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Corporate Event Planning Calls for Better Educated Planners, Report Finds




Traditionally, a lot of event planning has been primarily focused on logistics. But, with the rise of digital technology, the role of event planning has grown to include the ability to administer new technology and new meeting design strategies. Looking into the future, corporate meeting and event planning will stress the prioritization of business outcomes and using technology to satisfy those outcomes.

According to the 2017 Global Meeting and Events Forecast, young professionals coming into the event planning field need to possess a better understanding of event technology and business strategy in order to be successful. The annual report, released by American Express Meetings & Events, has revealed that the biggest challenges today's planners face are how to best use meeting planning and business centers technology, as well as how to align event design with company goals. The planners of the future will need to create real-time visibility around what events will deliver for corporations.

To help new planners be prepared for the greater integration of technology and business strategy in event planning, there needs to be more solid academic and industry research for planners to be able to develop and expand their skills in these respects. To develop this research, the report calls on senior corporate leaders and university faculty to collaborate more strategically in businesses and schools to ensure rising event planners are well-rounded and prepared to evolve as the industry does.

As highlighted in the report, the special traits that event planners require— flexibility, variety, fast pace, and teamwork— are particularly appealing to millennials. A growing number of university hospitality programs are offering courses specific to event and meeting planning.

"The industry tells us they really need hospitality students who understand business," explained Dr. Rhonda Montgomery, department chair at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in the report. "For example, one global hotel brand told us they want candidates who understand how to read a profit and loss statement, and make decisions based on its implications. Our meeting and event classes also emphasize the importance of being able to identify the return on investment for all stakeholders of the event."

Having new talent enter the field trained on technology and business strategy and prepared for the future is ideal to meet the growing needs of the industry, while also simplifying the onboarding process for new hires.
 
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