How we’re supporting young people with the right skills to enter the events industry . . .
If working in events is an employment path you think could be right for you, then here at Oxford Media & Business School we introduce you to the knowledge you will need to get you there!
In 2022 we added the Event Management module to the Professional Business Diploma for several reasons.
Firstly, we love to keep in touch with our alumni to hear about the different job positions they enter and the skills they find most useful. We knew event management was an industry some of our graduates were entering, and that event management skills were in demand even from other professions and sectors they were gaining employment in.
There are multiple employment opportunities for young professionals in the events industry
We also knew that event management is an industry that presents an opportunity to young professionals. According to Statista, it is forecasted to grow to more than two trillion U.S. dollars by 2028, according to data published in early 2022.
With the global event industry valued at approximately 890 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, this is a healthy growth in an industry that presents multiple job opportunities for young professionals.
As we write this blog, the following jobs are currently available that our students could apply for –
- Events Coordinator, House of Commons
- Conference and Event Sales Coordinator, Said Business School, Oxford, and
- Wedding and Event Planner, Mercure Oxford Hawkwell House Hotel, Oxford .
“It is a very reactive industry which is great fun. In my role there is also plenty of opportunity to be creative, but remaining within budget which is a big challenge but a huge achievement if you get it right. I enjoy being on site problem solving as you go.”
Ellie – OMBS graduate – Event Executive and Team Coordinator, Sports Events
Finally, we knew the skillset would sit naturally alongside and complement our existing modules of Advanced IT, Business and Digital Marketing.
As a small business school that can adapt and change when required with industry we realised we could add this module to our one-year diploma and add another advantage (at interview stage) when students are applying for their first employment role.
Following research and staff training, the module was therefore introduced with our highly experienced tutor Sally Timberlake in September 2022.
What knowledge does the Event Management Module give our students in Term 1?
The module runs for two hours a week throughout the full 36 weeks of the course and gives students a clear understanding of the following –
- The roles and responsibilities required for organising a wide range of events, ensuring they understand the varied ‘front of house’ and ‘back of house’ roles that can exist. The event management industry covers a diverse range of events that require different approaches.
- The importance of attention to detail, communication within the team and the practical skill of problem solving.
- The ability to interpret the client’s vision and build this into a detailed brief for an event.
- An understanding of scheduling tools and supporting detailed documentation that would enable them to successfully plan, monitor and execute an event , including meeting agendas and minutes, budget planning and time paths.
- An understanding of the importance of risk assessments, health and safety and contingency planning.
- A robust understanding of the planning apps available on the market, and the different types of events they can enhance.
- An understanding of the experiential field marketing opportunities now available in this modern era of technology that adds another new opportunity (flash mobs and guerrilla marketing of events for example).
- The legislation and legal requirements for planning a variety of events.
- Integral to the module, students work on a dedicated team event management project working to a client’s brief. They present their event proposal to the client as a competitive bid, as they would if they were employed in this role!
Personal (soft) skills are also essential to the success of the student in this module . . .
Students learn how to be flexible, for example how to manage last minute changes, changing event deadlines and timings. They learn how to listen affectively and crucially practise being able to communicate at all levels – key employment skills!
They will also learn how to keep calm under pressure and to develop a positive attitude to problem solving. Equally they must learn the importance of knowing how to show passion and enthusiasm for their event! After all this is what event management is all about – having fun!
As with our other modules that form the Professional Business Diploma, they learn through a varied mix of group work, structured lessons, research, videos, and role play. They are introduced to a variety of event planning documentation and practise the creation of these in their group projects, with tutor support and feedback along the way.
They also consider the importance of post event evaluation (and the post event marketing opportunities) – a vital aspect to consider how to communicate key successes and improve on any failings. The perfect event is probably unlikely to ever happen!
Building Event Management Skills into the Term 2 Integrated Project . . .
Term 2 features a highly popular cross module project in the Professional Business Diploma. Using all the skills they have learnt in Term 1 the students work to present ideas for a creative launch event for their company in a presentation to a panel of Dragons.
The presentation must show that they have utilised their knowledge and skills learnt so far within the course and must show their understanding of the planning process by producing relevant documentation from a list of 8 recognised documents used in the industry –
- Scope of Work
- Production Schedule
- Critical Time Path
- Project Time Scope
- Technical Running Order
- Risk Assessments (Health & Safety)
- Communications Schedule
- Budget & Expenses Tracking Form
In addition, classroom support is given (guidance in the production of these planning documents) and students’ work is assessed weekly throughout this term.
Event Management Teamwork in Term 3 – Event Management dedicated Project . . .
In the final term the group is divided into small event management teams. They will create their own brand, logo, and company name (an event management company), tapping into the skills they also learn in the Digital Marketing module.
The teams are in direct competition with each other and have contact with a client, make venue site visits and have an event brief and a budget to work within! This is the closest they will come to real life practical experience of managing an event and presenting their ideas as part of a presentation pitch to the client at the end of the course.
They will also continue building and developing their skills in researching, costing, budget management, communication, and teamwork! Weekly tutor support will continue (i.e. the Chairing of all meetings) and provide them with feedback, direction and advice.
Teamwork and collaboration skills are a joy to watch developing . . .
As our Event Management Tutor Sally Timberlake explains, “seeing the students develop their creative ideas, work in a collaborative spirit, cope with crisis management, improve their attention to detail and organisational skills, is what makes this highly rewarding in the delivery of this module. It is great to see the students learn to develop a more mature consideration for each other’s point of view, and how to manage disagreements amicably – so vital for their entry into the workplace – whatever their career path”.
“OMBS provided me with some vital skills such as excellent phone and email etiquette, which are hugely important in events. You are constantly talking to different people and being a good communicator can really set you apart from others. I also found the business side of the course extremely beneficial. Skills such as public speaking, looking at verbal and non-verbal communication and being able to look into costing and budgeting were very useful.”
India – past OMBS Graduate – Partnerships Events Assistant – Sharky and George
“I would say a lot of the computer skills I learnt at OMBS I still use now. I also learnt a lot of organisational skills at OMBS which of course is paramount when working in events.”
Ellie – past OMBS Graduate – Event Executive and Team Coordinator, Sports Events
If you would like to find out more about the Event Management module and the Professional Business Diploma, contact Sarah Badger our Registrar on email@example.com 01865 240963 – www.oxfordbusiness.co.uk