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Major event

A new degree in event and meeting management will offer students hands-on training and a global perspective to meet the needs of a growing profession.

March 14, 2016

A new degree in event and meeting management will offer students training in a growing profession. MSU Denver photo.
A new degree in event and meeting management will offer students training in a growing profession. MSU Denver photo.

Everybody loves a good event. Conventions. Conferences. Galas. Premieres. We just can’t seem to get enough of them. And as the demand for events and meetings rises, so too does the need for people to make those gatherings happen.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment of meeting, convention and event planners is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Their research asserts, “As globalization increases and businesses continue to recognize the value of professionally planned meetings, demand for meetings and events is projected to grow. Job opportunities should be best for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in meeting and event management ...”

Enter MSU Denver, whose Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events will add a new degree for the coming academic year – a Bachelor of Science in Event and Meeting Management.

“This new offering allows us to serve a growing industry,” said Carol Krugman, chair of the HTE Department. “It’s a classic win-win for both students and potential employers.”

Beyond the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast, Krugman pointed to a recent decision by the U.S. Department of Labor to recognize event and meeting management as a distinct job category – separate from hospitality – as a sign of significant future career opportunities within this profession.

With the addition of this degree, MSU Denver becomes one of only four programs in the country to offer a standalone baccalaureate degree in event and meeting management. And it is the only one whose curriculum is based on global industry benchmarks established in 2011 – the professional Meeting and Business Event Competency Standards and Certified Meeting Professional-International Standards.

MSU Denver has long been a pioneer in the field of hospitality education, offering a degree program since the 1970s. Formerly, all students majored in hospitality, tourism and events, and chose from one of four concentrations – hotel, event, restaurant or tourism management. The new degree, while still well integrated with the remaining three HTE concentrations, gives students more flexibility to pursue their specific interest, plus pursue a minor, and potentially graduate sooner.

Marcy Bernabei, a current HTE student who plans to move into the new degree program, believes the change will help sharpen the scope of her studies.

“I’m so excited to focus more specifically on events management classes,” said Bernabei, who hopes to plan large events when she graduates in spring 2017. “I will get to go deeper than before and get a better understanding for planning events. I’ll also be able to take a minor without extending my studies now, and I think all of those things will help me get a better job some day.”

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