In addition to its adventurous aspect, the 4L Trophy™ Rally is first and foremost a project that takes shape throughout the year. In effect, competing in the rally represents an ambitious project that develops skills and character for all those students who choose to set off on the adventure of a lifetime.
Preparing for the rally represents a real opportunity in itself, because it requires genuine project management skills, enabling students to take a professional approach to their adventure and thus add value to their experience.
Everything starts with the administrative management of the project: setting up an association marks an important milestone, with the goal of creating a formal, legitimate context for their various activities. They are therefore required to find a name for the association and set up its articles of association to be communicated to the local authorities at the préfecture. Once this stage is completed, a bank account can be opened, allowing them to approach their future sponsors.
Moreover, preparing a budget is a vital stage, without which it’s not possible to take part in the rally. It includes a number of different categories, including the purchase of the vehicle, any repairs needed, insurance, communications, and funds to cover the expenses of the rally. In effect, the crews are required to manage their budget from day-to-day in order to run their affairs and their accounts carefully, because while the rally is all about preparation, budgeting is the foundation of that.
Trophy competitors therefore set out a budget that is used as a reference in their fundraising activities. They are therefore required to put together a partnership portfolio to present their project and to convince businesses to support them in their adventure. Accordingly, the students canvass businesses and advocate for their commercial strategy. This requires them to set up appointments, negotiate and deal directly with the professional world – all of which provide valuable educational experiences.
The business aspect is therefore present throughout the preparations for the event.
Nevertheless, other aspects are important, and also provide valuable skills, such as public relations. The ability to communicate effectively is both a personal strength and a professional challenge, vital to maintain an effective profile – which applies both to the crews, with the creation of their visual identity, and to their partners. It is therefore important to create effective communications materials, and a key aspect of this is the management of social media. In terms of communications, the teams can also prepare a press pack in order to raise awareness with as many people as possible.
Events may also be organised from time to time, both in order to raise the crew’s profile and for fundraising purposes, and by doing this, the crews follow a project management process that focuses on the event in question.