The Australian events sector is worth $3 billion, IBISWorld data shows, and – according to Meetings & Events Australia – it's also experiencing a skills shortage. There's never been a better time for you to enter the industry! But how do you go about finding the right qualification to get your career off the ground?
We've got some expert tips on how to choose an events qualification that will set you up for a successful career in the Australian events industry.
"You cannot divorce events from hospitality."
The best events qualifications teach you hospitality skills
The first thing you should look for in an events management course is whether or not it incorporates some hospitality education. An events course needs to equip you with some skills in hospitality in addition to events. Why?
"One of the biggest misconceptions about a career in events is the idea that "I do events". In other words, events is divorced from hospitality," says industry expert and Director of Kenvale College Anne Zahra.
"But you cannot divorce events from hospitality. The biggest revenue for any event comes from food and beverage, so employers want people who can operate both the front and back of house at the event. A basic knowledge of hospitality, and more importantly, revenue and costs associated with catering and food service, is essential."
At Kenvale, we recognise that hospitality and events are intertwined. That's why we offer the Combined Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management and Event Management, to equip students with the skills to work across the service industry. Our Certificate III, Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Event Management also contain compulsory hospitality subjects to give students a solid grounding in hospitality, with the option to take additional hospitality electives as well.
The best events qualifications offer you industry experience
A piece of paper on its own won't lead to success in the events industry – you need solid experience getting your hands dirty, working with different stakeholders and realising the real-life pressures and challenges that come with running an event. That's why industry experience is crucial to any events management qualification.
The best events courses enable you to combine work and study. They'll see you move up the career ladder far more quickly, as you'll graduate with solid experience under your belt. Even if it's just experience serving food and beverage on the floor – it all counts.
Industry experience is crucial to any qualification in events.
All of Kenvale's courses combine work and study. Students study for two and a half days a week and spend the rest of the week at an industry placement. In addition to this, as part of your course, you'll get to plan and manage real live events. A lot of courses run simulations to deliver the practical component, but we give you the real thing.
In your final semester of the Advanced Diploma of Event Management, you'll be tasked with putting on an event to raise money for charity. You choose the charity you fundraise for, decide on the event concept and then organise everything from beginning to end – from mood boards, theming, decorating, finding sponsorship, sourcing a venue, selling tickets – with no help from anyone. In other words, you'll learn events by doing events.
"This is where you learn the pressure, the team dynamics, the frustration when things go wrong, the crisis management skills, the adrenaline rush, the anxiety, uncertainty," Anne points out. "This is what a simulation doesn't deliver."
Once you graduate from Kenvale, you'll know and be able to demonstrate to prospective employers that you can handle all the pressures of the industry – putting you one step above other candidates.
The best events qualifications equip you with a diverse array of skills
The largest skills shortages in the Australian events industry are at the mid to senior levels.
Working in events requires a diverse skillset, and so offering a variety of subjects covering different skills is part of what makes a good events qualification. The largest skills shortages in the Australian events industry right now, according to Meetings & Events Australia, are at the mid to senior levels. This is where you need a knowledge of areas such as management, accounting, finance, business planning, marketing, human resources, work health and safety and business law. If your course equips you with these skills, you'll be well prepared to step in and fill these positions.
At Kenvale, not only do our events courses teach you the ins and outs of planning and running different kinds of events, they incorporate subjects on other relevant areas. For example, when you take the Advanced Diploma in Event Management, you'll get an understanding of accounting, managing budgets, business operations, workplace health and safety, business law, marketing and leadership.
To find out more about events management qualifications that offer you all of these things and more, get in touch with a course adviser from Kenvale College today.