“Everything is ready! We could start the event tomorrow!” Mauro Cattaneo, Deputy Coordinator of Spring Agora Bergamo, and his team can’t wait the event to begin. “We spend now a lot of time on little details which show the full picture: a real artwork!” You have a great chance to see the miracle of Bergamo with your own eyes, since up to 1300 AEGEE members can take part. With this amount of people the event would become the biggest Agora in AEGEE’s history! So: mark the date 18 to 22 May 2016 in your calendar, check the interview with some of the main organisers and get infected by their great spirit!
GT: Do you know how many days are still till the Agora opens?
Serena Sambataro, Incoming Responsible: Indeed we do! There are less then 100 days left. How we know it? Because we took lots of fun pictures for the -100 days. Probably everyone has already seen them on our Facebook page!
GT: When do the applications open?
Serena Sambataro: The applications open on 1st of March. We are waiting for tons of participants and we will be happy to welcome you all! Remember that we have room for up to 1300 participants!
GT: Which are the main things that still need to be finalized in the next three months?
Mauro Cattaneo, Deputy Coordinator: Everything is ready! We could start the event tomorrow but, because we want to provide a very high standard event, we are now spending a lot of time to define every single detail, from transports, to high quality meals, from amazing parties to collateral events. Little details which — all together — will show the full picture: a real artwork!
GT: Do you and your team members still get enough sleep?
Raffaele Pirozzi, HR Responsible: Yes, we do. We are working hard, but we aren’t worried about not sleeping — also because we know that AEGEEans never sleep!
GT: How big is your organizing team? And how is the atmosphere in your team?
Raffaele Pirozzi: We are already more than 40 people working full-time in different fields, cooperating in synergy. We are really motivated and help each other to reach all the goals we set. The number of people that are working on the Agora is growing day by day, also thanks to the cooperation with others institutions such as the University of Bergamo. Of course we will also need the help of all the AEGEEans that would like to take part to this Agora as organizer!
GT: How can people apply as helper?
Raffaele Pirozzi: We would like to have not only participants from all over Europe but also helpers, because we want to give the possibility to everyone to stay for one time on the other side, to see how to run an Agora. We hope that this experience could encourage others antennae to host an Agora in the next years. If you are interested, the applications are already open and you have time until the 11th of March!
GT: You call it the Agora of the 1000. The record is 1150 participants. You think it’s realistic to break it?
Michele Gambarini, Responsible for Logistics: We believe it can happen, and this is for many reasons: Close to the place which hosts the Agora, there is the airport “Milan Bergamo — Orio al Serio”, one of the most important hub of Ryanair in Europe; we are just 30 minutes by car or 50 minutes by train from Milan. It means that it is very easy for the people who will come by train or that will land either in Milan Linate or Milan Malpensa. We are also working hard with funny and engaging communication initiatives in order to attract as many people as possible; and last but not least, Bergamo is an incredibly beautiful city and this might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit it!
GT: Your team has indeed a lot of creative PR ideas. How do you develop them?
Silvia Cannarozzi, PR and Special Activities: Our PR team is made by passionate people that also work as professionals in the communication field. We try to push the borders of our creativity to find the best way to deliver the message. We also do a lot of research on successful and viral campaigns to get inspired by others’ work.
GT: Which PR ideas got the best feedback so far?
Silvia Cannarozzi: We get the best feedback when we post pictures of the organizers behind the scenes. We are trying to get the people involved in every single step of the preparation of this big event. In this way they are aware of all the efforts we are doing and they can support us from their city with their enthusiasm.
GT: Which part of the Agora arrangements so far makes you most proud or happy?
Mauro Cattaneo: Sorry for sounding too proud, but we are very happy literally about everything. For sure though, the thing that makes us proud the most is all the people from our antenna and the deep collaboration that we are having with the board! AEGEE-Bergamo and the local youth responded so well to this huge challenge and the Agora core team we composed is amazing. Some of us have been in AEGEE for years, others just for a few months and other joined just for the Agora, getting in love with the project and what AEGEE represents!
GT: Which organisational part gave you the biggest headache?
Mauro Cattaneo: We would lie if we said that something has been easier or harder. We are having almost daily meetings within the core team and we continuously meet possible partners on weekly basis. It doesn’t matter how big is the headache, if it will give birth to an even bigger success!
GT: What about logistics? Will there be short distances between accommodation, plenary and parties?
Michele Gambarini: We are not worried about the distances between these three places. They are just 5 to 15 min distant from each other by bus. We will have a good fleet of buses to guarantee faster and comfortable transport for everybody. The logistics team is working hard to give the best to all participants.
GT: Are there any spectacular venues for the opening and the parties?
Andrea Visinoni, IT & Social Program Responsible: We have great and big venues for the parties and a super-great venue for the opening, soon you will have more information about it… just trust me that it’s going to be simply awesome!
GT: Can you reveal just a little bit more?
Tiffany Pesenti, PR Responsible: You will have the great opportunity to enter one the most beautiful and important buildings of Bergamo: the Donizetti Theater, created in honour of the famous classical music composer, who brought his works from Bergamo all over the world. Now, it is used for very important art performances, and the municipal authorities will give us this majestic place to host our opening ceremony!
GT: Bergamo is a beautiful city. Should the participants bring more time to visit it?
Tiffany Pesenti: We hope so! Bergamo is full of little treasures with big historical content, and it’s ready to welcome all participants! The aforementioned Donizetti Theater is placed in the Lower city: the modern centre, created in 1914, as an urban organism is taking the place of the ancient Fair of Bergamo. From there, you can admire the suggestive panorama of the hill that hosts the Upper City’s profile. Our desire is that people will visit the Upper City too. It was built on a hill and it’s the old city, the real core of Bergamo, with pre-Roman origins, which was heavily modified in the 16th century with the building of the famous Venetian Walls, candidate as Unesco world heritage site.
GT: Which pre-events or post-events do you know of? And will your antenna make one, too?
Mauro Cattaneo: Some of our neighbourhood antennae are organizing amazing events: AEGEE-Brescia, AEGEE-Firenze, AEGEE-Genova, AEGEE-Milano and AEGEE-Verona. So, if you want to experience the Italian dream even before the Agora, we can suggest you to apply to their events! You’ll enjoy the Italian lifestyle and you’ll fall in love with our country… If you are not already! We are working on some post event, but arrangements and licencing are still in progress, so we can’t tell you much more at the moment.
GT: What will be the party topics?
Andrea Visinoni: If we spoil it now we will ruin the surprise. All we can say so far is that we expect a lot from you, get ready to impress us… Stay tuned for the party topics!
GT: Anything else you would like to add?
Mauro Cattaneo: We are waiting for all of you here in Bergamo. We want to dare to host the biggest Agora ever! So, don’t miss the opportunity, check our website to find out all the ways that you can arrive in Bergamo and follow our Agora Facebook page to keep up to date!