“We really need to train more people to improve the industry’s overall competitiveness on the domestic and international stage,” urged Linda Gaunt, chief executive officer of the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA).
“It’s a problem which must be solved sooner rather than later if we are to have the professionals to cope with the growing appeal for events and conferences and compete against other world markets.”
The stern warning comes on the eve of the launch of the inaugural Australian Events Academy (AEA ), a newly registered national training organisation dedicated to the education and training of students for the events industry – by the events industry.
A range of courses are available through the academy, from six and eight-week event management programs to customised training and professional development training as well as an in-depth nine-month advanced diploma.
In echoing Linda Gaunt’s views, AEA training manager John Wittingham said it was not enough to stage a conference or event where everyone received a warm glow from staging speakers, performers, etc.
“From AEA research, events managers want tangible outcomes such as connecting with other business contacts, networking and achieving some kind of commercial result,” he said.
“They want a return on investment from their conference or their event.”
With regard to the new academy and the benefits the students have in staying focused, John said: “We make sure that the students’ training is readily transferable to their workplace – that it is experiential learning and they can readily apply it and get a practical benefit by learning it and doing it.
“By physically doing it that way, the content or subject matter becomes more a memorable learning experience and is retained in the memory bank for a better outcome for the student when he or she does that unit’s exam and assessment.”
Accompanying John in the AEA team is business development manager Olivia Wilson who will also be on hand to offer advice and assistance at the launch of the new specialist conference and events training college.
ASE spoke to Linda Gaunt and Olivia Wilson about the new project