Bristol Life Awards’ Finalists Part 1

As the extremely proud sponsors for the Event category at the Bristol Life Awards this year, we thought we would find out a little bit more about the finalists. We got in touch to ask them four tough but telling questions to see how they’d cope under pressure (not really, it was done very lovingly). Who knows, it might even help the judges make their final decision!

The first finalists we would like to introduce you to is the Great Weston Ride; a mass-participation cycling event that takes people from Bristol to Weston-super-Mare seafront via a spectacular route through the Mendips and across the Somerset Levels. It’s a challenge, a wonderful journey and a great day out – all combined. Here’s what they had to say for themselves.

Great Weston Ride

What does it mean for your company to be a part of the Bristol Life Awards?

We’re very much flying the flag for cycling in the UK’s original ‘Cycling City’ so it’s fantastic to receive this kind of recognition and exposure, and we hope that this encourages even more people to take part.

What’s been the biggest achievement of the Great Weston Ride’s time so far?

We received a 100% approval rating from an industry review in 2017, and so many people who’ve taken part are now telling us that this is possibly the best event in the country – an even better overall experience than the likes of Ride London and the long-established and very well-known London to Brighton bike ride!

But possibly an even bigger achievement than that is the number of people who have been encouraged to take part and who, by taking up cycling or by cycling more regularly, have seen very real positive benefits in their own health, fitness and wellbeing.

If you could give one piece of advice to a start-up Event Company, what would it be?

Know your audience, and look after them.

What would you like to achieve in the next 2 years?

With eight consecutive years of growth to date we want to continue the carefully-managed growth and success of the GWR, and we also intend to add 1-2 other similar events (we’ve already launched the Great Exmoor Ride for 2018 along very similar lines). And of course picking up at trophy at the Awards would be nice!

Our second finalist SLAPSTICK is now one of the world’s biggest celebrations of silent and classic screen comedy.  It first took place in Bristol in 2005 and has returned to the city every year since, offering a packed weekend programme of silent film screenings, with live music, TV nostalgia, expert talks and celebrity events featuring top current day entertainers including most recently Jo Brand, Ade Edmondson and Lee Mack.

SLAPSTICK festival

What does it mean for your company to be a part of the Bristol Life Awards?

It’s a great honour to make the shortlist when there are so many good and interesting events in the city and very welcome recognition that Slapstick is special and loved.

What’s been the biggest achievement of Slapstick Festival’s time so far?

Surviving!  The festival receives very little public funding so relies heavily on voluntary and in-kind support from a wide range of Bristol businesses and individuals and on what it can earn itself through ticket sales. We must be getting something right, though, as Slapstick has grown from a small, niche, event attended by around 200 silent film die-hards into a festival of broad appeal, attracting many thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds including overseas visitors.

If you could give one piece of advice to a start-up Event Company, what would it be?

The brilliant silent film comedian Buster Keaton supposedly once replied to someone who asked for the secret of his success “you take the knocks, absorb the shocks, and then you keep on going. When you fall down, you get back up.” Solid advice, we’d say, for any start-ups who believe in what they’re doing!

What would you like to achieve in the next 2 years?

Get even more people to experience the uplifting pleasure of watching silent film comedies as they were meant to be seen – on a big screen, with live music and amid an audience where people of all ages and backgrounds are laughing joyfully together.

Whether you want to cycle through some of the most beautiful countryside in the South West, or sit back and laughing your socks off, both these finalist offer something completely unique and exciting.

Thank you to Great Weston Ride and Slapstick festival for giving us an insight into your incredible businesses.

Come back next time to read about more about our other wonderful finalists.

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