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The organization of a gala asks for large-scale project management - Vatel

The organization of a gala asks for large-scale project management

Geoffrey Pédemay (President) and Andy Gallo (in charge of marketing) provide valuable advice on the organization of the Gala. They also look back on their year as members of the Student Office. Interview.


The gala is one of the Student Office’s major annual events. What is it exactly? 

Andy Gallo: The gala is an event bringing together the entire Vatel Bordeaux community: students, professors, academic team partners. 

What are the major steps in organizing the gala?

Geoffrey Pédemay : It is important to mention that we had access to 5 years of gala archives, which allowed us to have a solid reference. 

Without doubt, we must: 

  • First, choose a theme for the gala, making sure it has not been taken already. Most importantly, it must please the greatest number of people. So we will put together a poll.
  • Then we must choose a date by taking into account the schedule of when students are expected begin and finish their internships for the two terms (April and September) The academic department passed it on to us very quickly.  
  • Create a marketing strategy. This allows us to set up a countdown checklist of the tasks to be done until the day-of and day after the event.  
  • Choosing the venue is the third step. It must meet several criteria: Match the chosen theme in terms of atmosphere and location.
  • Meet the standards for public safety. 
  • Fit into our projected budget.

It is important to confirm these steps for the organization of the gala as soon as possible. After the venue has been determined, we can start to look for partners and launch a large-scale marketing strategy for example. 

Let's go back to the different points discussed. What does your countdown checklist look like?

G.P: Here is our checklist for the key steps:

  • Late April - early May: gala evening 
  • Mid-April: final number of partners 
  • Early March: last deadline for booking a venue 
  • Late December: confirmation of the theme
  • November: launch of the poll to choose the evening's theme 

How did you build and finance the budget for the 2018 gala and what is the amount?

G.P: We drew on the expertise of our predecessors because cost items remain the same. Chloé Cassagne, who runs the Student Affairs Department and who has been treasurer of a Student Office, tells us about the right expense amount and what is possible or not in terms of disbursement. As soon as we ask for a document, she sends it to us. The total budget is over €21,000. Each participant is required to pay a €45 fee to help pay for the organization costs. 

What is your marketing strategy to bring as many people as possible to the gala? 

A.G: We have published three posts a week about the gala since April. All posts on the Student Office Facebook page are written in French and English, which is something new this year. The same thing goes for our snaps. We use Snapchat for live events and for reminders 2 hours before an event. 

Yoann Manji (Mi2A) is in charge of writing in English, one of the official languages of Kenya, Yoann's home country. He uses typical expressions that tend to engage people from different countries more. He is assisted by Stefan Schwartzl (Mi2A). Two other members of the Student Office come from international classes: Julie Deschamps (Mi2A), Bérénice Stavarasky (Mi2A). 

The proportion of international students attending Student Office events is 40%, which is twice as much as last year. 

Which part of the organization of a gala do you need to pay special attention to?

G.P: Safety! This year, like last year, there will be security guards from a private company at the main entrance points. A Red Cross stand will be present in case of injury or discomfort. Finally this year, buses will be available from midnight to 5am to shuttle people from the gala venue to the school.

What would you say to convince students who are on the fence about joining the Student Office?  

G.P: It is an honor to represent Vatel Bordeaux! By being part of the Student Office, you will see all the value and strength of Vatel's program.Your legal culture courses will help you deal with the legal requirements when organizing the gala. Your intercultural management courses will suddenly take on new meaning when building a strong team with peers from different cultures.Becoming involved in the organization of the gala gives you real project management experience with its economic, legal, marketing, human dimensions. 

A.G: You will enjoy a powerful and rewarding experience. You will have to reach out to other students and make new friends.

Become a member of the Student Office and you’re sure to have a very rewarding year. Look no further!

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