all we had to come up with ways to raise some funds!
The planning and organizing was tough at times, especially when there were other projects on the go, and exams to prepare for, but everyone gave it their best and I think that the final result showed it.
5) What would you say was the most challenging part of preparing this project?
There are 62 of us, each coming from a very different background, and for most of us it was the first time working on something of this sort. So it takes a lot of patience and attention to keep everyone on the same page. This was a school project after all, so it was very important to me since the beginning that everyone was given a fair chance to make the most of it and learn something useful. I hope that we succeeded.
6) What was the best part of preparing this project?
It gave me the opportunity to apply some of the skills that I learnt from my previous work experience to a completely different context, and it showed me what works and what I still need to improve. I learnt a lot from it.
7) Would you say that the party was anyhow different from what you expected?
Yes! It was even better than our expectations.
8) Anything else you would like to add?
Only that the whole PGD2 class did an amazing job and that working with them was great, so I would like to thank them all for it. They put their heart into making sure that our guests had a wonderful experience and that was an example of hospitality spirit that I won’t forget.
Thank you Paolo once again for your time and for sharing with us what it is like to organize a big event from its inception through to delivery. It was a great success! Also I would like to give a special thank you to Valeriya Kozlova, who was the official photographer for the event and was so kind to provide me with some pictures for this article.