As the industry widens to accommodate increased market demands, a new generation of event professionals is being spawned. Online schools have recognised service demands, and have created curriculums to specifically address gaps in traditional education. Not hindered by the bureaucracy that universities and colleges face, e-learning institutions can evolve their curriculums in real time, to cater to industry and customer trends. Students can now take courses in niche specialties such as baby shower planning, mobile event photography, music events, etc., which is a sharp contrast to the broad, and often outdated approach that colleges and vocational schools offer. Why sit through an entire course on event management, when you’re only there to learn how to create a cocktail menu?
There’s no doubt that online education is quickly replacing brick-and-mortar institutions as the preferred learning method for students and professionals alike. For vocational training, in particular, it’s an effective alternative, as the focus is on practical training and skill development. In an industry like event management, where professionals continue to train and develop their skill sets throughout their career, is e-learning really the way to go?
Minimal commitment, great results
There are many advantages to virtual learning, but perhaps one of its greatest appeals to students is that there are no strings attached. Traditional education requires a significant commitment, both financially, and in terms of time invested in completing courses, studying for exams, getting to and from school, etc. With virtual learning, students are asked to make a modest monetary investment, and they only have to commit as much time as they want to spend on a course.
But perhaps the greatest benefit, is that students don’t have to spend a year or two and several thousand dollars to get training in specialty areas. Online education provider EventTrix, for example, offers courses dedicated to a specific subject, so students can choose a la carte based on their desired career path and interests. A party planner can decide to specialize in children’s parties, or baby showers, or both – and e-learning gives them the freedom to pick and choose what skills they want to learn. Because online courses are more tailored in their subject matter, students receive practical, “real world” job training that will give them insight into what they can expect themselves. If they decide it isn’t the right fit, they can easily change direction without incurring significant financial loss.
Technology + Conversations
You know it’s not just a passing fad when prominent and respected educational institutions are adopting e-learning practices to their own curriculums. That’s because there’s more to e-learning than the space it occupies; e-learning has innovated its own teaching techniques, and elevated the quality of education that students receive. It’s not just about passing down information and lessons from teachers to students through lectures and reading. Instead, e-learning uses technology to open a direct line of communication for experienced professionals to talk about what they know, and for up-and-coming professionals to talk about what they have learned.
This conversation takes place online in forums, chat rooms, and through live webinars. It democratizes the learning process because instead of being forced to sit in a classroom and absorb information, it allows students to participate in the development of what is being learned. It’s less of a one-way relationship between teacher and student, and more of a collaborative partnership that enriches everyone involved – including future clients.
All this is important because it directly informs the teaching and learning processes. It also allows the learner to get the most out of their education by providing insight into real-world experience through conversation. In an industry like event management, where the emphasis is on practical experience and less so on theory, it’s important for students to get on-the-job tips and training from professionals who have seen and done it all themselves. Schools like EventTrix use real event managers, bartenders, PR strategies, etc. to develop course content based on real life successes and experiences.
Greater Access - Wherever You Are
The rising popularity of e-learning means that more people can pursue their career dreams, because they now have access to valuable training and education. It goes without saying that online courses can be completed wherever you want, but it is still a point worth reiterating. Prior to the advent of internet classes, accessibility was a major factor for prospective students, and geography was often a barrier for those who couldn’t physically get to classes or didn’t live near any schools. Courses in event management were limited to vocational colleges, which do not generally exist outside of major cities and urban areas. Online learning removes these barriers and makes education accessible to anyone who wants to be an event professional, which means greater diversity in the field.
E-learning also allows learners to learn at times that are convenient to them. No mandatory 9 AM classes for night owls, and no post-lunch slump while trying to make it through a 1 PM class. Learning online gives students the freedom to learn at a time when they are most open to it, which makes it a less stressful experience overall.
Not Just More Information, Better Information
E-learning is a product of a wide-spread Internet movement that calls for using all available resources to gather and present information from multiple sources and various perspectives. For events professionals, this is particularly important, as the best education will be one that is assembled from a collection of experiences from across the industry. There is no right way or one way that will bring you success, and students are looking for more than a how-to-guide for planning an event. E-learning gives students comprehensive insight that takes into consideration every point of view. Students will understand how an event planner goes from A to B, what informs that process, and some of the things they can expect to encounter when they are doing the job themselves. And they won’t just learn how to accomplish a desired task – they’ll learn the who, what, when, where, and most importantly, why. At the end of the day, a school like EventTrix isn’t trying to produce academics and scholars; they provide the training and knowledge that a student needs to go out into the field and start their career.
Making It Personal
Rather than sending a student through a straight and narrow trajectory that is based on a one-size-fits-all approach to learning, e-learning allows students to customize their education experience. Students can choose to learn as much or as little about a subject as they want, and they can elect to take complementary courses that will enhance their knowledge – for example, an event manager may wish to take a cocktail-making course or learn how to expertly pair wines. Event planners can generalize and learn a bit of everything, or they can choose to specialize in birthday parties, music events, or weddings. Online schools also provide business courses for students who want to freelance or start their own business in the events industry, as well as specialized courses related to marketing, pricing, networking, etc.
Event Planning with No Limits
The availability of online education for event management means that the industry will see a boost in qualified, skilled, and experienced professionals. For students, it means they have immediate and convenient access to education that suits their needs and their career goals. An experienced business owner no longer has to sit through a business management lecture because it’s part of the curriculum of an event planning course – they can choose their own curriculum and focus on what is important to them. Learners not only have greater control of their education, but they can directly influence course content and the dialogue between instructor and student. And, anyone considering a career in the events industry can get a taste for what’s in store by taking just a single course.
It has never been easier to become a certified professional event planner, and e-learning is definitely the future for event professionals. The new generation of event planners will come from virtual classrooms, and they’ll be ready to take the industry by storm!
Eventtrix is proud to be teaming up with Glisser to offer our clients; more services, more products, and more support. It’s our goal to set customers up for success by providing them with tools, training, and resources, so they can take charge of their careers. As we begin our collaboration, we hope to evolve our respective service offerings to better meet the needs of today’s event professionals. We look forward to putting our head’s together to see what exciting new features we can create for you – so stay tuned!