Chema Rueda, on the challenge of ZarAgora

In a few months members of AEGEE will gather in Spain. More specifically this autumn the Agora will be organised in Zaragoza and even though it is summer time then there is no doubt that AEGEE-Zaragoza is planning an event that 800 people will enjoy! This is an interview with the main organiser Chem Rueda on the challenges of organising this event.

In which stage are you in terms of organising Agora Zaragoza?

It is hard to say where we are right now. We’re doing a lot of things at the same time: looking for grants, other fundraising, meetings with city hall to prepare the opening ceremony and having meetings with the university etc. When you organize something like this, it is hard to have something 100% finished before the lasts few weeks, because you often need to go back and change some decisions you made before, or you run into unexpected problems and you need to come up with a new solution. Right now we are working hard to get some more money, because at the moment we can only work with the fees of the participants. The financial crisis seems to make fundraising or getting grants harder. The money is very limited, and organizing a large event like an Agora with only 50 euros per participant is a big challenge.

What is the next step in the organisation? What are you working on at the moment?

At this moment, everything (companies, the city hall, the university etc.) are ‘closed for holidays’, and some organizers are enjoying their SU’s (or they are just returning), so right know we are just trying to go over what we have done already and what we still have to do in september. Plus we are keeping a close eye on the number of applications.

How many people can attend ZarAgora? 

The maximum number of participants we can have is 800.

Some of the members of AEGEE-Zaragoza

Recently you issued an Open Call for helpers for the Agora. How was it recieved? Have you gotten many applications?

Yes, a few days ago, we sent an open call to find helpers for the Agora. At the moment we have received more than 40 applications, but half of them are from brandnew members of AEGEE-Zaragoza that just came back from their first SU. We are still waiting for more applications and we expect that most of them will be sent at the last moment, as usual.

We also know you are collecting information on Pre-Events. Can you tell us whether there is any news on them? Will there be many things going on in the week before Agora Zaragoza?

I’ve already been contacting all antennae that I heard were thinking about the organisation of a pre-event. Right now, we have the confirmation of two or maybe three pre-events. They will be announced on our Facebook page (like it to stay updated). We invite all people to apply for these pre-events because we know that they are going to be amazing!

So far the pre-event in Barcelona is already annonuced and already about 200 people applied for the Agora and with two more weeks left for applications it will be interesting to see not only how the organisation of the event continues, but also how many people are eager to go to Zaragoza this autumn!

Written by Patricia Anthony, AEGEE-Koebenhavn