Digital Underground

Digital Media Design – Bournemouth University

Graduation Exhibition 2015

Each year a Graduation Exhibition is put on by the lecturers of the Digital Media Design department whereby students can showcase their final projects to the public. As this was our final year and I had extensive experience in planning and hosting numerous charity and catering events I volunteered to take this responsibility off the lecturers and create a special 2-day event. This gave me an opportunity to practise my creativity, organisation and time-management skills as well as help many of my colleagues gain experience with hands-on client/customer service, an area integral to the industry, yet often undervalued.

After researching and considering numerous themes that the show could be based on, I created Digital Underground. This would not only showcase the diverse range of unique projects being developed through our digital university course, but also highlight the rise of Bournemouth itself as the fastest growing digital economy in the country.

After drawing up initial plans, we put together a team of volunteers that would turn this idea into a reality covering areas such as venue, equipment, catering, marketing, budgeting and time management. We deciding to host a VIP industry evening on our opening night that included guests from all the leading design agencies in the local and surrounding areas.

As this was also the busiest time in our own university calendar, finalising both our projects and coursework, time-management and budget became crucial aspects of the process. Working closely with BU’s own events and marketing teams we incorporated our event to coincide with the university’s own Festival of Learning event, thus opening up our exhibition to the local community.

Together with my friend, Matt Ward, we developed the initial concept and  became responsible for the overall organisation.  My other role was to liaise with all the lecturers, external agencies and companies that would be required. By using my previous knowledge and experience in customer facing roles, I was able to act as spokesperson for our entire course, ensuring we gained all the equipment and services required at a reasonable price or donated to us.

Through these negotiations and hard work we were able to host the event in a unique location, arrange for the department to purchase new display equipment, incorporate our VIP evening with catering facilities and create a buzz of anticipation through both local and social media sources.

The digital underground  event was a total success with us receiving praise from our industry guests, lecturers, the alumni as well as the university’s events and marketing teams. They praised us for how efficient and effective we were in all aspects of organising and delivering our exhibition as well as the graphics and unique selling points we incorporated throughout the show.

Bournemouth – The fastest growing economy (The Telegraph).