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Boxing Clever: Volunteering experiences

Last updated October 2nd, 2015

Have you ever been to a charity boxing ball? Would you like to? How about if we also told you the event raises funds for The Gordon Ramsey Foundation, has a list of over 1,000 attendees including A-list celebrities and royals?
Better still, imagine if you had a backstage pass to work at the event and see everything from the other side. A group of our current students volunteered at the Boodles Boxing Ball earlier this month and were inspired by the scale of the event and its guest list. Margarita Haynes tells us all below …

What is the event all about?

The Boodles Boxing Ball has been running since 2006 and is described as a “hotly anticipated night out for well connected Londoners”. The evening creates the unlikely combination of a sit down dinner with a boxing ring in the middle of the tables and it really works! This year the event raised over £500,000 for The Gordon Ramsey Foundation.
The boxers aren’t professionals. They are London society luminaries attending the ball and Margarita told us that some of them train and prepare for months ahead of the event. As well as showing off their physical skill, the boxers are aiming to earn money from sponsors that will be donated to the event’s chosen charity.

What did Margarita enjoy about volunteering?

This was Margarita’s first volunteering experience with Event Academy and she tells us she was amazed by the calibre of the event for her first time. The venue is Grosvenor House Hotel and our volunteers from Event Academy were busy hosting tables and selling raffle tickets in this distinguished Park Lane hotel.
Can you imagine selling raffle tickets for £20 and being part of a team that raised approximately £40,000 on the evening, while having to keep your cool as you spot another famous face across the room?

What did you gain from volunteering?

Although this was Margarita’s first experience of volunteering at a high profile event, she was already applying lessons from the course and able to evaluate the event set up. It was useful to follow the detailed event itinerary, which charted half hour by half hour the running order for the evening. Margarita says she found it really useful to use this to co-ordinate a team (and manage endless schedule changes!) for a live event.
Being able to swap notes with her classmates and discuss what they’ve picked up on that worked and didn’t work so well was really useful. Margarita took some time to talk to people from across the events team including caterers, bar staff, other table hosts and fundraisers to learn more about their roles to create a successful event.
Even though it was only her first volunteering opportunity, Margarita is already confident enough to identify things that could be improved for next time, or that she would avoid if she were running our her own event. Clearly she wasn’t completely overwhelmed by all the celebrity guests 😉

The volunteering experience

The organisations and events we work with are always happy to welcome our students to their teams. They always give feedback that our students are well prepared for the job, and our volunteers always tell us they get a real buzz from working at a large scale event. Margarita recommends that you take advantage of volunteering opportunities if you want to work in event management. It allows you to see from the inside how to create the perfect event.
We’re happy to see Margarita is taking her own advice: she has already lined up another 6 volunteering opportunities at large London events. She’s promised to tell us more as she gets further along the course, so we’ll keep you posted.

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