Empowering the Next Generation: Events Management students and industry connections at Confex and The Event Production Show.
In March, more than 300 undergraduate and postgraduate events management students from 16 UK Universities were able to visit International Confex and The Event Production Show (EPS) at Excel in London, facilitated through an agreement between event organisers Mash Media and the Association for Events Management Educators (AEME).
International Confex marked its 40th anniversary this year and has long been a fixture in the events industry calendar, providing a source of inspiration and ideas for event professionals and an important arena for networking and doing business. For students, it offers a unique opportunity to see a range of exhibitors from all areas of the industry and gain insights that only an event of this scale can offer.
Students were able to participate in two panel discussions hosted by university members of AEME in the Education Hub, which explored the benefits of events management degrees and the future of the industry. Through these, they had the opportunity to engage with previous events management graduates now working in the industry, as well as other exhibitors and attendees.
Exhibitors were invited to display a "student-friendly" sign, indicating their willingness to talk to students about their products, services, opportunities, and the industry in general. This was very positively received by students, who felt welcome on many stands, appreciating valuable industry insights whilst being recognised as potential future employees or buyers.
Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students from the University of Brighton, Cardiff Metropolitan University, the University of Northampton and Sheffield Hallam University all agreed that attending International Confex and EPS gave them exciting insights into the variety of suppliers to the events industry, offered opportunities to learn about working in the events industry and network for placements and job opportunities. It also helped them to appreciate the operational activities involved in staging such a large exhibition and conference, with one student from Cardiff metropolitan University saying:
“The EPS show was amazing! It really was so great to learn, talk and see people within the events industry, gain contacts... and it's helped me secure a job!"
Attending industry events such as Confex and the EPS is a valuable source of inspiration, motivation and connections for students. Seeing the latest innovations and ideas can help to spark their creativity and passion for the industry that they will graduate into, and where universities and industry work together to facilitate this, the outcomes are clearly positive for our future event professionals and our future industry.
AEME is committed to supporting and raising the profile of the events discipline through the sharing of education and best practice.