Today almost every university and college offer event management courses that vary from certificate programs to BA degrees, they vary in terms of content and intensity and therefore can be suitable for different professionals in the field.A course that is suitable for an event coordinator won’t necessarily benefit a corporate event manager, a wedding planner or event organizer (yes all these are different). This is why you should always do thorough research before signing up to any courses. There are must have components that every event management course should include.
Here’s a quick guide to help you decide if the event management course you’ve been eying is right for you.
Co-op or Work Placement Component
Experience is what event management companies and private employers are looking for. You’ll land your first job easier if you have some experience, even if it’s volunteering to organize a church bazaar. Many event planning courses will include one and even two whole semesters of work placement where their students are able to fill in real event planner roles. This gives students a real head start over those who finish an event management degree or event planning certification without concrete on the job experience. Here’s an example of a great student placement opportunity
General Yet in Depth
Some event management degrees are very general while some event planning certifications are way too specific. You’ll want to find a course that balances the two and covers all the aspects of event management and at the same time gives you concrete solutions to real problems. The course should include such seemingly general topics as negotiations and leadership as well as more detailed aspects of budgeting and risk management.
Known Names in the Industry
Do research on the people who will be teaching you. Are they currently working in the event management industry? Do they have connections with event management companies? Find out how long they have been teaching, talk to past students and see if some of them are willing to mentor students. If they are, jump on the opportunity chances are that they will be able to introduce you to key players in the event management industry in your area.
In general it’s a good idea to talk to alumni of the program you are about to enter to see what their impression of the program and more importantly what is their success record. How well did they do after they finished their education – how fast did they find a job and were they able to apply the knowledge their acquired in the program managing actual events.