Interview with Marc Gebel de Gebhardt, President of BDE and organiser of the 2014 Gala
Please tell us what this gala means to you?
First and foremost, it’s a way of bringing the school year to a close. For some students, this marks the end of their formal education while, for others, it is a way of seeing friends from other years and creating greater cohesiveness.
This year, we invited professionals from the tourism, hotel, and restaurant sectors, as well as the school’s partners. This gala is a great opportunity for students to meet with professionals.
Please tell us a little about this evening, and what you’ve planned.
This year’s gala will take place on the 7th floor of the Hotel Mercure Cité Mondiale, our most important partner. The theme will be “the Vatel Academy Awards ceremony”.
The evening is organised like this: first of all, there will be a cocktail reception with buffets of food from around the world: American, Asian, and French. Each buffet will be accompanied by wines from those countries.
The second part of the evening, from midnight to 4 in the morning, will be devoted to dancing.
We are expecting about 350 people.
What other activities have you scheduled?
There will be several “workshops” during the first part, and I’ll briefly describe them.
For instance, there will be a stand letting people try their hand at opening bottles of Champagne with a sabre. Participants will be able to take the bottle away with them to share with friends, along with the cork and a diploma!
A tombola is also being organised, with a draw.
Prizes include treatments at a spa, dinners, nights in a hotel, and other surprises.
Then, of course, we will also be awarding our Oscars!
One girl or one boy from each class will be given an Oscar: for the M1s, this will be for “the best Rookies*”, for the M2s, it will be for the “most assiduous student”, for the M3s, the “most elegant student”, and a Miss or a Mister Prépa will be elected from among students taking preparatory classes. The M4 Oscars will be for the “greatest party animal” and the M5s for “the funniest student”.
One of the teachers will be awarded the prize for “Best Professor”
*Best first year students
What did all this organising entail?
At the beginning of the year, we sent an e-mail to students asking them if they were agreed to lend a helping hand. The original team consisted of 50 people. As the months went by, the numbers dwindled somewhat, but there were still 10 to 20 people who remained truly involved and committed.
On the day of the gala, 50 people will be making sure everything goes well. They will be sharing responsibilities in various areas: food, bar, service, and special events.
Getting everything set up was complicated, mostly due to everyone’s different schedules. Fortunately, a sufficient number of students are highly motivated to help make this a successful evening. I want to thank all the outside people who helped us in the organization of this Official reception.
As well as all the thought and effort that go into planning an evening like this, there is the added pressure of knowing that professionals from the hospitality industry, as well as our parents, will be attending.
Could you please explain what you are expecting from this event?
What we are hoping for above all is that everyone has a good time, and that students leave with wonderful memories.
Of course, it would be even better if this turned out to be an opportunity for professionals and students to meet and discuss.
As for any other questions, these will best be answered by attending the gala on the 30th of April starting at 7:30 pm…