Competition Schedule Update
The competition schedule is now available to download from our website here. The schedule includes all of the available competitions that members can enter, the rule for each competition and also the prizes.
It is very important that you read the rules and regulations for each competition, to ensure that when you present your entries for judging at conference, that are correct. Any entries that have not followed the rules, risk being disqualified or marked down. If you are unsure about any of the rules, then let ask your lecturer for more information, or get in contact with our competition secretary. There are some FAQ's available on our competitions page which may also be useful.
When you have decided which competitions you are going to enter, you need to let your lecturer know, so that they can complete the entry form. Lecturers will then send the completed entry form with all students names on to our competition secretary. There are lots of different competitions this year, with something for everyone, so have a look at what is available, let your lecturer know what you want to enter, and start practicing!
Facebook Frame example - available now
So we had a very useful executive and council meeting today at University College Birmingham. Thanks to everyone that came along and braved the snow. We hope you all arrived home safely! We discussed a great number of things relating to conference, which we felt would be good to update you on.
As promised the date for the competitions schedule has now been confirmed as Friday 23rd March 2018. This will be available to download on our website. This means that you and your tutors will be able to download the schedule, and see the competitions that are available to enter, as well as the prizes.
Student Conference bookings
The booking forms for students will be sent out to your lecturers within the next week. If you haven't already confirmed with your lecturer whether you are planning on attending conference, then you will have to let them know as soon as possible, as we are limited to 300 guests this year, which will be on a first come first served basis. There are only 12 weeks left until conference, so make sure that you ensure you lecturer knows you want to go, so they can add you to the college / university group booking. Remember, you need to be a member to attend conference, so if you haven't already, ensure that you pay for membership and also register online to receive your login and password.
Industry Conference bookings
Industry members have to book on line. You can now book your room and tickets for conference directly on our website, in our "Conference 2018" section. As we have already said, tickets are limited to 300 this year, which is both students and industry members, so ensure you book early to avoid disappointment.
Introducing the "Conference T-Shirt"
We have also been discussing some new ideas for conference. These include activities that you do during the weekend. It was agreed that all delegates that attend conference will receive an "ABST T-shirt" which will be given to you when you arrive, so that you can where it during the weekend. We will be posting some designs for you all to vote on soon, which will be on Facebook and Twitter. The above are just some ideas to start with, but if you have any suggestion, then let us know and we will look into them. The design that receives the most votes will be printed, and you will then be given your very own ABST T-Shirt to keep as a memento of the weekend.
Facebook Frames - they're back!
Last year, we developed some Facebook frames which were available for you to use for conference. We have to admit that not many of you used the frames we created, however they have been really popular in industry with lots of bakers on facebook using them for their profile pictures. This year, we have been developing some new frames, which you can use both before, during and after conference. Some of them are available now. Many of them will be themed for this years "Zombie Apocalypse". We are therefore asking you guys to create your own frames, which we will then make into digital versions and can be used during conference and so on. To get involved and start designing your frame, simply draw it on a piece of paper and take a picture. Send it to us via Facebook or twitter and we will the look at creating the top three voted for by you. We will keep you updated on the closing date for this via our facebook page. An example of one frame that we have already made and is available right now for you to download and is at the top of this blog.
Membership - Important information
We have received feedback from members that they are confused by the membership process for the ABST. We hope to clear this up. Once you have paid for your membership, you will receive an email from PayPal as a receipt. As soon as the Payment has gone through on PayPal, you are then transferred to a new page where you need to enter your information to register for a password. This is very important that you do this. If however, you have not completed this form, all is not lost.
If you missed out on completing the form after paying, to ensure that you receive all information regarding the ABST, you need to register online. When you go to our website, click on the "log in / register button". You can then register your name, email and create a password. Once approved, you will then be able to access the members only sections of our website.
We also confirmed today, that membership badges will be sent to college lecturers to be given to members that have paid membership. These are currently being ordered, so we would expect lecturers to receive them over the next few weeks. You need to show your lecturer your receipt or proof of membership in order to receive your badge. For those of you that have become members since March, you can also show your certificate of membership to lecturers which you could download after payment.
Don't forget, we always look forward to hearing about what you have been up to, including any fundraising events or visits into industry. Maybe someone from industry has been visiting you college or university? Let us know, and we will ensure all members know about all the great work you have been up to!
With conference not far away now, we have started to have some enquiries about competitions, costs and how to book tickets, which is great to hear as many of you have said how excited you are for the day to arrive. We thought that this would be a good opportunity to update you on where we are in the planning process, and how long it will be before you can see the competition schedule and start to book your places!
As always, our competition secretary Graham Duckworth has been working really hard to confirm sponsors for each category, as well as confirming the prizes. Although the schedule is still being updated as sponsors come in, the final version of the schedule needs to be reviewed and accepted by the ABST council. The meeting is set for next weekend (17th March 2018) and you can expect to see the final version available on our website to download soon after that. We will of course let you know via social media when its ready, so keep an eye on twitter and facebook.
Conference 2018 Prices
We don't expect the cost of Conference 2018 to increase significantly compared to last years conference, so expect the final costs to be around £160 per student, which includes accommodation, food, entry to ABST events over the weekend and of course entry to Alton Towers on the Sunday of conference. However, this needs to be reviewed and accepted by the ABST council, so we will be able to confirm the final costs for students and trainees after this meeting (17th March 2018). Please remember that if you are a student or trainee, you need to book conference with your lecturer. Tickets that are available online are only for industry members to book.
Conference 2019 Themes
We have been asking members to suggest ideas for the theme for next years conference. We currently have a poll on both Facebook and twitter, which will end tomorrow, so ensure that you have your say and vote. The top three will go through to be voted on at this years conference.
Conference 2018 Theme - Zombie Apocalypse
Remember that this years conference is Zombie Apocalypse theme, so fancy dress on Friday night will be based on this. Start to think about fancy dress and any props you want to bring along with you. It doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg, so why not get creative and make your costume from some old clothes!
Lob the Cob
How have you been getting on with your practise for Lob the Cob? Never heard of it? Where have you been? To see what its all about, then look at last years highlights. Click here to see the video on facebook. Remember that all colleges that want to take part in the final must hold semi finals at college. The best male and female lob goes through to the final at conference, with the chance to win £50 each.
If you haven't been to conference before, and want to know a bit more about what to expect, then ensure that you visit our conference page! Its full of useful information about conference and the venue, which is at Alton Towers Hotel. Click here to find out more information.
You should have all the information you need by the end of March, so keep an eye on the facebook and twitter pages for more announcements! Don't forget, in order to attend conference and enter competitions, you need to be a member. To become a member click here.
Mairéad McCabe of DIT gives us her insights on how the baking society is pulling together to raise funds
So a few of you have been asking how you can raise funds for ABST events such as conference 2018. Heres how Dublin college have been using ingredients sponsored by O'Brien ingredients in Ireland. Making the most of opportunities such as Halloween, Christmas, Easter and other events can really boost your fundraising and help everyone involved to reduce the cost of events, meaning you have some extra money in your pocket! So to read more about how Dublin used Halloween to raise 300 euros, Mairéad McCabe of the Dublin Baking Society explains further
Bakery students from around the UK and Ireland sharing their experiences