‘Fantastic’ feedback will refresh future Staff Festivals

Scores of survey responses received following the eagerly anticipated return of the University’s Staff Festival will help shape future instalments.

‘Fantastic’ feedback will refresh future Staff Festivals. July 2023

Thousands of colleagues, their friends and family flocked to campus on 30 June, dodging the occasional shower to enjoy a packed programme of hugely entertaining activities and attractions for all ages, including food and drink, workshops, fairground rides, stalls and live music.

As our video montage and photos gallery clearly demonstrate, while the sun didn’t shine, festival-goers were still able to soak up the carnival atmosphere.

Organisers were delighted to re-establish the celebration in the University calendar after an enforced absence of four years – a sentiment echoed by the majority of feedback received via the Staff Festival survey, with colleagues hailing the event as ‘wonderful’, ‘superb’ and a ‘great experience’. 

Staff Festival Project Manager, Jo Westerman, said: “It’s heart-warming to hear so many colleagues had such an enjoyable time at this year’s Staff Festival.

“It took an incredible amount of organising by a small but dedicated team and reading comments like this make it all worthwhile. 

“Looking around on the day, there was a sea of smiling faces and lots of people came up to me to say how much fun they were having. Hopefully, we can build on this to improve future Festivals.”

Major improvements

There was lots of love expressed in the survey for attractions like the workshops and live music, while old favourites such as the dodgems, face painting and caricaturist proved to be another big hit among those attending.

One respondent said: “We felt welcomed and that we belonged.” Another added: “It was really wonderful to feel appreciated and cared about by the University. I felt like the festival was a good way of showing staff that we matter.”

But not everything ran according to plan, and the survey flagged issues including the Festival layout, noise levels, the length of some queues and the lack of vegan and low-budget food options. There were also calls for better signage and facilities for babies and toddlers.

Jo added: “We had one main objective this year – getting the Staff Festival back up and running. There were lots of last-minute obstacles to overcome, but we just about managed it!

“There was so much more we wanted to do if we’d had the time and resources, but armed with some fantastic ideas from this feedback, and with the continued support of colleagues across the University, we’re determined to make some major improvements to ensure the 2024 Festival is bigger and better than ever before.”

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