In the board blog series, board members talk about their experiences on the HAMKO board and what they have been able to do.
HAMKO produces various events for students throughout the year. What does the planning and implementation of the event require? What happens behind the scenes of the events? In the second part of the blog series, Meeri and Silja, the event managers for 2023, talk about their role as the board’s event managers.
Who are you and where do you study?
“I’m Meeri Järvi and I’m currently the vice-chair of HAMKO’s board, and also as event manager and sports manager. I’m studying for my third year of social service in Hämeenlinna.”
“I’m Silja Lähti and this year I’m working with the communications and events in HAMKO’s board. I am now studying sustainable development for the fourth year at the Forssa campus.”
How did you end up on the board of HAMKO?
Meeri: “During my first year of study, I was on the representative council of HAMKO, and from there I became interested in the board. I also worked as a tutor in my second year of study. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to be an event manager in the board because I had so many ideas for different events and maybe in the future I want to work with events somehow. The mood of the HAMKO board also seemed so fun, and I want to get the most out of my student years, and the board is the right place for that.”
Silja: “I ended up in organisation work through many twists and turns, so-called “accidentally”. In my first year of study, I was recruited as the event manager of FAMKO (Forssan Ammattikorkeakouluopiskelijat ry) board and a member of HAMKO’s representative council for 2021. In the same year, I also became a tutor. I continued as the vice-chair of FAMKO’s board in 2022, and after that I was already thinking of retiring from these jobs, but strangely enough, the head that was involved in organization activities still drifted into HAMKO’s board through the organising meeting of the representative council. Forever grateful to this person who pushed me on this path in my first year of study <3″, rejoices Silja.
What does the Event Manager of the Board do?
The most visible aspects of the student union are the events, and the event coordinator is behind the scenes of every event, planning and organizing them.
“It is important for us that HAMKO offers as many diverse events as possible and that different students from different campuses can participate in the events,” tell Meeri and Silja.
The event manager is responsible for the planning, coordination and execution of the event. The event manager plans the event in as much detail as possible. In addition, the task involves a lot of organisation, such as schedules, performers, technology, people or, for example, venue reservations. There is a surprising amount of coordination and logistics involved in organizing events, such as purchasing and arranging supplies, planning the work shifts that make the event, and keeping the performance spaces in working order in cooperation with the venue.
The person in charge of the event has a very free hand in planning, as long as the ideas stay within the limits of the budget. This spring, for example, a completely new event concept was created for HAMKO, HALI – Hamsu Liikkuu. The event started from Meeri’s idea, when the board decided to replace the Kilometer hoarding that happened in previous years with a new concept.
Does the event manager work alone or with the team?
Event managers don’t have to organize events all by themselves. The entire board usually participates in the organisation of events, but the person in charge of the event must be aware of what everyone is doing and what tasks have yet to be done regarding the event. The event manager acts as a delegate of the event, a decision-making body, when work tasks are distributed and the event is started.
“In the spring, we were able to recruit an events team to help us plan events. We now have a top team, which consists of us and three event team members. The event team members are HAMK students”, Meeri ja Silja tells.
They tell about the joint division of labor: “We have had a good division of labor with events this year. Meeri is the main driver of projects for us and I have been around the events as Meeri’s right hand, while doing the communication of the events.”
Working on the board is therefore a flexible task, as the new board adjusts the rules of the game and operating methods annually to suit itself. The area of responsibility assigned to everyone does not limit working, but everyone can do whatever and whatever they want. Saying your dreams and ideas out loud is more than recommended.
What is the coolest thing about board work and the role of event manager?
“A certain atmosphere of working together and the fact that, as a student, you can get behind the scenes of the events and influence what events we organize. Here you also learn a huge amount of skills that are important even in working life and get a good idea of what event production entails. Only a fraction of the organization of the events is visible to the students from the outside. In this job, you will be among the first to hear all the plans, which is really cool! At the end of the year, the planning of Hämeenlinna’s Appro for the year 2024 will be started again in cooperation with Hämeenlinna BBA students HÄTÄ ry and Hämeenlinna’s engineering students HIOP ry.
Furthermore, one of the best things that the board year has given us is this friendship that has formed between us! Together, we have fought through adversity, celebrated victories and always been able to count on the support and help of the other”, rejoices Meeri and Silja.
At the end, they send greetings to everyone: “Through board work, you get to know great people through partners, associations and other student unions and thus make new friends from all over Finland! <3 So we can warmly recommend applying to the board. Getting involved in student union activities has been the best decision for both of us during our studies.”