What did the Copper Box, the Olympics and Wireless have in common?

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People. Without people, each of those events wouldn’t have been important. Imagine turning up to a concert and there’s only 2 other people there. The band would cancel the show. It would be a huge embarrassment for their reputation. At any other major event, in this case a concert, the organiser invites popular- reputable- bands, the sort that would turn out big crowds because turn-out is 90 percent of the whole action.

Why Turnout was especially important for the Copper Box Event?

At the Copper Box event in April, the pressure was on to get 6,000 people into the boxing arena. If there were empty seats, it was to going to be a disaster for us. So what? The most important thing was why? Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith, who were the two main parties running for mayor (Labour and Conservative, respectively) were going to turn up and hear about our pledges (for there to be a new Deputy Mayor for Citizenship and Integration and to make commitments to address other issues like housing), and in front of these 7,000 people, agree to make it happen if they became mayor.

With the help of the Turn-Out Captains (hence forth referred to as TC’s) and interested people around London, we managed to fill an arena with 7,000 people. With our excellent organisational skills, we had a delegate’s meeting (where organisations that are part of the local alliance meet each others) some months beforehand- and it was there that different and much smaller organisations pledged each to bring a certain number of people to the Copper Box. Thus we established our foundations for the event.

At City and Islington College, there weren’t many of us to bring, and so TCs were established. This meant that between us, we had to bring roughly 10 people each. However, some of us dug deeper into our connections – because this event was important to us, something we really cared about, we ended up bringing over twice that number. Turnout-Captains was then established- (yours truly) and I was in charge of making sure that the other TCs brought at least 10 people each. One thing that I made sure of were: names and numbers – without those the crowd was invisible.

The numbers were of course being for contact reasons only, (the Copper Box was a big place) and also for texting people the week before the event – just to confirm their attendance. This helped to weed out the “flakers”- those who say they’ll come and then don’t show – who also turn into ghosts for the week. Without flakers we have the perfect crowd- those who are definitely attending.

Through little steps like these amongst boroughs around London, we made sure our target of 6,000 people was met. In fact, an amazing 7,000 people turned up for the event, which just goes to show that little steps London-wide are very important. Due to the enormous public pressure of 7,000 witnesses, both Sadiq and Zac agreed to most of our pledges. Now that Sadiq has won, we are expecting him to keep to his promises- and if he tries to go back on it, 7,000 people can say that he did, in fact, promised to do it.

To Summarise; turnout is important because of the pressure it provides and the reputation it builds.