Students mastermind UniQ business event

Students at Stoke on Trent College have organised a networking event for businesses to come and find out about a new scheme.

The evening is being held at the Cauldon Campus of the college on Thursday (January 17th), and aims to tell businesses more about the UniQ Business Loyalty Scheme which encourages staff and students in the UniQ partner organisations: Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent College and the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College, as well as the local community, to shop local and buy local.

This is the first time business students at the college have organised the event, and their planning and running of it will count towards their BTEC Level 3 business qualification.

Caroline Condliffe, course team leader for business at Stoke-on-Trent College, said: “There are five students involved and they have emailed out 50 invitations to businesses interested in the scheme.

“They have had to do a full proposal for the event, with the aim of getting businesses to network, book the room, carry out a risk assessment, run the event on the day and evaluate it afterwards.”

Guests will enjoy a buffet put together by the college’s own catering team based at the Atrium Restaurant at the Cauldon Campus, and guest speaker Georgina Kelly, will talk about the principles of marketing a destination (such as the UniQ) from her experience of working for Warwick Castle and the Bullring in Birmingham.

One of the students involved in the evening is Maryam Sarfraz, aged 18, who will be meeting and greeting guests on the night, and is hoping to go into a career in banking.

She said: “I will be welcoming people as they arrive and helping to serve drinks and food.

“It was tricky to put the event together in the beginning trying to contact everyone, but it got easier as we went on and got more organised.”

Diane Crook, Head of Corporate Relations Marketing and Public Relations at Staffordshire University, said: “The University Quarter population, of around 20,000 are being encouraged to ‘shop local and buy local’ at outlets displaying the UniQ sticker.

“As students make-up the majority, their involvement in this initiative is valuable – not only as customers and shoppers, but also as the’ face’ of the future, while the students organising this event are putting their knowledge of event management into a live situation – they will also be very aware of the products and services which our local UniQ businesses offer.”

Any businesses interested in attending the networking event are asked to email

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