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New Year Envy in Vienna

Last updated January 27th, 2017

We may have mentioned how important we think volunteering is on your event management CV. Alumni Maarten De Ruyck responded to a fairytale-like volunteering opportunity we shared for NYE: volunteering to work the Silvesterball steeped in Viennese tradition and glamour at the Hofburg Vienna (once an Imperial Palace) for 2000 guests. No pressure, then 😉

How Event Academy alumni spend New Year’s Eve

A small band of 3 Event Academy alumni flew out to Vienna to join a team of 15 volunteers determined to make sure this grand occasion went with a bang! After sending a CV and an application letter, Maarten was thrilled to find out he’d be part of the volunteer team. As soon as they arrived they were given the full tour of the fabulous, historic venue.
Ballrooms (yes, there are several!) beautifully decorated with elegant marble pillars, huge floral displays, projections and stunning lighting being tested, all ready for the big event. We asked Maarten if he minded working on NYE rather than going out with his friends – of course he looked at us like we’re mad.

“I saw a video of last year’s ball and I wanted to be there for 2016. As well as the fun we had being part of the event team we [the volunteers] had from 23:30 – 01:30 to celebrate and enjoy ourselves with the best party atmosphere ever.”

Into the glitter of the Vienna Imperial Palace

Event managers are known for how much personality they bring to their work – your job doesn’t define you, you define the job! Being part of the team for a party for thousands of people isn’t just about work, it’s about letting your imagination soar and creating sparkling memories. By day Maarten is a Marketing Assistant for a large European firm and his personal career plan is to get more experience of really large scale events onto his CV.
What a perfect volunteering opportunity! A backstage view on all the detail and organisation that has to come together to put on an event of this calibre. When guests are paying somewhere between €200 – €600 per ticket there is no room for error. At all.
The volunteers took care of the guests on the night, greeting guests, guiding them to their tables and also giving out gifts at the end of the ball at 4am. You can also imagine months of work of co-ordinating the performers, ensuring the meals are top quality, coordinating different guest types (each paying a different ticket price) so they don’t clash, planning the theme and decorations, marketing the event …

Fireworks or dancing?

At midnight then, Maarten had a choice of watching the fireworks display outside or staying in the palace to celebrate with the other guests. As a typical event manager, Maarten chose to stay in the thick of the action inside the palace. He even danced the traditional Viennese waltz for the first time ever, in VIENNA! What a place to learn the waltz. We’ll put money on the fact that he won’t forget that night in a hurry.
If you want to see some photos of the event, check the Facebook page here. We guarantee you’ll be jealous …

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