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Fast Forward 15 virtual charity event raises more than £5,000

The first virtual Fast Forward 15 charity fundraiser brought together more than 300 event professionals to raise more than £5,000. The Soaring 20’s event celebrated 100 years of inspirational women, featuring inspirational talks and performances.

Every year, the Fast Forward 15 mentees are challenged with producing a charity event on no budget. Originally planned as a live event, the team adapted the format to a virtual platform showcasing the capabilities of the digital and hybrid event model.

The event was in aid of charity Girls Rock London, an organisation aimed at empowering girls and women to write and perform music, building self‐confidence. Members of Girls Rock London and affiliate choir Lips performed on the night. The money raised also goes towards running the Fast Forward 15 mentoring programme for future years.

Fay Sharpe, founder of Fast Forward 15 and non‐executive director at BCD M&E, said “The FF15 Soaring 20’s charity event, organised by the 2019 mentee cohort, was truly inspirational. With no budget and having to pivot to virtual they pulled off a slick, engaging and fun event. I couldn’t be prouder of them. Not only have they successfully completed the Fast Forward 15 programme they have also made friends for life.”

Former mentee Megan Anstee said: “Fast Forward 15 helped me reach goals I’d always longed to achieve. Truly a career defining experience. Given the current challenges we face, progammes like this are even more important. Working on this event has allowed me to make a small contribution back to a network that has given me so much.”

The event featured masterclasses from The Cocktail Service; Jennifer Davidson, co‐founder and MD of Sleek Events; and
Holly Moore, founder and CEO of Make Events. They were also joined by Keneisha Williams, event professional and cofounder of Black in Events.

Williams joined live from Toronto, and with attendees tuning in from across the UK, Germany, Sweden and the US, the event demonstrated the international capabilities and reach of digital events.

The event was sponsored by Sparq, IMEX and YOU Search & Select. Rob Morrison, client team director at Sparq, said: “Sparq are delighted to be involved with and a sponsor of tonight’s Fast Forward 15 event. We know how important it is to inspire, encourage and empower women in the events and hospitality sectors to be the best they can be.”

Donations for the fundraiser will remain open until Thursday 25 June at 5pm.