July 23, 2019

GSM London Students win BAFA Competition Award

bafaTwo GSM London Events students have overcome obstacles to position themselves as joint first in the BAFA Competition and we couldn’t be more proud!

Success is even sweeter when it comes after difficult and challenging circumstances. This was the experience of Lena Lai, BSc in Events Management from GSM London Greenford campus and Tabita Stupar, BSc in Events and Entertainment Management from Greenwich campus after being entered in to a Dragon’s Den-style competition to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

Lena and Tabita were two of many students across the UK who had earlier been invited to submit their ideas on how best to gather feedback from children attending a festival targeted specially at a younger audience. Numerous solutions were sent in and judged against a list of given elements. Four of which were shortlisted for presentation to a judging panel at the British Arts Festival Association (BAFA) in Manchester on November 9th and of course two of these solutions came from our students. That alone was an achievement, but not at all enough for our students.

The journey was not at all easy for Lina and Tabita. There were many difficulties that they had to overcome. Both students work outside of university and while one was travelling back to England the night before the presentations the other was working very late. Surely it couldn’t get any more challenging? Wrong. On the day, itself, one student had missed her train due to traffic, eventually arriving in Manchester after presentations had begun.

Travelling up to Manchester with one student was Programme Leader MSc in Events, Fotios Vasileiou, and Teaching Fellow in Events Management, Hope Flynn who were there to calm and encourage her, and assist in preparation for the presentation. It was a difficult day for both students but luckily the sincerity and dedication of GSM London academics was there to support them.


What were their pitches?

Tabita’s suggestion was painting workshops to capture feedback differing to Lena’s, which involved using push-button machines. The BAFA judges commended them for their solutions, describing them as “interesting, practical and, importantly, easy to apply”. They were two competition winning ideas, difficult for any judge to choose between. Both students incredibly achieved the same high scores for their presentations and walked away with not only joint first place, but were also awarded with internships with festival organisers!

GSM London students had entered the same competition in 2015, when the team was highly commended and came third. Our improvement this year shows that last year’s result was no fluke. We would like to join Lena and Tabita in thanking Fotios for his “AWESOME” methods in teaching that they believe were key in helping them win this award.


“We had to keep positive and support the students, because they had both worked so hard for this. Now they have had a lesson that will last them a lifetime; fight right up until the end, you can win against the odds.”

Fotios Vasileiou

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