Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Become a Leader Who Puts Together Successful Festival and Conferences

Festival, event and conference management is a rapidly expanding segment of the hospitality and tourism industry that brings together many older and more traditional sectors such as catering, equipment rentals and party supply sales in a new field of Endeavour. As such, event planning can be a stressful field. There is much to consider and many details to which one must pay attention. Event planners have a wide range of responsibilities and must be fully prepared to iron out any kinks that they may encounter. Among the duties with which they may be tasked are:

  • helping clients choose when and where to host events;
  • securing the venue rental for the agreed-upon date and time;
  • working with vendors to provide catering and other services;
  • helping to organize menus, invitations and seating charts;
  • developing timelines for events;
  • supervising to ensure that the event follows the correct sequence of events;
  • developing and implement financial initiatives based on event objectives through methods such as sponsorship programs and fundraising initiatives;
  • applying the principles of marketing to festivals, events and conferences;
  • applying business administration skills to the operation of events;
  • applying the principles of professionalism and ethics to event management;

At Centennial College’s
event management college program — Event Management – Festival and Conference — applicants who already possess a college diploma or university degree in hospitality, tourism or a related discipline; a diploma or degree in an unrelated discipline who have related work experience; and those with partial post secondary education and relevant work experience in hospitality can obtain a Graduate Certificate and enter the field in two semesters.

This program focuses on offering students leadership skills to withstand the pressures and stresses of the industry. As such, courses include: Volunteer and Team Building Coordination, Sponsorship Development, Event Budgeting, Networking and Industry Relations, Risk and Security Management, Communications and Media Planning and many others.

Students also complete a Festival, Event and Conference Production Practicum, during which they gain practical experience in the coordination of a festival, event or conference from preparing the needs analysis to the execution and evaluation of the final production. Among the program’s industry partners that take on field placement students are:
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, AVIVA Canada, Toronto Board of Trade, Toronto Community News, Marriott Hotels, Toronto International Film Festival, Delta Hotels, Fairmont Hotels and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

Graduates of this program may find employment in: hotels, convention and conference centres, corporations, tourism and non-profit organizations, sports and recreational organizations, festivals, arts and cultural organizations, and event marketing management. Some entrepreneurial graduates may open their own event management companies.

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