Do event academics define the events industry too broadly?

Dissertation Stress at University, via my Instagram

Event Management courses are great in some capacity but I have also found them to discuss the events industry is a very broad term. Following Glenn Bowdin the events industry is structured  to feature event organisations, event management companies, industry suppliers, venues, and industry associations. Whilst Bowdin does acknowledge that the events industry emerged very rapidly he still tries to split the industry so that there are definitive areas that jobs fall into.

I can understand why event academics feel that this is the best way to approach teaching a course, because it is a lot easier to section the industry into very simplistic areas and let students grasp the basics. However I spent the first 2 years of the course believing the industry was really that simple to define and quite small; that meant when I was applying for placements I was also only looking at companies and organisations that fitted snuggly into those areas.

Now I am not saying that the event industry cannot be split by those definitions, but what they do is fail to establish the depth of the industry. Yes, there are event organisations, event management companies, industry suppliers, venues and industry associations but when you enter the world of events you will also come across experimental marketing companies, event technology companies and suppliers who offer more than just furniture.

The events industry is not quite as cut and dry as event courses make out & sometimes this means that event students miss out of fantastic opportunities because they are unaware that company or job is events related.

I’m interested to know how you define the events industry. 

Do you split them into the categories defined by Bowdin or by the area the events fall into such as business, entertainment and sports? 

If you are an event blogger or writer remember to join in the #EventBlogChat on Monday 7th July at 9pm GMT. 
  • #EventJobsLondon

    With background in the events technology industry and working on supplier side of things I can tell you that there are tons of great opportunities for event management students and it’s not just as black and white as some event courses describe the industry. Even event technology providers want employees that have knowledge and understand the events industry. I have a pretty optimistic outlook for event management students as there areplenty of great opportunities in every area, even sales and business development if that’s what you want.

  • I like your optimistic outlook & in all honest agree with it – however it has only been from my experience out in industry that I learnt of how you could still work in events in different types of roles outside operations. I find that university strongly teaches the operations side of events and sometimes tries to simplify all the other areas of the industry so that it is easier to teach to new students.

    I think my view is that there, as you say, tons of great opportunities for students & they are not being promoted enough on the degrees!