The Build Up
During a station meeting in January 1997 it came to light that this years annual conference to be held at Gust was not going to happen. After retiring to Goodricke Bar for a snifter of port (Ok 8 Pints of Carling Premier) John Barratt announced that it would be a great idea if YSTV stepped in and saved the day.
After a relatively quick station meeting the following week the decision to host NaSTA 1997 was made. Owain Davies stepped up and offered to handle the awards section of the conference and Ian France used his numerous connections to secure the venue of the Stakis hotel for the actual awards dinner. John Barratt volunteered to speak to all of the stations in existence and organise the speakers and seminar rooms at the University.
In the chaos that is election night Owain somehow managed to duplicate numerous svhs's and send out and receive everyone's votes and place the results in sealed envelopes. Ian puled out all the stops and brokered a deal with the Stakis which basically resulted in them making a huge loss and John organised the speakers, luxury accommodation in Goodricke College (James College was booked) and came across a new student TV station based in the Farnborough technology college.
With the conference not starting officially till 17:00 there were still many things to organise, Chris Parker set up his rather expensive looking PC to serve as the delegate registration system and offered to buy the badge holders for the delegates. As other members of YSTV arrived they were set to work on tidying the station and generally helping with the days arrangements. At that point John thought that the events looked a little sparse and wanted to distract these future media movers and shakers and came up with every students weak spot. Free Beer!
After a quick dash to TESCO with a few crates of lager, Boddingtons and a few wine boxes it was time to await the arrival of the delegates.
First to arrive were the guys from Farnborough who needed a long rest after spending the previous day unloading £1 million pounds worth of equipment from SKY. Unfortunately one station only had half of their delegates arrive due to the other half being involved in a minor crash and having to go back home.
After a rousing introduction, a 'silver service' dinner from Campus Fare's premier eating establishment, Goodricke Dining Hall, free booze and a tour of the station everyone retired to Goodricke Bar where Pauline, Maureen, Doreen and Soreen nearly fell over in shock as the attendance in the bar went from an average of 2 during the Easter break to 42.
After a quick review of the first day back at the station it was time for bed, after polishing off the remaining free booze.
The Conference Programme
With most of the delegates senses dulled by the previous nights consumption of University of York wine, Vintage 12:37 pm, It was time to get on with the days seminars and conferences.
However 2 major disasters befell the otherwise perfectly planned conference. Firstly one of the speakers pulled out leaving a massive gaping hole in the day and secondly one of the guys from GUST had tried to make a tea with the luxury tea and coffee facilities provided by Campus Fare only to find out that all the sachets of UHT milk were out of date.
After John filled the gap left by one of the speakers dropping out, by asking former Guild Member and Newsround Presenter Lizo Mzimba to do a short presentation and getting Dominic Plunkett to hold a technical love in, he took on the most pressing issue of the out of date milk.
The remaining speakers, Len Brown (BBC) and Angie Smith (Turn On TV), gave entertaining and informative talks on the industry.
After the speakers had left for the day it was time to start the first half of the AGM which ended after 2 hours with nothing really being decided.
The Awards Dinner
The awards dinner was held at the Stakis Hotel. Owain Davies took on the hosting of the evenings events and presided over one of the most unruly audiences that the hotel had seen for a long while. And that was just the YSTV table.
The awards were swept up by the new station from Farnborough and GUST and officially the evening ended with the obligatory disco.
However the night was also memorable for the re-enactment of the Darth Vadar / Obi-Wan Kenobi light sabre fight, in the dark around Clifford's Tower, and for a member of GUST thieving fixtures from the Gents toilets in the hotel...
With a hangover the size of a small elephant and everyone wondering which idiot had decided to start the day at 10 the second half of the AGM started. Guild were elected to host next years Conference and then everyone packed up and went their separate ways.
After the dust had settled everyone seemed to have had a pretty good time, even Tim Hackett was smiling with the small profit he had turned a rarity for NaSTA events, until that is the conference office sent through the invoice for the delegate badges resulting in a net loss of £4.19.
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