Consider declaring a major in the events industry

Across the country -- hallways, dorm rooms and classrooms will soon be full of activity as students head back to colleges and universities for the 2019–20 academic year. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) about 19.9 million students in the U.S. will attend colleges and universities both full and part-time in fall 2019.

Many students are undeclared, some are thinking about changing their majors and others just have no idea what kind of career they might be able to explore.

So, what about considering a major and a possible career in the events industry?

Think about this; according to the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the projected growth for meeting, convention and event planners is expected to increase by 11 percent in the USA between 2016-2026 – this is faster than the average industry.

As the events industry continues to boom, trained and talented event planners are in high demand throughout the hospitality industry. Events are a people-driven business, and companies and contractors like T3 Expo, convention centers, associations and corporations need quality candidates.

We often look to schools that have robust programs, where students have been able to learn not just in the classroom, but with hands-on experience and internships. We look for students who have developed skills they have acquired during these programs where they have a desire to learn, to be curious, and to communicate.

Students interested in campus-based or online event planning degree programs will find that many universities are growing their programs to meet the needs of this industry. For example, Johnson and Wales University located in Rhode Island is one University that has a well-known and well-established Events Management program. In the College of Hospitality Management, the University is growing and expanding their programs to include in the Bachelor of Science Degree a focus on Applied Food Science, Innovation & Technology, Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management, Culinary Arts and Food Service Management, Hospitality Management, Hotel & Lodging Management, Restaurant, Food & Beverage Management, Sports, Entertainment, Event — Management and Tourism & Hospitality Management.

College coursework can help event planners become expert communicators. Event planners routinely interact with clients, vendors, staff and others to plan meetings and special events, and they need strong communications and interpersonal skills. They also need to be tough negotiators, as they routinely negotiate event costs and service contracts. College degree programs in event planning teach students how to succeed in these crucial areas of the job through coursework in meeting and event management, food, beverage and venue planning, meeting and event marketing communications, and meeting and event coordination.

The event profession, as we know it today, is a relatively new field of study, but for as long as we can remember—and even before that—people have been coming together to gather, interact, share and discover.

Many students who study event management and hospitality-related coursework in college are typically better prepared for management positions and the many responsibilities that come with careers in event planning. But, Event Management is a hands-on career and there are many professional organization’s that students can join in addition to their university studies. Joining associations that bring event planners together, including International Live Event Association (ILEA), Meeting Planners International (MPI), and International Association of Exhibits and Events (IAEE), are a great way to augment studies that take place in the classroom; and it allows students to meet people in the industry, get real life experience and explore the profession.

Students can also consider schools that provide degrees and coursework in art, design, rendering and architecture as they are all relevant to creating events that are memorable and shareable.

We are excited to talk more about this subject and will be posting more blogs and information in the future -- sharing what other schools are doing to focus on this industry and how T3 Expo is also working with several schools to promote a career in this fun and creative industry.

So, consider a career in Events Management and go ahead and declare your major this fall. And, call T3 Expo when you graduate!