Meet your hosts – Forge TV

Number One Students’ Union

Sheffield SU holds annual award ceremonies with attendees of 400+, which Forge TV live stream: we know how to put on a good show.

Sheffield Students’ Union is the number one Students’ Union in the country, a professional conference venue and home to Forge Media. It’s a big SU with shops, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and a food outlet dedicated entirely to salad. Whatever your dietary requirement, you’re covered.

The venue hosts a wide range of events and conferences with audiences from 2 to 20,000, such as: Sheffield Pride, Tramlines Festival, Off The Shelf Festival, Festival of the Mind, The European Glass Conference, UKCISA Annual Conference 2016, World of Superheroes Comic Convention and the NUS National Conference.

Free food, every day!

No wasting time looking for overpriced diners!

Friday will see a BBQ take place completely free of charge in the SU Beer Garden. It’s where the annual (and fantastic) Sheffield Students’ Union Beer and Cider Festival is held.

On Saturday there’ll be a free buffet lunch and a three course meal in the evening at the awards (with free wine for the table, of course), and on Sunday we’ll provide vouchers to be used at our SU Outlets (which are really, really good).

Pyrotechnics: an awards night to remember!

We don’t want to reveal too much but our awards venue is equipped for pyro, star lights, draping, performances, projection and basically everything you need to put on an amazing awards ceremony.

And after the awards you’ll all have guestlist entry to Pop Tarts, voted the best student night out in the UK. It’s set to fill to capacity, but we’ve managed to get you all in!

You can take a tour of some of our larger venue spaces here.

Accommodation throughout the city

Choice and value

Sheffield has over 2,000 hotel rooms in the city centre alone. We’re partnering with the University of Sheffield to offer you an online booking service that gives you not only discount accommodation but multiple options throughout the city.

And if hotels aren’t your thing, Sheffield has over 100 rentals on Airbnb within walking distance of the SU.

Presents for everyone

We’re working with Sheffield SU’s Sponsorship & Advertising team to provide an amazing welcome pack for all delegates.

Our delegates will get reduced rates with taxis, hotels, East Midlands Trains and other organisations. This isn’t a pipedream, we already have it agreed.

We’re aiming to have prize draws for tech and gadgets throughout the weekend, and we’re already in contact with equipment manufacturers to give talks/demos at the conference. Sheffield is a city full of media prowess, so we’ll have no problem getting great demos.

Promoting the conference

Sheffield Students’ Union has a fantastic marketing department who have already agreed to work with us through the host process in order to reach as many students as possible.

We also plan to keep the NaSTA Committee Forum up to date with the process of the conference planning so everyone is kept in the loop from the start.

As we get closer to key dates, such as the release of tickets and the video submissions period, we will create short promo videos to get everyone in the mood, and use these videos to promote the important dates and timings.

Forge’s Technical Abilities

We pride ourselves on our high quality live productions. Recently we have had a huge £15,000 investment in equipment from the SU, so it’s safe to say the live stream will be in good hands.

With our sister groups Forge Radio and Forge Press, we plan on building a team of around 25 people to manage the livestream of the awards ceremony.

We’ll also be working alongside Sheffield SU’s Technical Services Committee, who are already well versed in running big events with thousands of attendees. With venue and crew confirmed, we know for sure the awards will be a night to remember!

Awards and Submissions

We think the awards categories are ace. We’re keeping them the same.

We’ll open submissions as early as possible (hopefully shortly after Christmas), and we’re hoping to make the submissions process more straight forward and easier for everyone!

We’ll be doing lots of promotion on social media during the submissions process so all stations know what to do.


If you fancy keeping up to date with developments around the NaSTA 2018 Conference and Awards weekend you can sign up to the newsletter.

Tom Mason – Your Host Officer


For the past year Tom has been the Station Manager of Forge TV, and has played a key role in increasing both the quality of Forge’s output, and also the viewership it receives for each of its uploads. As Station Manager, Tom regularly meets with SU staff and has become a well known name on campus. His strong links to Students’ Union departments such as Marketing, Technical Services and the Events Coordinators gives him the edge as the head of the Forge TV host team.


Tom’s biggest passion is student media. Having been a member of the Forge TV committee for 3 years, he’s played a huge part in the growth of the station. Despite having many contact hours for his Mathematics degree, Tom uses his spare time planning shoots and editing videos.


In 2015, Tom worked as one of the producers for Freshers TV when Forge were hosts. For this role Tom helped come up with the plan for the full stream, including live link ups to each of the stations. Tom was in close contact with many stations across the country and effective communication was kept throughout the process.

Next Steps

At the end of this academic year, Tom will be stepping down from his duties of Station Manager and instead would be focusing his attention on the NaSTA conference. He’ll be utilizing all of the contacts and skills he’s picked up during the past year to create a successful NaSTA Conference.

FAQ & Answers

How many people can you provide accommodation for, and where would you accommodate them?

Sheffield has 2,000 hotel rooms just in the City Centre (where our Conference will be located—we are not a campus University). For people who prefer Airbnb, there are over 100 rentals on Airbnb within walking distance of Sheffield Students’ Union with an average price of £45 per night (although some rooms are as low as £14).

We’ve already agreed with the University of Sheffield’s Accommodation & Commercial Services (ACS) that we will partner with them and Marketing Shef eld to manage accommodation. They have agreed to provide us with an online portal for delegates to manage their hotel bookings—this will provide them not only with a discount but also the opportunity to choose different accommodation based on their preferences (and party sizes). They also offer discounts on East Midlands Trains and have agreed to extend this offer to delegates and guests of the conference. ACS have provided us with the following information:

“Currently Shef eld has almost 3,000 hotel rooms, 2,000 of which are in the city centre.

We will manage bookings for you through the city’s accommodation booking service. That way we can ensure that all of the selected establishments in the city are working together to accommodate your event and that delegates receive as much information as possible about the city. We will work closely with you on this offering as much (or as little!) assistance as you require.

We are best placed to secure bedrooms across the city andnegotiatebestratesonyourbehalf. Depending on how you usually handle accommodation bookings we can offer delegates a range of accommodation to suit all budgets and make all reservations for you.

We have an online booking system for delegates wishing to book their hotels individually with us where we deal with all con rmations and can also book train travel as part of the package. We will block book your HQ accommodation on your behalf in order to secure the best rates for your staff.”

Below is a tariff guide for some of the larger Shef eld hotels. Note: the price of rooms can be shared amongst parties of delegates.



Total No. of Rooms

Star Rating

Price Bracket (based on rates)

Cutlers’ Hotel



Average £50

Premier Travel Inn City Centre



Average £50 and £70

Premier Travel Inn St Mary’s Gate



Average £50 and £70

Travel Lodge



Average £50 and £70




Average £50 and £70

Jurys Inn



Average £70 and £100

Shef eld Met



Average £70 and £100

Mecure St Paul’s



Average £100 and £120

Novotel Shef eld Centre



Average £100 and £120

Can you con rm that accommodation will be available on the weekend?

As our accommodation offering is hotel-based and there is such a substantial number of rooms available, we believe accommodation will be available for everyone that requires it

How much would you estimate the ticket cost to be?

Based on our initial budgeting for the event, we are planning on charging £80 for a conference ticket. We will not offer accommodation tickets and instead will give delegates access to the online portal to book their own preferred accommodation.

How many awards only tickets can you provide?

There will be 40 awards only tickets. We also have guest list space for 20.

Where will you be hosting your awards night, and can you definitely book that location?

The Octagon Centre, a professional multi purpose venue, where awards ceremonies regularly take place. ItisdirectlyconnectedtothemainShef eld Students’ Union building (where the rest of our conference will take place).

The Octagon Centre has already been provisionally held for the 14th April, with an agreed three course meal included.

How easy is it to travel to your intended conference location?

Very! Forge TV are located in Shef eld, South Yorkshire, a vibrant and friendly city central in the UK with excellent transport links.

One of Europe’s greenest cities, Shef eld lies on the M1, has a large main train station with easy links to areas across the UK, as well as an interchange at the Meadowhall shopping centre, and both Megabus and National Express stop here.

There is an extensive tram network, the Supertram, and frequent local bus services. We also are able to provide discounts on East Midlands Trains (which services Shef eld Station) to delegates and conference attendees.

The Students’ Union is located in Shef eld City Centre, just 25 minutes walk from the station (and even closer to most of the hotels our delegates will stay in).

Trams from the Station are frequent, running approximately every 10–20 minutes, taking around 10–15 minutes, and costing less than £2.
The number 120 bus service stops every 5–10 minutes and follows a similar route to the trams, going from the Shef eld Interchange (across the road from the station) through the city centre and on to the Students’ Union, taking approximately 15–20 minutes.

A single student bus ticket is just £1 across both main operators, First and Stagecoach, which will take you as far as the Peak District for excellent photographic opportunities.

Our partnership with ACS and Marketing Shef eld includes a partnership with East Midlands Trains, offering discounted rail travel on all EMT routes. This is especially popular for delegates travelling up from London St Pancras with standard and rst class return options available. This can be booked at the same time as accommodation and tickets are posted out direct to the delegate.

How will you be live streaming the awards night?

We want this year’s awards ceremony to be a night to remember, and Forge are definitely the right people for the job! We have a lot of experience with livestream awards ceremonies, such as the Students’ Union Sports Awards (which is the same venue as we plan the NaSTA awards to be in).

With our recent £15,000 investment in equipment from the SU, we’ve got plenty of tech to put on a good show. We’ll be broadcasting in full HD from the Octagon Centre’s ready made projection box, and we’ll be using a set of wireless broadcast camera systems throughout the room, to make the awards a more personal experience.

The awards will be streamed live to both Facebook and YouTube and we will be doing plenty of promotion in the run up to the night, so you will all know where
to go to watch the event.

Do you have a strong team of people within your station to organise and run the event?

Forge TV is made up of a 15 strong committee and an entire member base of over 50 members. We also work alongside our friends at Forge Radio and Forge Press, making up an entire Forge Media team of over 300 members. This includes a dedicated Forge Tech team of around 15 people who know exactly what to do to run an event.

Another group we’ll be working closely with is Shef eld SU’s Technical Services Committee, who are in charge of all technical endeavours in the Students’ Union. They’re a super awesome team of students who run the tech at all SU club nights, awards ceremonies and stage shows. They’ve had lots of experience running events and will play a huge part in the NaSTA Awards and Conference.

Shef eld Students’ Union has over 150 members of staff, including a full time Events Team, Marketing Department, Advertising & Sponsorship Team, Technical Services, Entertainments Department and Catering Team who we’ll be working with to produce this conference. We also have our own staff member dedicated to supporting us, the Media & Performance Coordinator, who will work with us to keep the project on track.

What ideas do you have for potential sponsorship, including sponsorship ideas for welcome packs?

We have already started conversation with the Students’ Union’s Advertising & Sponsorship team on partnerships and potential sponsorship. The Head of Advertising and Sponsorship has stated that:

“For the event we will use existing and new partners to create an attractive welcome pack containing relevant products, information and offers all showcasing Shef eld, regional and national organisations. Competitions will add to the event with all delegates entered into prize draws for tech and gadgets. Partnerships will be utilised further with taxi partners providing exclusive rates for all delegates along with hotels and others organisations offering NASTA tariffs. We will work with local taxi rm City Taxis to guarantee rates from accommodation to the Students’ Union. For the welcome packs we can look into lanyards, pens, paper pads, relevant merchandise and tote bags.”

Shef eld is a thriving Creative & Digital Industries hub with almost 25,000 people working across a mixture of long-standing companies and ambitious high-growth start-ups across a range of purpose-built facilities such as Electric Works and the Workstation. As well as large national companies, we will make links with local organisations such as Warp Films, Shef eld Doc/ Fest, Shef eld Workstation, CompoZanimA Limited, Games Faction, SON (Studio of the North), 104 Films, Cinema For All, Film Hub North, Aiir, Community Media Association, Sumo Games, Shef eld Live, BBC Shef eld and Community Media Solutions to create meaningful partnerships and potential sponsorship for the conference.

What promotional ideas do you have to publicise the event?

As well as involving our local Shef eld community, we want to connect with the larger NaSTA one and reallyreachouttoourfellowTVstations. Topublicise the event we will create a structured marketing plan with a long lead time for the run up to the event. We’ll work closely with Shef eld Students’ Union’s Events, Marketing and Advertising and Sponsorship teams to create this.

We will be very excited to win this bid and host the 2018 Conference and Awards and will definitely want to let everyone know about it! In the first instance we will:

  • Utilise social media and email to create a contact network with other stations
  • Design and create posters, images and a strong recognisable brand for the event
  • Create teaser and hype videos
  • Work with NaSTA’s marketing channels and newsletters to gain a larger reach out
  • Create Snapchat filters
  • Get interviews with exciting speakers, judges and Sheffield locals
  • Announce online and via email when we have confirmed partnership, prizes and other exciting things, to get people excited about the additional things we will have on offer.

How do you intend to attract judges and speakers to your conference?

Shef eld is renowned for its creative industries and with organisations such as Doc/Fest, Festival of the Mind, SHAFF, Warp Films, Year of Making, Off the Shelf and Tramlines all on our doorstep, we won’t need to look far to nd interesting and accomplished speakers and judges.

As well as our own bank of Forge Media alumni, The University of Shef eld has many alumni and we will work closely with the Alumni Team and Journalism Department to secure people that are perhaps a bit more further a eld now to offer a diverse range of presenters and judges.

Financially, we have budget to pay travel and expenses for speakers and host fees.

Where would you hold the workshops and conference sessions?

Our entire conference takes place in Shef eld Students’ Union. The Awards will take place next door in the Octagon Centre, a professional conference and events venue. We have pre-booked many spaces and venues in the Students’ Union to accommodate workshops and keynote talks. All rooms come with free wifi, projector and AV and are close to each other. For those who might require it, all rooms are accessible via lift. We have booked:

Room type

Theatre capacity

3 x Small Meeting Room


4 x Medium Meeting Room


1 x Large Meeting Room


2 x Small Multipurpose Venue Room


1 x Med. Multipurpose Venue Room


1 x Large Multipurpose Venue Room


1 x Large Auditorium


What are your initial ideas for marketing the Conference and Awards Weekend?

Our ideas for marketing the conference are very much in line with our publicity plan. We will work with the Sheffield Students’ Union Marketing, Events and Advertising & Sponsorship teams to create a cohesive, structured and financially viable marketing and publicity plan. We will structure it towards the best way to reach out to Student TV stations around the United Kingdom and get them excited about what we will have on offer.

We will create an announcement timeline to drip feed information about the Conference and Awards Weekend, to ensure that hype is continual and people are kept interested throughout the run up. We will secure interviews with interesting speakers and produce hype videos.

We will connect with local and national organisations to create interesting content and secure prizes and sponsorship and we will share this with NaSTA members.

We will also reach out to newer student television stations to specifically invite them and let them know about the conference and the opportunities it offers them. We could also reach out to NaSTA alumni and get quotes from them about what they got out of the conference and how their experience helps them now in their future career. See question 11 for more details.