Degree, diploma, training course, “skilling-up”, or seminars? With so many education options for EA’s looking to expand their event management portfolio, choosing the right avenue is no easy task.
Event management is, without doubt, a key role in any EA’s job. Corporate events, fundraisers, and functions are the lifeblood of business networking. More and more, EA’s are tasked with organising such events, and are expected to do so in extremely tight time frames.
The vast majority of EA’s are formally trained, and have a unique skill set. They are professional editors, communicators, organisers and delegators. Yet, according to the 2018 Executive PA Corporate Event Organiser Survey, a minority of EA’s are formally trained in event management.
Event managers can spend years studying expensive university degrees to understand and perform in the complex world of events. EA’s are expected to compete with the very best in order to meet the demands of their executives, without the academic background of professional event managers.
So how can the EA learn the in’s and out’s of the event management business, without taking on too much work? The answer is not clear cut. Many EA’s are already under an enormous workload, and struggle to maintain a solid work-life balance. The addition of night school or part time tertiary education may not always be the answer.
A simple, cost-benefit analysis of whether or not a formal education course is right for you can help to determine your course of action.
A multitude of part time university degrees, diplomas and certificates are available for those who can devote a few hours a week to study, exams and assignments. A formal certificate of education will always bolster a resume, and give you the edge on the competition.
Considering the ever increasing workload of an EA, for some the thought of having to study for an exam after a full days work is enough to raise the blood pressure. However, Stocking up your event management toolkit this does not mean that they cannot, or are unwilling to learn. “Skilling up” is a exercise that many professionals undertake to maintain relevance in a forever changing industry.
Self-training can provide as much, if not more value than many traditional forms of education. Self-training is now more possible, and more beneficial than ever. There are a range of methods professionals use to “skill-up”, whether it be from exploring educational channels on Youtube, or reading articles and reports on Google Scholar.
Social media training programs and websites can be a key resource for the EA looking to further their event management toolkit. Learning to accurately and effectively use social platforms such as Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter are incredibly valuable for the management, promotion and monitoring of corporate events. The mastery of social networking takes time, research and effort, but the benefits are endless for the EA.
In any case, there’s no doubt that EAs need to stay ahead of the curve.