Mon 19 Mar 2018
- The award-winning student news website of Imperial College

Know something you shouldn't? Tell us, using our quick, 100% anonymous tip-off form!

Live! - News

Summer Ball Heading For Loss

May 19 2004 11:58
Lois Lane
It looks likely that this year's Summer Ball will make a loss since 550 tickets have been sold in comparison with a break-even point of 1000 tickets.
One lady who is going to the ball.

With only 2 days to go before the Ball ICU Deputy President for Finance and Services, Mike Moate, is pushing for last minute ticket sales. The event will cater for food and transport for 700 people. Whether or not 150 additional punters can be found to join the 550 already confirmed, time can only tell but regardless of turnout, the agreement with Alexandra Palace is that 900 dinners will be paid for.

Adding to this, other costs such as entertainments and hire of technical equipment puts the overall break-even point at an estimated 1000 tickets. If the number of tickets sold remains at 550 then the overall worst case loss for the event is £10,566.50 however Mr Moate has asserted that at this stage the exact loss is unknown and could be reduced to £3,566.50. Mr Moate maintained that "every effort will be taken to minimise losses". Financial troubles aside, the DPF&S is "highly optimistic that it will be a successful event" and with 550 people in a venue of 1500 person maximum capacity, it seems likely that there will be at least sufficient punters that the venue will not feel empty. Equally fortuitously for those punters, large queues at the bar also seems an unlikely proposition.

Nonetheless it appears that this year's Summer Ball will join the long list of similar events at Imperial that have struggled to make a profit. Previous Balls were aided by sponsorship, both external and from college. Although some sponsorship from Shell has been obtained for this event it seems this will not be sufficient to avoid making a substantial loss.

Email this Article | Share on Facebook | Print this Article

Discussion about “Summer Ball Heading For Loss”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
May 19 2004 19:51

Don't forget tickets are still on sale but not for very much longer.

It's advisable to try and get your ticket before lunch on Thursday

2. Chris   
May 20 2004 14:54

Who's going to fund the loss then? I thought Mustafa had already spent the college donation on 24h library?

May 20 2004 16:57

Hopefully this will finally force the abolition of the summer ball that some of us have been calling for several years.

The reason no tickets were sold, is because there was no big name draw. Scott Mills? Please.

The reason there was no big name draw, is because organisation started ni January.

If the summer ball is going to happen, organisation has to start at least a year in advance. By janauary, things should be finalised, not started.

May 20 2004 19:15

Maybe next year instead of the summer ball they should just organise a piss up in a brewery...

...or maybe not.

May 21 2004 09:30

I think that the Summer Ball is a tradition which should continue, but I think future lies in a vastly different format. Why are we farming the event out to venues which charge extortionate rates? We have our OWN exclusive venue in South Kensington which has a capacity for 1500. Next years Ball should be held at the Union.

6. Ant   
May 21 2004 09:34

I think you'll find that is called an end of term showcase/carnival. We already hold good ones of them.

May 21 2004 10:07

And the Union doesn't have a capacity of 1500, if you're sticking to the fire limits that is!

But I do agree that the format is what needs addressing here. I think since the ball started it has been a case of trying to run before you can walk and consequently has been stumbling ever since. Thin it down to the basics - a dinner and dance with some booze provided and work the format up from there once you have got succesful at it. Venue wise, the south ken campus makes sense, but there are places in central london that could be used and give a very grandesque ball like style to the whole evening. For instance I went to the City University's Business School's ball at the New Connaught Rooms a couple of years back (I was there in the band.) Good food, plush surroundings, wine on the table, and a band playing jazz during dinner and cheesy pop after dinner, followed by a DJ. Was (as I remember it) a very good evening and a firm grounding to the format to build upon.

8. Seb   
May 21 2004 12:02

I looked into the New canaught rooms for an event. They are emminently do-able, but lack scalability. I think the deal we were offered was 250 or 350 dinners to cover the rental costs.

What about the Serpentine Gallery?

And looking into the Science museum, that can be done, on the expensive side, but might require some more high level negotiation. The main barriers being that the aprooved caterers start at ?60 a head meals and the SM refuse to run a cash bar (They do have a license as I understand).

But I still think campus is the best place to organise it. If we really need to have a posh dinner, don't do the dinner in the SCR, do it in the Polish Club and have people walk over to the ents. But in the end it is what the most people will pay for that matters, not what appeals to the tastes of organisers.

I reckon the best way to organise Summer ball is start with a pared down core event that has the ability to be sized up at short notice depending on ticket sales.

Generally, that is how I have run events.

I don't think we should scrap summer ball. However, it should be run from it's own account, like a club and society, and not be funded. It's budget should be approved by either exec or council.

Closed This discussion is closed.

Please contact the Live! Editor if you would like this discussion topic re-opened.


See Also

  1. Self-righteous Balls
    03 May 04 | Straight Talking
  2. Flash Talks About Balls
    25 Apr 04 | Feature
  3. “Ally Pally” Summer Ball Confirmed
    31 Jan 04 | News

Live! Poll

How frequently would you like to see a CGCU magazine being published