Firstly, we would like to thank everyone who attended conference this year! We are sure that you will all agree it was a great conference, enjoyed by all and we hope that everyone enjoyed themselves, learnt something new about baking and made some new friends. We also wanted to take the opportunity to look back at last weekend and highlight some of the great things that went on. So if you didn't attend this year, and are thinking of coming next time you can see what it is all about!
#HireMe Careers Fair
It was great to see both industry and bakery students & trainees networking during the Friday afternoon for our #HireMe activity, where representatives from industry had the chance to inspire and encourage bakery students and trainees to pursue careers within baking, as well as increasing their skills and knowledge. We had some great feedback from students and the baking industry saying how it was very useful to network and share knowledge with each other.
Zombie Gingerbread Man Competition
We also held our new competition on the Friday afternoon where students & trainees had to decorate their own #ZombieGingerbread man. These were judged just before our AGM by our President Sara Autton and President Elect Jimmy Griffin. Well done to Stephanie Jones for winning!
#ZombieApocalypse themed Friday evening
As always, our Friday night was a themed evening which was voted on at the previous years conference. This year it was Zombie Apocalypse and everyone dressed up as either zombies or zombie hunters. There was some great creation involved in some of the costumes, and to see more see the below video! Congratulations to our winners who won £50 each for best fancy dress.
Saturday at conference is all about competitions! We were overwhelmed with some of the entries this year. The skills used to produce these products were of a very high standard. While our student and trainee members were out making use of the water park ad crazy golf, our judges were hard at work marking all of your entries. Here's a sneak peak of what happened behind closed doors on the Saturday morning as well as some of the pictures of entries on the day!
Every year we hold our #LobTheCob final at conference. This took place on Saturday afternoon with University College Birmingham, London Southbank University, Limerick College, Tameside College and Dublin Institute of Technology all competing to be crowned #LobTheCob Champion 2018. Congratulations to Tameside and Limerick for winning!
Saturday Evening - Black Tie Awards Ceremony
On Saturday evening we hold our Black Tie awards ceremony where it is the chance for everyone to celebrate the hard work put into competitions, and receive their awards on stage. This year we also awarded two long serving members an honorary life award which was Colin Lomax and Dawn Gemmell. Both have served the ABST for many years and the awards were very well deserved.
The ABST aims to support bakery students and trainees during their training, by offering opportunities to network with industry and encourage the skills needed across the baking industry. We would like to thank everyone that attended conference this year, and we look forward to welcoming you all to conference 2019 next year. Don't forget in the mean time all of the other opportunities that are available, such as our #HireMe scheme. We will update you via our website and social media throughout the year with any opportunities, so like and follow us to stay updated!
As some of you may be aware, our competition secretary recently posted on our group page regarding Live competitions. For those of you that have not entered a Live competition before, here is a bit of an overview of what they are all about, and we also wanted to get rid of some of the myths surrounding any thing you may have heard before.
As well as the competitions that are in the main judging room, where you would produce products at college or university and then bring them along, we also have Live competitions which takes place during the Saturday morning. Below is a bit more information about them:
Live Competitions available
The time allowed for each competition is different, so you would need to check the competition for further details regarding this. The prize money for all of these competitions is as follows:
Now we have heard some rumours going around about Live competitions, which we wanted to clarify here:
If I enter a live competition I wont be able to take part or watch Lob the Cob...
This is not true. Live competitions start at 09:30am in the morning. The longest Live competition lasts 2 hours 30 minutes so would be finished at 12pm. Lob the Cob does not start until 12:30pm so that is plenty of time for you to get changed and prepare yourselves for any cob lobbing or spectating!
I can enter more than one Live competition...
Unfortunately, this is not possible, as all of the Live competitions take place at the same time. Based on this, you can only enter one Live competition
Live video will put me off doing this...
From speaking with students previously, we have found that actually the Live video broadcasting via Facebook doesn’t actually put students off. We only have one person walking around the room recording Live, and they go around every student. We aren’t actually recording you, and focusing more on your work and the products you are producing. Also, you have the benefit of being able to watch yourself back on the live stream after. Your friends and family can watch you live on the day, and even give you some support through the facebook app.
Unlike the normal competitions, Live Competitions are testing your skills at conference, in a set time limit. One of competitions currently does not have any entries, which is the Victory Challenge Trophy - 6 Decorated biscuits / Gingerbread men. We think that their are lots of you coming to conference who could do this competition and be in with a very good chance of being in the top three. You have to be under 18 years old (16 or 17) on the day of judging in order to enter. If you are interested in entering this competition, you need to be quick. Speak to your lecturer and ask them to email our competition secretary Graham Duckworth to get your late entry in.
What did the zombie get an award for?
DEAD-ication! Shocking pun I know but we have your attention now, right?
This year the team have been busy designing props for the #ABSTConference2018 that
will make the nights more interactive and fun. With only a few days left until conference, we’re hoping you all have your zombie costumes ready for the #FancyDress night. If you don’t, fear no more! The team have created some masks for everyone to use, see above for the four varieties. They will be on the tables on the Friday night alongside the Instagram boards for you all to take lots of solo/group pictures! If you’re posting on social media i.e Instagram, Facebook etc, then do hashtag #ABSTConference2018 #ZombieApocolyse so everyone can see the efforts put in for the #FancyDress costume/creations, remember there will be prizes for both male and female zombies (£50).
Bear in mind that Alton Towers have families staying there too. The masks are somewhat intimidating and may scare the other guests who aren’t aware of the ABST conference theme. We ask kindly that you take that into consideration and stay around the conference area when in full costume.
We look forward to seeing all the zombies on Friday night! If anyone has any questions or concerns regarding the information stated above then comment below or contact email@example.com.
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is an important part of the Conference Weekend. This is a constitutional requirement and in reality, the Conference Weekend was built around this meeting, which, over the years, has grown into the event that you all know today. For those of you who are unsure what the AGM is all about, here is a quick summary of what goes on.
Leading up to conference
Prior to the Conference Weekend, reports from the members of the committee will be posted on the website and social media platforms. Please read the reports as they let you, as members, know what the Executive Committee has been up to over the last 12 months. Basically that are a summary of each area including competitions, membership, communication and treasury. There will also be the presidents report available. The reason why it is important that you read these reports, is that we will be asking you all to pass these as correct during the AGM. These reports are available on our website under AGM Reports 2018, or you can view them now by clicking here.
The Annual General Meeting (AGM)
The AGM gives you a chance to ask questions of the committee in relation to these reports. If you have any questions regarding anything in the reports, then the AGM is the place to ask. You will also receive notice of the minutes of the AGM held in 2017 and of the agenda for the 2018 AGM. Both the minutes and agenda can be accessed by clicking here.
The minutes from the 2017 AGM are basically a record of the meeting. These minutes will need to be passed at the 2018 AGM on Friday as a true and accurate record. To that end you should read the minutes prior to the AGM as the General Secretary will ask for a proposer and a seconder for the minutes and then a vote from the members. A majority vote means that the Minutes have been passed and the AGM can move on to the following agenda item.
On the Agenda you will also see that the reports from the committee require to be passed by the membership. The same process will take place as for the AGM Minutes. Finally you will see that the Agenda also lists nominated members that will form the committee for 2018-2019. These members have already had a proposer and a seconder for the position but they will only take office if you the members give them a majority vote. In essence, the AGM is an opportunity to have your say. The ABST is an organisation run by members for members so exercise your right on the 15th June. You can make a difference.
See you all at Alton Towers
We have an exciting mini competition to announce which will be taking place on Friday afternoon of conference. As you will already be aware by now, the theme of this years conference is Zombie Apocalypse. With this in mind, we thought it would be a great idea for you to show off your decorating skills, and each produce a zombie gingerbread man during the Friday afternoon. The idea is simple although as with any competition their are some rules as per below:
This is one of the many new activities planned for Friday afternoon at conference which you can take part in from when you arrive up until the AGM. We will be updating you on the other activities over the next few days, so keep an eye out for them!
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank both Greenhalgh's and Renshaw's for the support they have given in providing the Gingerbread men and the icings and decorations, as well as guidance and support on the day at conference.
If you are asking yourself what on earth Lob the Cob is, then you are in for a real treat! Lob the Cob, could be described as the baking industries equivalent to the world championships for shot put (according to Chris). Over the past 8 years when it was invented, there has been a steady increase in colleges competing in the finals, which are held at Conference on the Saturday afternoon.
The title of #LobTheCob Champion is one of the most sought after by all colleges. The winning male and female both receive a #LobTheCob themed trophy and £50 each. But arguably one of the best things about winning this competition, is the title of #LobTheCob Champion, and winning a place in the hall of fame as the best cob lobbing contestant of the year.
So now that you know a little bit about the competition, we are sure you are asking yourselves "how do I enter this amazing sporting challenge that will test me both mentally and physically?" Well that is a very good question, so read on.
In order to go through to the finals, you need to hold semi finals at your college or workplace. The semi finals are easy to hold, and you will need the following:
The rules for Lob the cob are simple.
We feel obliged to also issue some health and safety warnings prior to playing. Please ensure that you have your tutors permission prior to organising any semi finals. Ensure that the lobbing area is clear of people and personal belongings. This includes cars, people, phones, iPads and so on. Cobs can be dangerous when flying through the air, and we encourage you all to take the necessary safety precautions. Please also ensure that you clean up any bread crumbs that will inevitably occur during cob lobbing.
Once you have completed your Lob the Cob semi final, you will have a best male and best female, who will then go through to the final at conference. You need to let Chris know the names of these finalists and what college / uni you are from either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or preferably on facebook with some pictures of your lob the cob experience! Closing date for entries is Wednesday 13th June 2018 so start organising your semi finals now!
If you are still looking for inspiration, check out the #LobTheCob finals from last year! Stay safe, have fun and happy cob lobbing!
So now you know the meal options for Friday night, we thought you might like to know the food that will be served during the day on Saturday and then during our black tie dinner and awards ceremony on the Saturday evening.
Lunch on Saturday will be in the form of a meal voucher. These will be given to your lecturer to be handed out to students on the Friday night. All delegates should receive one meal voucher which will pay towards your lunch on the Saturday. you will be able to use these meal vouchers in any of the Alton Towers Hotel restaurants. Please ensure that you check the opening times of the restaurants, and you may need to book a space at busy times, which can be done at the restaurant or at reception. The options that you can choose from on the menu are as follows:
Hot food menu
Cold food menu
Saturday Evening Black Tie Meal
This is a sit down meal. The dress code is Back Tie, which means that gentlemen should wear dinner suits / suits and bow ties. Ladies should where appropriate clothing. The menu is fixed, and you will have confirmed when you booked your room with your college whether you required a vegetarian meal, or if you have any allergens:
Feta and Watermelon
Salted caramel cheesecake served with vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberry.
We hope that you find the above menus useful, and we are sure that you can appreciate that it is very difficult to please all delegates at conference when it comes to food options, but hopefully everyone will find something that they like!
Over the years we have learnt that one of the most important things about a great conference, is the food! Last year, we decided that we would provide all of your meals during conference, including lunchtime. So with this in mind, we thought you might like to know what is available in the cost of your conference ticket to choose from on the Friday lunchtime when you arrive, and on the night time during our Zombie Apocalypse themed evening. So without further ado, here it is!
Friday Lunchtime Menu
When you arrive at the conference centre, you will have already selected what you want to eat. The sandwiches that you have chosen will be available for you to collect in the conference centre.
Additional choices which may have an additional cost:
Friday Evening Buffet Menu
During our #ZombieApocolpyse themed evening we will be having a hot buffet. Below are the choices available:
Conference is just over 2 weeks away, and we wanted to let those of you that haven't been before know what to expect. For those of you that have been before, we still have some new things to do at conference as well.
Friday night of conference is our #FancyDress night, which this year has the theme of #ZombieApocolpyse. Although fancy dress is not mandatory, we do encourage it. As always, there will be prizes for both best male and female zombies or zombie hunters on the night, of £50 each, so it is well worth getting dressed up and join in the fun.
Please bear in mind however, that Alton Towers is a family orientated hotel. As such, Alton Towers have asked us to ensure that all members attending conference and dressing up as Zombies on the Friday night, do so responsibly. Zombies can be quite scary, especially for small children and some adults, so we have requested that this year, costumes are only to be worn in the conference area. Any face masks or prosthetics can only be worn at the fancy dress evening, and should not be worn when walking to or from your hotel room.
Other entertainment on the Friday night will be the photo booth with zombie themed props, disco and raffle and magicians. We are still in the process of confirming an "extreme arena" activity in the early evening. As soon as we have confirmed this, we will let you know, but it is basically an arena where teams or individuals compete against each other to hit as many targets as possible within a set time limit.
If anyone has any concerns regarding anything about the fancy dress or other entertainment then either comment below or email us on email@example.com We look forward to seeing all of you dressed up as zombies on the Friday night!
Bakery students from around the UK and Ireland sharing their experiences