I’ve recently come across the interesting article on eventplanner.tv, about education for event professionals. It says, according to Tomas Pernecky, ‘it is only recently, with the international growth of planned events and new industry standards, that we can witness the increase of university programmes offering courses in event planning’. And ‘being a good planner is more about accumulating work experience than high grades. And the classroom is not necessarily the most appropriate environment to develop a problem-solving mindset and strong communication skills.’ Also, there are 5 ideas on what can be helpful instead of a degree in event management.
Well, while I do agree with the above, I thought I’d put down my arguments why it is still a good idea to try (and perhaps strive for) getting a degree. First of all, yes absolutely, it is possible to become an excellent eventprof without degree in this field. Surely it is. And I am sure there are great examples for that. But nonetheless I consider degree in events/meetings management to be huge advantage. I am not talking about such cases there is no time or money to study. I am thinking of those who might considering if studying is worth it.
I will copy all 5 ideas’ headings below and expand my point on each of them.
Try and fail, try and fail, try and fail again
In its essence, this is an excellent advice, and we all learn by trying and failing, don’t we. But I believe getting the basics of event management at a Uni will definitely save you time and nerves especially at the beginning of your career. I don’t claim a degree will be a plaster for all sores, of course not. Practice is the best way to work things out. But what I believe is that a degree is like a foundation for the house: it should be there.
Take event professionals out for a coffee
Again, great piece of advice, but I’d say just remember that 1) this would depend on the country and team you are working within, and 2) they might not be around to share their wisdom every time you need it. Whereas studies will give you a wide potential network of professionals you can communicate with as an equal (again, not every time you need it but at least it is different feeling).
3. [Use] online learning resources
Well, I do agree with this idea. We live in one of those best times when one could find almost any information they require. As for the events field in particular, the non-English speakers should note the wealth of information is in English.
Use Quora to clarify your doubts
Frankly, I don’t see how Quora is different from other (including field) resources which I think all are great source for new ideas/useful information.
Attend other events
Again, can’t but agree with this one, but again with some stipulation. I don’t think we can compare getting a degree in events management and attending events. These represent two different cornerstones: theory and practice. And it works best when compliments each other. So my advice would be attending as many events as possible, during your studies at a Uni.
To conclude, of course it’s all up to you. I personally am a strong advocate of getting a degree in events management (especially when it comes to the Russia-based professionals).
But what I found worth attention in the first sentence from the article I cited in the beginning, is that ‘the international growth of planned events’ part. If taken not in the further context of the article, it is just another statement showing the industry is growing and evolving, and thus is in need of high-qualified professionals around the world. In my view, this is actually an argument to get a degree in events/meetings management. Such course provides you with not only that foundation for further development, but with some practical skills and habits, too. Most important, though – it would show you a wider picture of what is going on in the industry and what could be your best way into and within it.