We asked for your feedback about the Student Radio Awards 2013, supported by BBC Radio 1 and Global Radio, here are a few of the questions you asked and our answer
Entering The Awards
Where can I find examples of entries and previous winners to listen to/read?
All winning entries going back to 2008 can be found on our website at: http://studentradioawards.co.uk/winners. We will look to signpost these from the awards entry page in the future. In the run up to the awards, you will also be able to find plenty of hints and tips from our judges and previous awards winners on our website and on Twitter.
Why does it take such a long time to serve dinner?
Catering for over 500 people in a single sitting is a very challenging task – especially when there is limited space for the waiting staff to move around. As much as possible we work with the experienced caterers to ensure that table are served and cleared as quickly as possible. We know from experience that the service is no slower than you would expect at any other event of a similar size.
Why isn’t the food more ‘studenty’?
The feedback on catering at the awards is always mixed. We have received as many comments from people telling us that they thoroughly enjoyed the meal as we have saying that it was too extravagant. We have to remember that this is a prestigious and well-respected event, which attracts support from all corners of the radio industry. The menus that we select are designed to suit the prestige of the occasion
What was with the wedding, roulette and the dancers?!
When organising an event of this scale that has been going on for coming up to twenty years now, you want to try and make each ceremony slightly different to avoid the event getting stale and samey. We aimed to do this this year through the ‘Las Vegas’ theme, which was expressed throughout the evening in a number of ways. This included the themed on-screen graphics, mini-casino, show dancers and the shotgun wedding. Some elements of the evening didn’t go as intended and were perhaps over-ambitious, however, we do realise this and have taken this feedback on board for next year.
Why does the ceremony take so long?
The ceremony itself is kept as tight as possible and clocked in at under two hours this year. Because of the nature of the event, it is always going to take some time to invite numerous people to the stage to present fourteen awards and give the winners time to get to the stage and accept their award. We are aware that award ceremonies are, by their nature, repetitive. We always try to break the event up by throwing to our presenters around the venue and providing information about events such as the National Student Radio Conference and Demo Factor.
Do the hosts get paid? Couldn’t this money be better spent elsewhere?
The awards hosts, along with everybody who presents the individual awards and DJs at the afterparty are provided at no cost to the event by our industry supporters. We are incredibly grateful for this support as it helps us keep our ticket prices as low as possible.
Why is the event always held at the indigO2?
Finding a suitable venue for an event of this scale is challenging, and many factors need to be considered. For example, It is important that we offer dining and non-dining ticket options as this gives many more people an opportunity to attend. At the same time, it also requires a venue with a dining capacity of over 500, which also has additional space for non-diners. We regularly attend venue and events exhibitions and meet with venues, and have only identified a small number of alternatives in the London area, all of which would cost much more to hire.
How do you justify the ticket price?
Based on extensive research, we know that the ticket price is around 25% to 50% that of other industry awards ceremonies (where ticket prices often start at around £100 and increase to over £200, excluding any drinks). We provide an event of the same (and in some cases, higher) quality, at a fraction of the cost. We also provide a drink on arrival and all dining guests receive half-a-bottle of wine with their meal. This is made possible by the support we receive from the industry, and the fact that much of the planning and organising is undertaken by unpaid volunteers.
Why are the drinks so expensive?
Bar prices are set by the venue and each year we aim to secure drinks deals. We also provide a free drink for every guest on arrival, and half a bottle of wine for our dining guests.
Who organises the Awards? How much are they paid?
As with all Student Radio Association events, the awards evening is organised by a team of unpaid volunteers that are elected annually during the AGM at the National Student Radio Conference. Numerous other friends of the SRA, including previous officers and staff of the Radio Academy also volunteered their time during the day and throughout the evening to help the event run smoothly. The twenty-three strong team, headed by the five Executive Officers who are responsible for the association’s day-to-day running, all volunteer their time year round to organise events, provide support and develop opportunities for our member stations.
Why isn’t there more time for networking at the end of the event?
With the ceremony finishing at around 11pm many people still have to get home from North Greenwich at this time in order to be up for work in the morning – for some people this may be 9am, but for other workings on breakfast shows this can be as early as four or five in the morning! Many industry guests stay till the very end of the Awards and are always happy to talk to anybody who has an interest and passion for radio.