Event planning expertise needed

Gain the skills required for staging successful gatherings

Zach Worden | June 29, 2022

A woman organizing an event; setting up a table for an upcoming meal.

The Wedding and Social Event Planner Certificate of Completion offers three courses that provide the basic skills and knowledge to begin working on and managing weddings and smaller social events.

As the world adjusts to its new normal, the event industry is booming. The demand for event planners with the skills and knowledge to effectively and artfully stage events is on the upswing as social calendars fill and larger-scale gatherings take place.

Mount Royal University’s Event Management Extension Certificate and Wedding and Social Event Planner Certificate of Completion give students an advantage in the industry as people and organizations come together once again.

“Coming out of the pandemic, people are starving for human connection,” says Allie Geary-Botting, an instructor with Mount Royal’s Faculty of Continuing Education. “We have seen the sharp increase in demand in the travel industry and I think we can say that something similar is happening in the event management industry.

“The thing is, unlike travel, it takes time to implement events. So they’re not all happening yet, because people need to be hired to manage the details — and then implement the details.”

In the Event Management Extension Certificate’s seven courses, students learn how to manage events of all sizes and formats and receive an in-depth understanding of the event industry. Students create a foundation in the art and science of event management as they build core competencies through a greater understanding of the concepts, elements and processes integral to staging successful events. They gain project management skills that can be integrated in every aspect of event planning, from managing logistics and mitigating risks to implementing effective event marketing.

“When you come out of the program — which can be completed in three semesters — you really have a broad scope of skills and knowledge including knowing how to create the various documents used in the event industry,” Geary-Botting says. “The program also gives you a broad base understanding of what you need to know and do in order to align goals and objectives with various stakeholders. This provides a solid basis for ongoing decision making and successful event management.”

Risk management, logistics and marketing also come into play in this growing industry. Students build skills across these areas that can be implemented across the board. There is also the people side of the industry. Students gain an understanding of the need to build and maintain relationships from staff and volunteers to clients and vendors, key to holding successful events, now and in the future.

“With these courses, you should be able to get involved in any type of event planning, from corporate events to trade shows and large-scale sporting events to fundraisers,” Geary-Botting says. “From developing a comprehensive event marketing plan to mapping out permits, licenses and insurance, you have a valuable set of skills that you can use immediately. In addition, students already working in the industry can take individual courses to improve their skills and add new tools to their event management toolkit.”

The Wedding and Social Event Planner Certificate of Completion offers three courses that provide the basic skills and knowledge to begin working on and managing weddings and smaller social events. This focused program — which can be completed in one semester — supports students as they learn to develop a budget, create a critical path and professionally execute many types of events while meeting event objectives.

A common feature of the two programs is the calibre of the instructors. They have decades of experience that they share with students, bringing their hard-won knowledge and practical learning to the classroom.

“The instructors work in the industry and are experts who bring real-life experience and knowledge into their courses,” says Dimitra Fotopoulos, director of professional and continuing education at Mount Royal. “There is something for everyone since there are two programs to choose from based on individual interests and desired length to completion.”

These two programs offer the flexibility and certainty of the online environment. Both certificates are offered through virtual learning, where students use Mount Royal’s learning management system and participate in live Google Meet sessions to progress throughout the courses. Group discussion posts and practical assignments are some of the tools that prepare students for the kinds of scenarios they may come across in the field.

“Students leave the programs with broad-scope thinking skills and an understanding of what goes into an event. They have a sense of what their skills are and where their holes might be and how to fix those areas they’re not as strong in,” Geary-Botting says. “They come out with the critical thinking it takes to manage a variety of situations.”

Read more about Continuing Education at Mount Royal.