RGU students achieve hat trick of wins at Drum Scottish Events Awards

Students at Robert Gordon University (RGU) have continued their winning streak in the Drum Scottish Events Awards by taking top place in the Student Event category.

Sarah Swanson and Fiona MilneThis is the third time that a team from RGU has won the award. Last year, events students won for organising the 2016 Aberdeen Student Festival and RGU also won in 2014 for the Aberdeen Cyrenians Sleepout. RGU, which was also shortlisted as a finalist in the same category in 2012, 2013 and 2015, is the only university to have won three times.

This year’s winning event, Affa Fine Artisan Afternoon, was organised by four final year Events Management students in aid of The ARCHIE Foundation. It was part of the larger Main Event which raised more than £15,000 for nine local charities. The four were also involved in last year’s winning entry.

The Artisan afternoon, organised by Sarah Swanson, Fiona Milne, Karen Duthie and Katie Forbes at Lochter Activity Centre, took the artisan market concept and transformed it into a family-friendly experience with 21 stalls, entertainers, children’s crafts and activities, refreshments and a raffle. More than 400 people attended the event which raised £2786.68 for The ARCHIE Foundation while showcasing local businesses.

The 2017 Aberdeen Student Festival was also shortlisted as a finalist this year. A weekend-long series of cultural events held across the city, it raised more than £5000 for Erskine and Diabetes (UK).

The award judges praised the strong ideas coming from students who have very little budget to work with, and said professionals should be making sure that exciting talent is making its way into the industry.

 “We are so delighted to have had two student group finalists in the Scottish Event Awards this year,” said Rachael Ironside, lecturer in Events Management at RGU’s School of Creative and Cultural Business. “Both events showcased the excellent cultural talent and enterprise that Aberdeen City and Shire has to offer, and the students worked incredibly hard to put on events that offered a unique and immersive experience to their guests. In total over 800 people attended the events, and we are very proud that our students – the event managers of the future – were able to provide this.

“The winning event, an Affa Fine Artisan Afternoon, received excellent feedback from both stallholders and guests, and their innovative approach to the event set a new standard for how a ‘market’ should be delivered. The team worked extremely hard during their final year of studies to put on the event, and we are so proud of them for all that they have achieved.”

Organising Aberdeen Student Festival and The Main Event form part of the curriculum for third and final year students studying for a degree in Events Management.  Both events give students the chance to employ all of the practical skills which they develop during their course and helps them develop a professional approach to their future careers through engagement with businesses and organisations across a wide range of sectors.

The events also give them the chance to engage with the wider community, by organising activities which are open to the public and which raise awareness of, and funds for, local charities.

Work has already begun on the 2018 Main Event which this year will support nine charities, several of which are taking part for the first time.


Release by Rob Smith
Communications Officer
Press and Media Enquiries