Conference News September 2021 - Page 27

27 Education
students per year , prior to the pandemic . By working with the Event People students will be able to access a wider variety of events including national and International events , which will complement the existing local and regional opportunities that we currently offer .
As there are no real barriers to entry in events , why is it is it important to work with universities and offer formal qualifications ?
I think that there is an acknowledgement that event management is a graduate career . We at Manchester Met have been running our programmes for approximately 12 years and events degrees have been available for nearly 30 years , which means that there is a large group of graduates in the events industry that have come through an education route and are now in senior management positions . These graduates appreciate their experiences and are now recruiting graduates into their roles .
Often , the argument can be quite polarising around whether you need a degree or whether you don ’ t . I think we are very honest with our students and we say that you don ’ t need a degree ; anyone that ’ s watched the Netflix documentary about the Fyre Festival knows you don ’ t need a degree to set up your own event . However , an Events Management degree can provide opportunities to learn about different aspects of the industry in a safe environment so that future professionals can try things out before they get into a live event environment and gain an appreciation of a variety of approaches . We need future events professionals that can deliver high-quality , creative , safe , and commercially viable events
that are going to be sustainable into the future and I think having that breadth of experience and that ability to reflect , not just from practise but also from theory , gives them the skills that are going to make them successful in the industry .
How have you been proactively working with the industry to ensure that students are taught the right things ?
We have worked with the industry over a sustained period in order to build relationships with professionals . Through these partnerships it is possible to work with practitioners to ensure that the teaching and assessments provided are relevant
How do you engage different parts of the industry , e . g . conferences , exhibitions , and outdoor events , in the programme ?
At Manchester Met the first year of the degree is an introduction to the industry . The students will learn how the industry is structured and the basic building blocks of the industry like operations management , production , marketing and finance . In the second year , the students can take optional units and can specialise in business events , festivals / celebration events or
“ Often the argument can be quite polarising around whether you need a degree or whether you don ’ t . I think we ’ ve been very honest with our students when they come to us …”
fashion events . In creating the degree programme we consider how the building blocks in the first year can be applied in a live event context because in the second year all students will deliver a live event for a client . In the third year of study students can choose to undertake an industrial placement and in the final year the focus of the units moves to more strategic management related disciplines are well as considering contemporary Issues affecting the sector . There are also opportunities to take additional options In the final year of study , which provide Insight Into other areas of the Industry .
How can we encourage diversity in the industry ?
Personally , I think that there is more that can be done to change the image that the industry has and how we can promote the diverse opportunities that there are in the industry . There are jobs in so many different areas and universities , working in partnership with industry , could promote the industry better to young people . Not just for those that are applying to join us , but even before that – within schools and further education colleges . This could involve showcasing the diverse range of careers that are available and the diverse range of people that undertake these different careers , so that people can see themselves in those roles in the future . Hopefully , by highlighting diversity within the industry people from the diverse backgrounds and cultures will see that their ambitions can be achieved through a a career in the events
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