Stop with Event Education vs Event Experience

 

Photograph by Michael Mroczek

A conversation that keeps happening far too often & far too regularly is the one which pits event degrees against experience!

I’ve spoken at length about my hate for this topic – because anyone with common sense can see that they both have their values. Not only is this backed by the fact there are so many different universities to pick from if you decide to start with the education route. But the more important question is what do we gain from diminishing people who spend a lot of time and money working to better understand a (still relatively new) profession?

When I spoke at Confex last week – on a panel looking at career progression (which will be a future blog post) – and in answer to a similar shaped question on degrees/experience I answered with something I was to pose here.

Why are we even having this discussion at an industry show?

The audience is made up of event professionals and students – each who have a strong view on this topic already, and/or have personal experience of both sides of the argument!!

This conversation should only be happening at secondary schools with students who are 16/17 and making the bold choices on what they want to do next. But even then, instead of asking this loaded question we should instead be asking what skills does the industry need and value?!

We should be guiding the next generation of the events industry on a path that gives them the best career advantages and best supports what the industry needs in the long-term! It is up to us as the event industry to understand where people will gain those skills best & build courses, apprenticeships & on the job experiences which them enable the next generation to build and develop these vital skills.

These simple steps will mean we can finally move on from this over-discussed, irrelevant conversation!


@BlogByKobrak 

@ImDamnStudent

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Reflection

Photograph by Maxime Le Conte des Floris

Do you know what the start of 2017 brings *other than the beginning of the Trump era*?

The opportunity to reflect on the past year.

December threw me a little of kilter, due to the passing of my fantastic Opa, and it meant that I didn’t really have time to distil what 2016 hurled at us!

I’m not going to even approach the topic of politics – otherwise this would turn into a 12,000 word essay just filled with my anger and frustration. I will spare you reading that.  In fact the highlighting of anything negative just seems to be more work than my brain can handle right now, and I know I need a little reminder about all the great things that happened in-between the onslaught of the negativity!

Instead I’m going to highlight 5 industry accomplishments that have made me exceptionally proud (two words I overuse in the rest of this post). I actually spent a few hours looking through all my tweets from the last 12 months & there were so many moments that I’d forgotten about, or had thought happened even further back!

Seems a lot happens in the space of 12 months! This is a very self-indulgent post, but hey we all need to pat ourselves on the back once in a while!

I would love to hear about your achievements across 2016; always great to hear about the amazing work Event Students and Event Profs are achieving – pushing the events industry that step further!

Without further ado …

Getting to co-create and run the first Events First Steps event with two of the greatest friends Priya & Elena. Truly this has been one of the best parts of 2016.

These girls are exceptionally talented, their determination, focus, high spirits are infectious & I really cannot wait to bring you more of these events in the coming year! More than anything the feedback from everyone who came and event professionals who followed online was the icing on the cake!

Another great experience was the Event 100 Club – not only did I make it on the 30 under 30 list (at number 11), I was also named number 70 of the 100 most influential people in the events industry. I just want to pass my thanks to everyone who took the time to vote for me, it was a high note to end the year on!

Speaking at various events. Being on a panel  discussing blogging at events at International Confex was a great experience – although slightly weird to be described as an ‘expert’ but great points raised (worth checking out the fellow experts; Annie Byrne, Kursha Woodgate, Juraj Holub and Jim Curry).

I also spoke to Event Students at the Leeds/GPJ Future Event Professionals event whilst at Confex. In fact 2016 saw some great opportunities to talk to event students around London about my own experience and the work we do at GPJ; University of Greenwich, University of Westminster and London Met University!

Taking on the role as Education Director at Large & joining the ILEA UK Board. This association has created fantastic friends in the industry and I am exceptionally proud to be able to give back to the industry and work alongside some amazing event profs – 2017 is only going to continue the amazing work!

And finally to sum up the great parts of 2016 – it has to go to GPJ. It has been a year of continued development & I am really appreciative to be a part of the team and work alongside some remarkable colleagues! Plus seeing some of the projects come to life over the last 12 months has been so worthwhile!

So cheers to remembering the good parts of the last year, and to seeing what we can get done in the next 12 months!

Don’t forget to let me know your top achievements peeps 🙂


@BlogByKobrak 

@ImDamnStudent

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The Eventice 2017

Photograph by Laura Lee Moreau

I have been an Event Management Graduate for over 2 years now. November 2014 saw me back in Gloucestershire donning a Harry Potter style robe, and one of my fanciest dresses to celebrate the end of 4 years!

The 27 months since have been pretty spectacular. But the real change – my first moment of clarity – came after my placement year & when I jumped head first into something that took me totally out of my comfort zone!

I’ve written a billion times about the Eventice – in fact I have a whole section dedicated to it! I’ve spoken at length in person & online about the key reasons as why this opportunity is one not to be missed by Final Year Event Students – and you know what …

IT’S THE TIME AGAIN The Eventice is back for 2017!

The deadline for applications is fast approaching Monday 30th January (to read all the important information on what you need to include in your 2 minute video click here)

I get that you might have dissertations coming up that you really want to give you main focus to, but let me just ask you a quick question – isn’t the whole point of spending 3 or 4 years gaining a degree so you can land a great job when you finish?

The Eventice 2014 FINAL 5 – (L-R) Olivia Pole-Evans, Me, Elena Clowes, Charlotte Jarman, Holly Glover

There are 3 main reasons I strongly advocate this experience;

ONE: You will make meaningful connections with Event Professionals!

Not just with the event profs offering the jobs or individuals in attendance at International Confex (which is pretty much the whole industry) but there is a wealth of support from past participants!

 

 

TWO: You will learn valuable skills that will enhance your value when entering the industry.

The aim of the 3 day interview is to test your ability to multi task, organise, project manage, negotiate, network and present.

If you think you’re lacking in some of these areas DON’T FEAR because you learn pretty quickly to give it all a try, and my does it build your confidence!

THREE: It gives you a chance to focus on your future & not just your degree.

Like I said “isn’t the whole point of spending 3 or 4 years gaining a degree so you can land a great job when you finish?” 

This is genuinely one of those opportunities that don’t come around that often, but as with anything the experience is what you make of it.

Photograph from way back in 2014 at the Event Production Show!

A few final little tips;

Bring business cards (to give out to all the event profs you will meet across the event) bonus points if you pick a few companies who are exhibiting that you want to speak to!

Ask questions to past participants – there are 15 people who compete but 2 jobs, but lo and behold the other 13 have since entered and work within the events industry. It doesn’t end if you don’t win!!

Do your homework. Not just looking at the companies websites but at the people working there. Have a stalk on their LinkedIn, social media – see what articles they’ve written! Get interested in who and what they do beyond just the events and clients they represent!!

Have fun! You will be meeting 14 engaged, determined and exceptionally good event students – friendship can take you a long way!

If you do apply – which you all should – please let me know.

And if I can help in any way please drop me a tweet!

GOOD LUCK! 


DEADLINE: 30th Jan 2017

Dates of Competition: 28th February – 2nd March 2017

Location: London

How to Apply CLICK HERE

My video application can be watched HERE.

& all my previous posts about the Eventice can be read HERE.