Staff Festival 2019 survey feedback

Feedback from this year’s Staff Festival survey has confirmed it was a big hit.

It was all smiles on the dodgems!

It was all smiles on the dodgems! July 2019

Thousands of people flocked to the campus celebrations on Friday 28 June, enjoying an entertainment extravaganza staged on a beautiful summer’s day.

The packed programme of events included workshops, refreshments, live music, rides, games and competitions for all ages. See if you can spot yourself in the hundreds of professional photos taken on the day that we've uploaded to our picture gallery!

Festival organisers hailed this year’s event the “best ever”. And feedback via the online Staff Festival survey also revealed the vast majority of those attending the event thoroughly enjoyed the mix of activities.

Comments included:

“An amazing event – well done to all involved.”

“Thank you for another fantastic Staff Festival.”

“It was great! Thanks for doing a stellar job!”

“I think the Staff Festival is amazing – thank you to everyone involved in making it such a brilliant event.”

“It is great you put something like this on for staff and their families.”

“Having worked at another university, where there was only a staff conference on offer, this was brilliant!”

“Very much enjoyed it – looking forward to next year.”

Staff Festival project manager, Jo Westerman, helps man the tombola stall. July 2019Staff Festival project manager, Jo Westerman, helps man the tombola stall 

Jo Westerman, LOGIK Centre Manager and Festival project manager, said: “It’s really rewarding to hear so many colleagues had a superb time at this year’s Staff Festival.

“Our small but dedicated team works really hard throughout the year to plan what we always hope is a fantastic celebration of the incredible people who work at Leeds, and hearing such wonderful feedback from those who attended makes all the effort worthwhile.

“It was a pleasure, as always, to work on the Festival and we look forward to the 2020 event.”

Your feedback about last year’s event helped shape a number of improvements for the 2019 Festival.

The dodgems made a welcome return, and among the exciting new attractions were an inflatable climbing wall, surf simulator, Sumo suits, a gladiator game and a giant version of Hungry Hippos!

The inflatable sumo suits were a big hit, as were the reusable ribbons (seen in the background of this photo) we used across the Festival site instead of balloons. July 2019The inflatable Sumo suits were a big hit, as were the reusable ribbons (seen in the background of this photo) we used across the Festival site instead of balloons 

Other action taken included:

  • increasing the number of attractions, including the return of the dodgems, in a bid to cut queuing times
  • better signposting of events
  • moving the children’s attractions into one dedicated centre in Riley Smith Hall
  • providing vegan and vegetarian food options
  • moving the workshops away from the noise of the main stage and making the booking system fairer for everyone
  • booking more up-tempo music acts
  • communicating with the leadership forum earlier in the hope more colleagues would be able to attend; and
  • creating a dedicated web page on For Staff, where colleagues could access all the information about the day.

The changes were well received, but this year’s survey also revealed there is still room for improvement.

Issues raised included the length of queues at some of the most popular stalls, the volume of music on the main stage and the amount of available seating and shade.

Jo added: “The Staff Festival is very much your event and we work hard to try and make it a success. While it is really well received and enjoyed by most, we’ve listened to what you had to say and will aim to make even more improvements next year.”

A number of changes were also made to improve the sustainability aspect of the Festival.

We received a lot of feedback last year requesting we remove balloons from the event, due to the environmental damage they can cause and the fact they can’t be recycled.

This year’s Festival was balloon free, replacing them with reusable bunting and ribbons. And our balloon modelling event was replaced by a free drop-in streamer making workshop.

In line with the University’s pledge to remove single-use plastic from campus by 2023, we also took steps to reduce our use of such materials. Due to the complexities of this, there were some single-use plastics at the event, but we are making big strides to permanently remove it from future Festivals.

Reflecting the importance we attach to this issue, we asked for specific feedback on a sustainability theme in this year’s Festival survey. And it was encouraging to discover colleagues share the same main aim on this front – to remove single-use plastic cups from future events.

Lucy Stuart, Sustainability Project Officer, said: “The Staff Festival team has been really on board with making positive changes towards becoming a more sustainable event.

“The removal of balloons and raising awareness of water fountains are just the starting point. We know there’s more that can be done and we look forward to working with the team further on the transition towards becoming a fully sustainable event.

“We are already looking into the possibility of providing Staff Festival-branded reusable cups next year, which will also be a nice souvenir of the day. Watch this space for future updates.”

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