The Business Society (or BizSoc informally) objective at the start of the year 2011/12 was to hold 25 events during the year, to give business skills to students in new events, to hold some great social events and to raise €10,000 for charity.
We have over and above achieved these results by the end of the year, we’ve held 35 events in 24 weeks of college, we’ve held 6 specific Business skills areas in the Apprentice, Bill Cullen speaker, Fantasy Stock Exchange, the BizGrinds, the Business Review Magazine and the KPMG skills session.
We’ve also held great student orientated events throughout the year in the Commerce Ball, National and International mystery trips. Not to mention our charity events such as Suit-Up day, the Assasins, NUIG wants it that Way or our Committee Volunteering Day. We also raised €14,500 for charity. We also increased our membership by 262% to 2,300 and increased profitability by 720% to €14,000.
We were reward for our efforts by winning three awards at the NUI Galway Societies Awards. “Best Society”, “Best online presence” and “Best small media publication”. We will represent NUI Galway at the national awards in April.
We have held 35 events in 24 weeks of college a record for any NUI Galway society.
We broke them down into three main categories,
1. Business Skills events
2. Student Events
3. Charity events.
1. The Business Skills Events:
- The KPMG skills sessions where we brought in experts from our society sponsors to pass along their interview preparation and knowledge to students to improve their employability.
- The Apprentice which consisted of 5 events. The first one was a Sales Task where the team that sold the most amount of tickets qualified for the next round. We also held a poster competition to find the most creative minds and had some great entries. Then we cut the number of teams to 5 as we moved on to our 2nd task of marketing where we challenged the teams to present a New student bar venue in Galway before our panel of judges. Then we brought in an outside speaker to hold a presentation class for them and assigned them mentors from the Committee to prepare them for the “Dragons Den Finale”. Here they had to come up with a new product/service idea and pitch it to our judging panel of Breffny Morgan, a former Apprentice candidate, Brendan Kenneally, economcis lecturer and Breda Fox, Galway city enterprise board. Eventually the “Chicas” team won the €1000 prize with their straw preventing a spiked drink and also the newly acquired knowledge of many many business skills. The event was a great success and marked a departure of a new large scale event for the BizSoc.
- The BizGrinds which was our proudest event of the year. We realised that we could provide a service to students that would help them with an age old question, how do you pass the year? Learn from someone wiser at the very end and study like mad. So we came to an agreement with the lecturer and the Business School and went and hired the best grinds teacher in that subject. Then we set up a Facebook event and invited everyone to come for FREE (with the BizCard, our membership card) to our 3 hour grind in the hardest subject for 2nd year commerce students, Managerial Economics. 247 students came to the event. The pass rate in a class of 450 went up by 20%. We really feel that the BizSoc contributed enormously to this benefit in students life and we’re rolling this out at the end of 2nd semester to other clases aswell. As one member thanked us “I get to go on holidays in August because I have no repeats thanks to the BizSoc”.
- The Fantasy Stock Exchange which was as our tagline described “like Fantasy Football but with Stocks”. We set up this game for the month of February expecting 50 people to join, we got over 200. Everyday they logged onto their account and traded their imaginary money to try and hit big. At one point, even left wing activist Joe Loughnane was ahead on the leaderboard. Our winner started off with an imaginary €100,000 and finished with €126 million. He then had the confidence to go and bet his €200 cash prize from the BizSoc on the real stock exchange and increase his wealth. We were constantly giving out tips, promoting it on our Facebook and emails and teaching people in general how the whole system works. We feel proud that students now know more about how the financial world actually works which is one of the aims of our society.To do it through fun is an even better way.
- The Bill Cullen speaking engagement which brought a real business leader to the students to explain his continuing success in business and the insights from which we can learn from him. The Apprentice boss was on top form as he pounded his message home through sheer charisma and enthuasiasm, his mandate of hard work, risk taking and creativity were the keys to position in society. On that on cold wet Tuesday night, a lot of students went home with ideas in their heads.
- The Business Review Magazine which we expanded to 36 pages with record number of submissions of quality and a unheard of print run of 800 copies which keep getting picked up in the Cairnes Building, the SocsBox and the Library. Articles came from lecturers, BizSoc alumni, current NUI Galway students and Committee members. Finding writers and editing is no mean feat and the team did fantastically well in a three week timeframe to wrap everything up with a quality magazine at the end. We’re still getting demands for this magazine and are considering another print run in September.
2. Student Events
- National Mystery Tour that was an actual mystery this time! We brought 250 people on buses in their finest clothes on a trip with only three people and the bus drivers knowing the final destination. Even stopping off halfway in Athlone, people were sure it was Carlow. We ended up in Maynooth were people raved in the local nightclub and chippers afterwards.
- This was the biggest event in the West of Ireland. The only music event in the West to sell out on the day. The only Ball in NUI Galway to sell out on the day. We have pages of people putting their name down if any extra fulls (€60 a pop) come up. It was crazy.
- We started planning in October and signed our act, Rizzle Kicks for a good price. Then as the time for the Commerce Ball came round, they were #2 in the UK Singles chart with Mama do the Hump. The biggest act to come to Galway since Westlife or Bob Dylan, we had pre-booked a massive musical duo. Their price for gigs afterwards went up by 150%.
- We worked around the clock and put together a comprehensive marketing campaign of viral videos (Facebook sharing competition that netted us huge views), effective use of Twitter, word of mouth hype and clear concise emails that took out all flowery writing.
- Our videos were huge, with 5,200 views (in a college of 15,000) for the slick promo;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rp_UhdZLy78 and also 8,200 views for the event video,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3szIHEP6h0.
- The organisation of the ticket selling and promo event night was taxing. We had an estimated 3,000 people in the queue for 1,200 tickets. Some people queued from 9.45am for 12pm selling and didn’t get tickets. We then held a “Lock and Key” event to find your date for the Commerce Ball in CP’s and then started organising the night. With €44,000 spent on 20 different items, it’s always tricky to make sure everything worked together. But big credit to our Committee team who stayed calm and focused throughout everything and even when our security plan started to go awry, they improvised and went with the changes with ease.
- The night was a great success with a lot of students having the highlight of their college experience, among also seeing a big act, BizSoc recorded one of their best ever profits from the event of €3,400 while donating a record €2,000 to charity and keeping the student welfare in mind by keeping the same ticket pricing as the year before.
- The party continued to the next day as DJ Bryno swept the decks in the college bar as people queued again to get in, the party was that popular. That night, those still awake, went to CP’s again to dance the night away as everyone really enjoyed their night out.
- The event was sensational, talked about as being up there with being one the best things ever to happen to some people in their 3 or 4 years of college. All of us in the BizSoc are delighted to be involved in this event and the great enjoyment it gave to students.
- International Trip went this year to Prague where 38 people took in the sights and sounds of one of Europe’s finest capital cities. We visited all the tourist spots, talked a lot of business philosphy in the bedrooms and went out and enjoyed the nightlife. Out of the trip only 7 people are not involved in the Committee for this year or next year so it’s a prime example of great spread of BizSoc atmosphere and press.
- The Dublin Trip where 10 committee members went up to Dublin to participate in the “Frontline audience”, visit the Jameson Factory to learn about one of Ireland’s oldest brands, a networking event with former BizSoc alumni and an intervaristy networking with the Trinity Business Society, Dubes that night. A lot of business talk happened and contacts were made for the future.
3. Charity Events
- Our Suit up day was in co-ordination with LawSoc and Music and Ents Soc as we got our members to wear suits and had our committee members walk around collecting money with buckets. €1,100 was raised for Chernobyl Children’s Charity as it was free into CP’s with a nice dress or shirt and tie.
- The BizSoc table quiz was held in the Imperial hotel again on a wet Tuesday night where an astounding 140 people turned up for our table quiz which raised €770 for charity which is another BizSoc record.
- The Assasins is role playing interactive game that stretches throughout campus where you evade capture and try to assasinate your target. Our 100 entrants must watch their back at all times over one week. We’ve raised €300 so far for Meningitis Trust with this event.
- The BizSoc volunteering day is a principle that we hold dear in the BizSoc that students are time rich but cash poor. So it’s easier for them to donate time rather than money. So leading by example, using CSR ideas, the committee are going to bring in kids in from the Westside Community project for a Subway sandwich, painting a delapidated wall on campus to brighten up the university and go rock climbing. These are kids that have never even been in university before, let alone have an idea of going there. It’s amazing that they live so close but yet the concept is so far away. We feel that just by spending time with them, interacting with them, we can improve their life and ours.
NUIG wants it that Way
- The use of videos to promote the society has been really innovative and we have brought it to a new
level with the first ever “Official NUI Galway Charity Video”. Our Treasurer, Conor Mulloy, came up with
the idea of raising money for charity through getting famous “college faces” to dance in a boy band of “I
want it that Way” by “Backstreet Boys” video and then using it as a promotional tool for the college,
raising awareness for the help for suicide prevention charity work and also raise money for charity .
We went and collected sponsors for the venture and got Supermacs, WeSession and NUI Galway.
We were very persistent. So we worked out that if the video got 15,000 views then our sponsors would
donate €7,500 to charity, so 50c a view. We capped it 20,000 views after negotiating with them.
- Then we had the tricky job of convincing people to partake in the video. We emphasised that it was
a college wide project tried to involve students from every strand of college society, club, lecturer or
Students Union. It was a chance for everyone to come together to make a real lasting positive change in
university. And it would be hilariously embarrassing.
- We started rehearsals and set out our time scale for the project, for three months we filmed, edited,
produced, danced and networked for this. One of the highlights was convincing University President
James Browne to be in the video. The co-ordinator of this project, Conor Mulloy, visited his office
consistently for two weeks. He sat outside and asked each time until the President gave in and danced
away clicking his fingers.
- We hyped up the video for weeks among our friends and made promo pictures and videos. We were
really nervous on the day of release as our talk would finally become a reality. It turned out to be an
incredible smash viral video hit and quickly gained traction. Here is some of our many supporters;
Sean O’Brien, the rugby player.
The Galway Advertiser;
- We even made the front page page of the student newspaper;
Some of the people we persuaded take part were;
- This year and next year’s student union executive (president and vices)
- The student hero DJ Byrno
- Former musical director Rory Kitt
- S:tv manager and team
- Rotaract Society exec committee
- The college bar manager
- President of the University, James Browne.
- It was a massive success and was cleverly transformed into a marketing campaign for NUI Galway,
They were so taken with the video that they’re now sending it to potential applicants, the Leaving Certs
as well as alumni next week in the monthly email. It really portrays the college in a great light, a student
initiated video that ticks all the boxes.
We raised €10,000 for 1Life suicide prevention charity by scoring 31,000 views on Youtube in two
weeks. It was incredible to see the positive reaction to our idea, everybody was sharing it. We getting
stopped on the street and congratulated about it. We all really enjoyed working on the project, we had a
lot of fun making the video, met loads of new people and contributed to our college.
We really did something innovative here, something that had never been done before, something that
was never imagined before. We changed the university for the better while having fun and involving
everyone. There is no greater victory.
- Watch the video here;