At a meeting held at the NEC Birmingham on 1st July, a representative group of events professionals agreed a series of ‘next step proposals’ to create an Institute of Event Management for the sector.
At the meeting, chaired by Susan Spibey of SJS Consultancy Services, and held under the auspices of the Business Visits & Events Partnership, it was agreed that three working groups would be set up to:
- Establish a Business Plan and scope the legal framework for creating a professional institute
- Map the existing provision of higher education courses in events management
- Develop membership structures, tiers and criteria for the institute
The activities of the three working groups will be complemented by an extensive online survey of event industry practitioners to clarify existing types and scale of part-time and full-time further education, and continuing professional development. The survey will also seek views on the delivery and accreditation of courses, as well as garner feedback on preferred study methods for those working in the sector.
The meeting was the culmination of a series of workshops and consultations held over a 2-year period which has involved People 1st (the sector skills council), FDF (formerly Foundation Degree Forward), many of the universities, and all of the meetings and events industry trade associations. These preliminary discussions were designed to achieve a consensus on how best to create a genuine events profession, rather than simply an events industry.
“The Business Visits & Events Partnership’s recently-launched ‘Manifesto’ highlights the strength and dynamism of the events sector and its potential for developing Britain’s creative enterprise,” said Michael Hirst, OBE, BV&EP Chairman. “A key part of meeting this objective will be engagement with industry leaders in support of a sector quality, skills and qualifications strategy and implementation programme. This should include: an Institute of Event Management; a framework for continuing professional development; and a portal website to signpost skill needs, industry-accredited qualifications, further and higher education programmes in event management, and career opportunities. We welcome the outcomes of the 1st July meeting.”
Susan Spibey commented: “Having spent many years as a practitioner, I have seen ‘from the coalface’ the importance of putting in place a professional development and accreditation structure which will position the events industry on a par with other professions. I believe that an Institute of Event Management will provide the vehicle to achieve such an objective, but we must ensure that we carry all parts of the industry with us in the months ahead.”
It is anticipated that the next full meeting of the working group will take place alongside the ‘Event UK’ exhibition taking place at the NEC, Birmingham (21-22 September) when the results of the questionnaire will be presented to participants. The questionnaire will close on 10 September 2010.