Dean of academic operations at the International College of Management in Sydney, Anne-Marie Flynn, says organisations should get to know students for potential future employment.

Formal event education qualifications have been offered in some form or another by Australian colleges and universities for almost 20 years. Initially event subjects were incorporated into already established tourism and hospitality degrees but in the last 15 years tertiary providers have developed named degrees specialising in event management.

The demand for these programs continues to be strong both in the domestic and international markets. The International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) has offered programs in event management since 2004 and more than 1100 students from around the world have completed or are currently studying Bachelor of Event Management, Bachelor of Business (Event Management) and a Diploma in Event Management courses.

Previously, if you wanted to get in to the event sector, you may have worked your way up or through hospitality operations, known someone in the industry, or found your way to the sector via creative industries or simply by chance. The industry has evolved since then. Value is placed on events more than ever by government, corporate and community sectors and the positive legacies that result – socially, economically, politically, culturally, and environmentally. In addition, professional and public liability, sustainable best practice, risk management and legal obligations, research skills, data metrics and analysis have all become key knowledge and skills requirements of the modern event practitioner.

Event industry peak bodies also have well-structured accreditation and recognition of excellence programs and our lobbying bodies successfully profile the event sector as one that is professional and worthy of a life-long professional career.

There are now many in the industry with formal qualifications in event management. Some tertiary providers including ICMS have a work integrated learning component embedded in the degrees. ICMS students are expected to work in the industry for nine months during the course of study. Subsequently, graduates are work-ready, with theoretical and business knowledge combined with comprehensive applied learning in the practical components of event management.

Young event practitioners are investing considerable time (up to three years) and significant financial expenditure in obtaining these qualifications and this bodes well for the professional reputation of the sector. They are passionate and committed young professionals who want to participate and contribute to this diverse and dynamic sector.

While studying, event students will also undertake some or all of the following:

  • Volunteer at corporate, community, sporting and social events regularly
  • Plan and execute their own events
  • Plan and execute real client events
  • Prepare story boards (both traditional forms and digitally)
  • Create apps and set up social media platforms
  • Event research and evaluation
  • Visit event exhibitions, shows and seminars
  • Work part-time in the industry and obtain internships
  • Go on study tours and excursions
  • Form global networks with their international student cohorts
  • Create event portfolios, operation manuals and risk management plans

So next time you see an event student at an event show/exhibition or applying for a job with your company, I encourage you to take the time to meet them or hire them. They are the sector’s future leaders and they will be well equipped and ready to add value to your business.