The AEV Event Managers Working Group, chaired by Michelle Baldwin, senior event manager, NEC, will be teaming up with second-year Events Management students from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) for its next meeting, being held at the institution on March 13, 2019.

The event follows the successful MMU Connect Conference on October 26, 2018, supported by the AEV and attended by several AEV members, including Baldwin, where events management students and event professionals met over a relaxing lunch. It was an opportunity for students to quiz event professionals and find out how best to get their careers off the ground after graduation, and get answers to industry-related questions from the source.

Baldwin explained the importance of working with universities, and students, in particular, saying, “It’s crucial for us to understand the motivations and expectations of young event professionals about to take their first steps into the industry. At the NEC we’ve worked with Coventry University as well, and my experience of meeting undergraduates has been extremely positive throughout.”

Baldwin continued, “The calibre and focus of the young people I met at the MMU Connect conference last year was equally remarkable, and it seemed only logical to bring the AEV Event Managers Working Group to MMU and involve the students in the issues that face event managers today, and perhaps impress upon them the importance of the association and working groups to meet those challenges.”

The working group will be held in the university buildings, and the members will be joined by predominantly second and third-year events management undergraduates. The students will be able to observe the working group in action, as well as members of the group addressing the students directly, with time set aside for a Q&A session and some round table mentoring.

Lucy Pittaway, senior lecturer in Events Management & Level 6 year manager at MMU explained the reasoning behind the joint initiative, saying, “By bringing the Event Managers Working Group to the university, our students will get the benefit of both observing and participating in the management of the strategic direction of their chosen profession. They will get insights into the skills they will be expected to have and how their job roles may be changing in the face of technological and environmental changes.”

Alden Arnold, AEV project manager, welcomed the collaboration saying, “This partnership between higher education and industry exemplifies how the industry can attract, recruit and retain talent. This will be a superb opportunity for the students to expand their insight into their chosen career, and how they can shape that career to meet their expectations and the challenges they will face. The industry, and the venue sector, in particular, benefits from being able to pass on expertise and experience to the new generation of event professionals that will be joining them in a few short years.”