Why is the Golf and Spa Day such a popular event?
Richard Stickler, trustee, GamesAid: There are some great events in the industry for one and all to attend. I wanted to create an event that was not only prestigious to attend, but also a relaxing environment in which guests from the industry can enjoy the event at their own pace in some luxury.
What makes it successful in terms of raising money for GamesAid?
Stickler: I don’t want to sound clichéd but it’s you that care – the people from the industry. If I did not have the backing of the sponsors, Gem and MCV, the event could not take place. The key to a successful event is making sure that everyone is happy. Louise and I make sure the event is well planned.
Last year, this event alone raised £50,000. Are you expecting a similar amount this year? What is your target?
Stickler: Of course our target is to smash last year’s total funds raised. In 2008 we raised a little over £20,000, in 2009 it was £32,000 and in 2010 we raised £50,000. Each year we have tried to add little bits here and there to raise more money for charity. Sometimes things have worked and sometimes things haven’t – let’s not mention the auction and comedian of last year’s event. Oh crap, I just did.
What has been improved this year?
Louise Powell, trustee, GamesAid: We have gone back to basics. The proceedings ran on for too long last year. People want to enjoy themselves and network with old friends from the industry. We have set ourselves a target of 20 minutes of official proceedings and that’s it.
How can the industry support your team in the run up to the event?
Stickler: By being there. The Golf and Spa Day has sold out, but Louise is working really hard to make the evening event the main attraction, which you will hear more of from Louise in MCV soon.
You can buy tables for 10 people at £1,300 a pop – why not treat your staff, take clients, get involved and let’s make a difference to young people’s lives.
Why is it important to support organisations like GamesAid and the charities it works with?
Powell: Because that’s what makes this industry great. We don’t need a reason other than we can make a difference to young people’s lives. We as an industry produce fantastic video games, which parents, younger people and children spend their money on – so let’s work together as a UK industry, raise some money and have fun and enjoyment while doing it.
What is the future for this particular event? How will you improve on it in coming years and what are you doing to establish it as a key date in the UK games industry’s calendar?
Stickler: By having the support of key publishers and personnel from the industry. We have some aspirational targets to achieve over the next few years.
My dream is to make the awards dinner the main attraction of the event, with over 500 people attending and the night raising over £100,000 for charity. With Louise running PR and marketing, the sponsors on board and Gem’s unquestionable support in creative, admin and finance, I believe that this can be achieved.