London Media Trip 2011
During reading week of February 2011 I organised a Media Trip to London for 18 students who are studying at the University of Glamorgan, Creative and Cultural Industries ATRiUM.
Organisation Methods and Planning
I started planning the trip in November 2010, determined to try and arrange the trip via facebook and blogging. After looking into Hostels, Travel, Places To Go and Cost’s I put a number of posters around the University and advertised the trip through facebook and managed to get around 50 students interested.
All students were aware that the information they needed to know would be on facebook, and to keep an eye on the group that I created. I set a deadline for a £15 deposit on the 14/1/11, the first week back after the Christmas holidays. The total students that handed in deposits were 21, then it was decided the rest of the money had to be in the week later in order to pay for the Hostel. (St. Christopher’s Inns)
In order to keep students fully informed, I constantly updated facebook, my blog and I made a trip website for everyone to keep an eye on. My reasons for this is because, the majority of students check facebook regularly, so it seemed fitting to make this to key point of contact, and proved successful.
I managed to schedule everything so there were no major clashes in the timetable of events planned and still with time for the students to go and explore London for themselves during any free time.
Travel and Costs
After having meetings with the group before hand, we decided the best way to travel to London was via Megabus, this cost us a £10 return leaving Cardiff at 12:30pm on Tuesday the 22nd and leaving London at 4pm on Friday the 25th of February.
After initially thinking that travelling in a group would be the best option for us all costing £4 for a day ticket, it became apparent that this was probably not the case, as students did want to go and explore the city for themselves, so when arriving in London we decided to get Oyster Cards. Overall travel around London was a lot more expensive than I had expected it to be, but no body seemed to mind.
The overall basic cost of the trip was £58, which covered Megabus return, and 3 nights Bed and Breakfast in the Hostel. Obviously there were added costs over the trip, of food, tube, drink and spending money. However, everyone was very pleased with the cost of the trip and found prices reasonable.
The hostel we stayed in was St. Christopher’s Inns Hammersmith, the hostel was right outside the tube station with a bar underneath it and close to a range of other bars and pubs in the Hammersmith area. The rooms were comfortable and a good size, clean and of a good standard, a lot better than most of us were expecting for £16 per night. We received a 10% discount on all food and drink at the bar, and after leaving the hostel we were told we could keep the card keys to use again and receive 10% anytime.
During the trip we visited a number of well-established places. By using contacts within University, BBC Bush House was arranged, and by using the same contact I successfully got 10 students into Radio 1’s Newsbeat.
I also arranged a visit to Teddington Studio’s by e-mailing their Studio Manager Ray Gearing, a place in the audience at Channel 5’s ‘The Wright Stuff’ and a Q&A with Matthew Wright by facebooking the Co-Presenter Eric Johnson and a place for 2 students at an open day for a Visual Effects School.
Emma Ellis successfully arranged a visit to the House of Commons and The Guardian Newspaper and Media Centre, with a Q&A with Jo Confino the Executive Editor, and by applying online we managed to get a number of students into a pilot for a show on Radio 4 called ‘The Horne Section’.
Over the course of the trip all the visits proved a hit with all the students, everyone being informative and educational in their own right, providing all of us with useful information and a true insight into the professional media industry.
In BBC Bush House and Radio 1, we were lucky enough to see Radio programmes go out live to millions of listeners, especially the live Africa broadcast from Bush House World Service, which goes to audiences of 44 million people across the world.
Watching the ‘Wright Stuff’ go out live was really interesting to see this different side of television, and after having the Q&A with Matthew Wright, finding out how he got into the industry, and his stories and advice has proved useful to all the students.
The Guardian talk was inspirational to the Journalism students and Media students, as Jo Confino explained how the business was expanding and the new areas that they wanted to explore. He talked about many aspects that we were all interested in, and provided us a great insight in the world of print journalism.
Having a tour of Teddington Studios was amazing, and seeing the shear size of the studios themselves was mind blowing, also seeing the editing suites and equipment was breath taking. Ray Gearing provided us with a lot of history and information that we can use for future references.
The House of Commons tour was also very interesting and educational; we were shown around the rooms and told a number of story’s, facts and figures about the history of the building.
Overall I feel that I provided an educational, entertaining, fun and useful trip for the students, I learnt a lot from the places that we visited and made useful contacts as well. I really enjoyed myself on the trip, and as for expected problems such as getting lost and attendance for some of the visits, I felt that I managed and contained the group well, and kept timing to make sure that the university and we all were well represented and professional.
This trip has taught me how to interact with industry professionals, event management, as well as all the useful information obtained by the talks we had from the visits.
I set up a page for the students that attended the trip to share their thoughts, one of the students wrote:
“The London media trip was filled with so many great experiences and memories to cherish. The trip allowed me to see London from an entirely new perspective that was relevant to my course and really entertaining.
Visiting the Guardian was the highlight of the trip for me. The Q&A session with Jo Confino, the executive editor, was really interesting and informative – it was such a great pleasure and opportunity to be at this well respected media house! I thoroughly enjoyed the House of Commons tour as seeing this political hub first hand was a lot more exciting and interesting than I had expected. Being an audience member on The Wright Stuff and sitting through the BBC Focus on Africa live radio broadcast were also some of the best experiences on the trip.
I enjoyed mixing with people from other media courses and the fact that we had free time to do some of our own sightseeing in London. The accommodation and travel costs were reasonable and well organised. All in all, the trip was a resounding success and I thank Sophie and all those who played a part in organising it – it was truly a fantastic experience!” – Samantha
Facebook Group = http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_121378974590374&ap=1
Trip Website/Blog = http://glamlondontrip2011.wordpress.com
Students Thoughts = http://glamlondontrip2011.wordpress.com/share-your-thoughts/
St Christopher’s Inns = http://www.st-christophers.co.uk/
Megabus = http://www.megabus.com/
BBC World Service = http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/
BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat = http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/
The Wright Stuff = http://www.channel5.com/shows/the-wright-stuff
The Horne Section = http://thehornesection.com/
Teddington Studios = http://www.pinewoodgroup.com/about-us/teddington-studios/
The Guardian = http://www.guardian.co.uk/
House of Commons = http://www.parliament.uk/visiting/visiting-and-tours/