E Awards 2017

As most of you know, I disappeared in November to work on my event with a beautiful bunch of people from Edinburgh Napier University, that event was the Harry Potter Horcrux Hunt and you can read more about it here.

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It was a cool event to put on but I never thought anything more of it until our group received an email from our lecturer in January. Obviously, when a lecturer from your previous semester emails you, you’re naturally going to panic and assume you’ve failed – or maybe that’s just me and my crippling self-doubt. The email from our lecturer told us that she loved our event and had put us forward for the Student Event/Festival Excellence award at the Excellence in Events “E” Awards 2017.

That was in January and there are literally hundreds of student event groups in Scotland so again, we never thought much of it, until 3 weeks ago…

We received an email from our lecturer telling us we had been nominated for our event, it was nice to be nominated for an award and know your work is being appreciated. Also, I hadn’t been nominated for an award in a good few years since I knocked the music career on the head. It meant a lot for me personally, as someone who sees their career in PR and studying it. To even be nominated for something that reflects your future career, it does make you feel good knowing you’re on the right track in life.

We even found out that 2 of our competition were also from Edinburgh, including one from our very own Napier, which was quite nice knowing I made the right choice to come to this university/city. It goes to show, how important it is to choose the right university and city that will be best for your own career, rather than the most accessible. I can’t help but wonder that if I stayed in Glasgow, would this still have happened? I doubt it…

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The big day arrived and of course, anyone who has lived in Britain knows how bad the traffic is between 4pm-7pm. Now, imagine being on a motorway between the 2 biggest cities in Scotland – I lowkey think we would have been quicker walking. We arrived fashionably late and found our seats, just in time for the winner for our category to be announced…

WE LOST.

Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. There were free glasses of wine being passed about, so, every cloud and all that, eh?

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We did our obligatory post-event mingling session, a few pats on the back from individuals, shaken a few hands, congratulated winners and drank a lot of some wine. Considering we hadn’t eaten all day, we treated ourselves to a Nando’s for getting at least nominated – Everyone eats when they’re sad, don’t judge us!

We left soon after and it gave me time to think on the journey back to Edinburgh. I have more belief in my ability and although we never won, we did not bad, in my opinion. That is all the inspiration I need to push on and go and do even better next time. It’s amazing how such a little thing, such as confidence can make a huge difference to your own perception of things. It doesn’t need to be an award nomination, even just a nod or even a simple “well done” can make all the difference. Just a simple acknowledgement that you’re on the right track, it can put you in a good place mentally. If you’re reading this, and you know a colleague, classmate or just anyone in general who is doing good, tell them, let them know that they are. It could make the world of difference to them.

Before I go, I just want to say congratulations to the Robert Gordon University students for their Aberdeen Student Festival and also a huge mention to my partners in crime, Jeanie, Misbah and Rachael who were great to work with. Here’s to next year!

 

Jay Carrington

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My Online Hiatus Is Over (Part 1)

Well… I should start this by saying HAPPY OLD YEAR and MERRY BELATED CHRISTMAS.We are officially into the second month of 2017 and I am yet to post, in fact, I haven’t posted in 4 months… FOUR MONTHS! My activity on social media has nose-dived more spectacularly than Arsenal’s title challenge this season

… There’s always next season, eh lads? Lads?!

I have been offline for a few months, rarely popping online to be nosey and occasionally Retweet stuff I was either obligated to or generally anti-Trump/pro-equality – both are pretty much the same thing. Although I have been keeping a low profile online, I have been busy with my personal life. As any student knows or even if you have friends who have students, December is deadline month and November is the month you spend being stressed about December, hence why I was inactive online over those 2 months… but still remained active in real life.

November

On the 12th November, I was honoured to be asked to attend the Rainbow Valley Charity Ball at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow. You can read more about them here at their website and what the charity are doing and the story about why they are doing it. Working with Angela MacVicar and Lindsay MacCallum on a campaign in 2016 was definitely one of my highlights and all for an amazing cause.

I attended the ball with my best friend of many years, Clare Armstrong (she wanted a mention). Due to me moving away from Glasgow, her studying and working a lot, we haven’t seen as much of each other as we would have liked. Since I was going to be back home in Glasgow the event, it felt fitting that I kill 2 birds with one stone (I have just realised that is an incredibly grim analogy.) I felt this was the perfect chance to have a catch-up like old times so we got dolled up and headed to the ball.

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Halfway through the night, the alcohol – and the central heating – kicked in so of course, the jacket had to come off for a pose

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While all this was going on, the full night was incredible and full of fun and entertainment coming from cheerleading group, The Scottish Rockettes, Govan School Pipes and Drums and also real-life Sherlock Holmes (without all the murder and detective-y stuff), Colin Cloud.collage

The night was a hugely enjoyable and was also a huge success with a lot of money being raised for a great cause – tickets are already on sale for the 2017 ball, to purchase tickets click here.

The Rainbow Valley Charity Ball was my last public event I attended as a guest, however for one of my university modules I had to host an event with some people I had never met before. We bandied together and created a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt in the city of Harry Potter, Edinburgh. The event was called  Harry Potter Horcrux Hunt.

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The event was a huge success with the event selling out and gaining quite a large waiting list. For my first proper event, this was definitely a great start and I have just found out that the event is being put forward for an award so, we’re definitely excited. Considering the amount of work and stress that went into this, we could not have been more pleased with the outcome – and nor could the winning group, The Blast Ended Skrewts who won a £50 bar tab and a cup for their achievements.

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The event was incredible to put together and was made even better working with my group who were just the coolest guys to work especially on such an event. As a huge Harry Potter fan, I was so glad I managed to do this especially with so many notorious Harry Potter landmarks around this beautiful city.

We had to get a post-event picture so our faces are something of that of relief, exhaustion and 10 weeks of stress coming to and end. Don’t be fooled by the picture, we were incredibly happy!

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me, Jeanie, Rachael and Misbah (MJR Events)

 

November, was a funny ol’ month, but I was looking forward to December so I could go back home and see my friends and put all my studying and stress behind me…

 

Jay Carrington

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My Night at the Chinese State Circus

As a young adult, the circus hasn’t really appealed to me since the age of 5. My faintest memories of the circus often involve big clowns on small bikes and even a clown riding an elephant. To a child, bright lights, and funny noises was entertaining but now as an adult, it is concerning especially due from an animal cruelty perspective so I was obviously a little bit apprehensive when I received an invite to attend the Chinese State Circus in Edinburgh.

However, with me being assured there were no animals involved with the circus, I decided to attend my first ever circus show in about 18 years  filled with a sense of intrigue, curiosity and excitement.

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As soon as I got out the car my excitement continued to grow, friends, families, lovers, old, young, so many different groups of people of all different backgrounds were arriving and clearly excited for the show which seemingly rubbed off on me. I mean I’ve been in a lot of tents but never a tent this colourful or this size!

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When I got inside the tent, I realised I was super early and there was a pop-up bar hosted by local gin brand (Minus) -33 dishing out the drinks. I mean, I’m a good guy, I do like to promote my local brands so it would be rude not to have a G&T with Elderflower… or 5!

I received a goodie bag with a Chinese State Circus book inside, a bag of popcorn and my pass for the evening. Since I hadn’t eaten all day, my hunger got the better of me and the popcorn was finished before anyone could take a picture. However, now with a belly full of popcorn, I managed to relax and read my new book…

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and make some new friends…

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After partaking in some pre-show shenanigans, I went off to take my seat still unsure about what to expect – but the G&T’s definitely loosened me up! But it wasn’t long before I was captivated by what was going on in front of my eyes.

There was a girl juggling parasols using her feet, a team of people juggling hats and doing tricks all in perfect synchronicity, Shaolin Warriors that terrify and entertain in equal measure, men somersaulting through small hoops at a ridiculous height and so much more.

By this point, I was hooked but sadly an interval was called so I made the most of my break and treated myself to some traditional circus food – Candy floss! I even topped up my glass of G&T whilst mingling with the other guests. Everyone I spoke to was on the same wavelength as me – unsure to begin with but completely sold on the show and the performance.

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It wasn’t long until I was being ushered back to my seat and prepare myself for Part 2 of the show. The show got even better in the second half where a female team was foot juggling with drums and a Bicycle act that featured a lot of girls and a lot of bikes that completely blew me away, the way they interchanged bikes and positions and on such a  small stage, performed with so much elegance. Truly amazing!

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Then came the headline act, at this part I started to wonder  “how else could this get better?” I mean what more could they physically do? The final act went above and beyond. Two people in a big, rotating, metal cylinder would entertain me enough. However, when they started to climb on to the outside, start skipping and doing flips it very nearly gave me a panic attack, It was definitely one of the most incredible things I have ever witnessed!IMG_0597.JPG

WHAT A NIGHT! A circus, something I had viewed negatively for many a year has given me an incredible night and has truly changed my perception on circuses. The circus is currently still performing dates around the UK, with tickets still available here. I fully recommend that you at least try and get along to a show and you will definitely not be disappointed. In case my words aren’t enough, check out the trailer for the Dynasty Tour yourself.

After a wonderful night, I want to thank Phil MacHugh at Skapa PR for the invite and for being a great host and also my friend & Foe-tographer Sophie Grosvenor for the pictures – where you can catch some of her other pictures here.

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Jay Carrington

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Saira Shoes Fashion Event

I got invited to attend an event in Shoreditch, London for Saira Shoes to check out their new collection Hmmm… Should I go to a night of cocktails and canapes in London toon surrounded by fancy footwear? Try and stop me!

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Saira is an independent shoe brand that is based in the UK that specialises in designing quality female footwear. Their designs are heavily influenced by the likes of Asia with the use of materials from the likes of India with a unique blend of modern and traditional styles. Saira design a  whole range of footwear such as loafers, boots, casual flats, sandals and more.

The night got off to a bit of a disaster, as I keep forgetting how bad London is regarding traffic especially between 6-7pm. Although the Uber app said the journey should take 35 mins from my hotel to venue, it took me 35 minutes to go round the corner. At this point, my trusted sidekick advised we hop out and just get the tube.

30 minutes, 2 trains, a London underground battle with the public, a much-needed toilet break and a hunt for a very discreet bar we finally arrived at the venue.

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The Ninety Eight bar  is a lovely venue, with a spiral staircase leading down to the bar. As soon as I got to the bottom I was swiftly greeted and escorted through into this cosy little back room. The room had a mummified theme with the benches and statues being wrapped up I get greeted with friendly faces, a Bellini cocktail and vegan spring rolls. What more could you ask for? Time!

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There is nothing worse than having your hands and mouth full while someone is trying to introduce themselves and you’re stood there chewing your 500th bit of chicken satay. However, I did meet some lovely people when I was here and it was great to be surrounded by such incredibly talented people.

 

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“why did the chicken cross the road”

 

The SS16 collection was an incredible display with a whole range of footwear on show

Although they are not my footwear I would normally wear I did spot my personal favourites. Since I love chelsea boots, I looked across the other side of the room and it was love at first sight. Arguably one of the most stunningly designed boots I had ever came across. Silver boots with a fancy golden patterned design. Everywhere I go I always see boots and they are either black or brown, leather or suede boots but just plain with no designs. Lately, I’ve been getting bored of wearing the same plain boots so when I saw these, I had to admire them and if these were available in a size 11 I would have definitely grabbed myself a pair.

Jay Carrington

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