Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Event Management courses – are they worth it?

Over the past decade we have seen an explosion in the number of event management courses available around Australia.

This had led to many discussions within the industry regarding the worth of such courses.

At ASE we receive many requests asking for recommendations regarding courses along with the inevitable “how do I get into the industry?”.

We list whatever courses we know of in the event info section of ASE and suggest potential students get the information direct from the educational institutions.

As to how to get into the industry, I always suggest networking through industry associations, particularly as many of them have discounted fees for students to the networking events and conferences.

I have been particularly aware of a group of students who travel from Newcastle to attend ISES functions in Sydney and of the students who attended the recent MEA conference.

Another way in is for students to volunteer to work as assistants on conferences – the work is not demanding and they get a great opportunity to observe some well-run conferences and events from the inside.
But what do you think of the courses?

When hiring staff do you prefer a tertiary qualification or on-the-job experience?

We are particularly interested in hearing from graduates – what has been your experience? Did your degree help you to get employment in the industry, or might you have been able to get in without it?

Please post your comments in the forum and look for follow-up to your comments.


serviceskillsaust said...

New event management competency standards and qualifications were developed as part of the Tourism Training Package in 2002. Two qualifications were endorsed at that time:

*Certificate III in Meetings and Events
*Diploma of Event Management

For the first time, the Diploma of Event Management was developed with a cross-industry perspective to allow for pathways from a tourism, hospitality or sport/recreation background. At a later date, revisions were made to add a
pathway for the entertainment industry. This cross-industry approach has widespread support, as it reflects the different contexts in which event management occurs. However, the 2002 model did create some implementation difficulties as it did not ‘go all the way’ to being truly ‘cross-industry’.

Now, as part of the overall review of the Tourism and Hospitality Training Packages, there is an opportunity to refine the model and create a broadly based qualification that can be recognised in a range of event management contexts.

A small working party has been established, and this consultation paper is the result of deliberations by that group. Service Skills Australia is now inviting input from a broader range of stakeholders.

A copy of the Consultation Paper can be downloaded from www.serviceskills.com.au

Anonymous said...

I graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Event Management from Brookvale TAFE in 2001 - the first graduating class in this course. My thought process was that although, at that point in time, I had close to 15 years experience in the event and venue management industries I simply didn’t have the piece of the paper to prove it and there hadn’t been the opportunity to get that qualification before. The Event Industry is not always a welcoming one and unless you have a "name" it can be hard to break in to. I have found that with the qualification employers look at you differently - it definitely helps. I had all the experience and all the industry exposure but when you put that into a CV it still doesn’t read as well as "Advanced Diploma in Event Management". One other comment - since the Olympics and with the influx of new venues and even now with the Commonwealth Games around the corner I feel there is a real need for a formal qualification in Venue Management. I realise there is the VMA but I feel that in these days of liability and litigation that there is a real need for a university or institute to align itself with a venue or venues and structure a full time/ part time course that covers in depth, venue management, front/back of house operations, ticketing, legals, logistics, OH&S, production, security, food & beverage operations, catering operations, merchandising, marketing etc. More importantly get those with the industry experience and expertise into the classroom to teach. Don’t offer this course as a week or 2 week block organised around social activities then send you on your way with “homework” then return in 12 months to repeat the process. Treat it with the respect it deserves. Some venue managers today, if they have not come from overseas, have been self taught or have been in the “right place at the right time” and moved into positions without formal qualifications in Venue Management. I lived in America for a period of time and while I realise their university system is different to ours they have a wonderful set up there where by some of the big universities, such as Ohio, Oklahoma, Michigan & UCLA have stadiums for football, basketball, baseball etc attached to them and are able to structure Venue Management courses and the necessary placement and on the job training in to these facilities. That is why I mention above that universities here need to align themselves with venues – much in the way they do with universities and hospitals for those studying medicine. Just a couple of thoughts to ponder.