Future of events education on the agenda at Confex

An event, which will explore the future of events management education, is to be held as part of the UK’s leading and longest, standing event for the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions industry.

The UK Centre for Events Management (UKCEM) at Leeds Beckett University is launching The Big Conversation at International Confex on 3 March as part of its celebrations of 20 years of events management education in the UK. The initiative aims to bring industry and academia together to visualise what will be needed in terms of skills, knowledge and education in the next 20 years.

With support from partners, George P Johnson, the Big Conversation will see the Apex Room at Olympia transformed into a parliamentary-style setting where industry leaders from companies including Ashfield Meetings and Events, Zibrant, Grass Roots, First Protocol, graduates working at companies including Blitz Communications, UBM, students and leading academics from across the UK, will debate and shape a new manifesto for how both industry and academia can nurture the talent, skills and knowledge that industry will need in the long term.

Jackie Mulligan, principal lecturer and director of Enterprise at the UK Centre for Events Management at Leeds Beckett University, believes the Big Conversation will encourage a fresh perspective: “After 20 years of events management education, The Big Conversation will change the focus from ‘why do we have events management degrees?’ to ‘what next for events management education, knowledge, skills and talent for both universities and industry?”

Future-focused quick-fire presentations, a Buffet BrainJam and idea trees will form part of the event to aid interactive idea generation for all participants that will inform the high level discussions that aim to shape the start of a manifesto for educators and industry.

Event professionals from across the UK have been keen to join forces with the initiative, Paul Cook, past president of MPI UK and Founder of Planet Planit, explained: “It is great to see so many industry professionals keen to support the building of a new manifesto for events management education to enhance the events industry as a whole. For too long there have been divisive discussions about education and experience, when the real opportunity is for everyone to work together to create a better place for everyone bringing their talents to the events industry.”

Spaces are limited but students are being invited to register now to join The Big Conversation at http://bit.ly/ukcembigconversation

In January the UKCEM was announced as the official University Educational Partner for International Confex. The agreement will see events management education brought to the fore as the Leeds Beckett centre celebrates 20 years of events management education in the UK.

Through the partnership, the Leeds Beckett University UKCEM graduate-led Event Support Services team will deliver a half-day student conference on the second day of the show (3 March); produced by students for students.

The team will also host an alumni gathering bringing together graduates from the last 20 years of events management education, who are now working at all levels of industry.

International Confex takes place 2-3 March 2016 at Olympia London.

Emily King

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Emily King

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