That's a wrap! 2023 Business Studies Student Convention at Disneyland® Paris recap
13 Feb 2023, 12:15
by Rachel Lewis
It was a sight to behold as the humungous cinema at Gaumont Disney Village filled with business studies students & tutors ready to be wowed by live talks from real industry experts at the Voyager School Travel Business Studies Student Convention at Disneyland® Paris.
Read on to hear all about this year’s student conventions and what you can expect on your next educational visit to Disneyland Paris.
- Date: 31 Jan – 3 Feb 2023
- Location: Disneyland® Paris, France
- Accommodation: Disney's Hotel Cheyenne
- Transport: Coach & Eurotunnel
- Learning objectives: Support the Business studies curriculum
Who went on the trip?
This year saw both Business Studies and Travel & Tourism conventions sell out at the Gaumont Disney Village. Over 600 students from colleges and high schools from across the UK took the 4-day/3-night trip option which included a subject focussed convention with industry experts, exclusive and topical learning resources and a two-day park pass, with some groups also including an excursion into Paris.
What did students learn?
The Business Studies convention kicked off the day with a fascinating insight into Walt Disney Company marketing from Natalie Sykes and Emilia-Jade Gibson. We learned how Disney works across different media and partnership channels to reach different audiences and how they focus on user experience to design their digital marketing.
Krisi Smith, founder of Bird & Blend Tea Co., shared her experience of setting up her hugely successful business, how she used crowdfunding to get investment to help it grow and some of the challenges she and her co-founder faced along the way.
We were also given a view into Eurotunnel from Tracy Bayliss and Deborah Elliott focussing on how they are using customer feedback to develop their business strategy including an exciting new rebrand to communicate their offering more clearly.
The range of speakers and topics gave students really broad, real life experiences of working in industry and some of the challenges and celebrations which may be expected. The honesty and insight offered from these real industry players offered an invaluable opportunity for learning in business.
What was different this time?
This year were able to split our Business Studies and Travel & Tourism conventions into subject-specific events. We chose speakers and topics tailored to each group to ensure students were offered relevant and valuable content. We included Krisi this year as a great example of a successful entrepreneur for our Business Studies students. Students really enjoyed the personal stories and hearing career journeys that our speakers shared.
In collaboration with a Business Studies tutor, we included a new in-resort student exercise this year. This assignment tasks students with undertaking their own PESTLE analysis while in the park, using photos to illustrate their responses to activities, adding a further educational element to the trip.
We moved the convention to January, which worked well in the school calendar, with one parent commenting: “I feel the timing was perfect; a break after the stress of the mocks and before the stress of GCSEs.” This time of year also meant that the parks were quiet and as queue times were short, students were able to spend more time on rides and enjoying the whole Disneyland experience.
Also new for us was the addition of the epic Avengers Campus in the Walt Disney Studios Park. We wandered among Black Panther, Spider-Man and their Avenger friends and foes before taking on the exhilarating Avengers Assemble: Flight Force. Not to be missed (or taken lightly!). Once the sun had set, the sky above the campus was lit up with pyrotechnic wonders and 500 drones for the Avengers: Power the Night show. Along with the 30th Anniversary light show, we were spoilt for evening entertainment.
Were there any challenges?
The biggest challenge this year were workers’ strikes announced on both sides of the channel on our travel days. To pre-empt issues at the ferry ports on the journey to Paris, our tour co-ordination team worked tirelessly to secure alternative travel arrangements via Eurotunnel.
When is the next student convention at Disneyland Paris?
The Business Studies and Travel & Tourism conventions will take place on the same date. It's a winning formula which means that students of both subjects can travel together and spread transport costs across a bigger group.
Business Studies Student Convention 2024
30 January–2 February 2024
Travel & Tourism Student Convention 2024
30 January–2 February 2024
Visit Voyager School Travel to find out more about our student conventions and school and college group trips.