Education & Employment: Event Management: Event horizon

Event horizon

Montreal, the city of a hundred festivals
Photo: Steve Deschênes

With so many festivals happening in Quebec, there was a growing need for event management training, like the program now offered at the ITHQ

If you’re interested in managing major events and you already have some experience in that field, ITHQ’s advanced training in event management was created for you.

The goal was simple: to train new people for high level positions in event management. Sylvie Carrière, who’s in charge of student recruiting at the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ, or the Quebec Tourism and Hotel Institute), explains, "It’s a super-specialization program. We already offer an attestation of college studies in event coordination, but this new diploma focuses on a higher level of management and on the skills a top-level administrator needs before beginning his duties."

The shortage of qualified managers in this field can be partly explained by the fact that many current festival directors founded the festivals they now run and learned their skills on the job. "The idea behind this program is to save time by transmitting in a concentrated fashion all the knowledge necessary to occupy such a position."

The training is relatively short, comprising five 45-hour courses that cover the strategic challenges of the industry, the importance of creativity, marketing and financing strategies, team mobilization and ways of keeping an event balanced.

"We have to prepare candidates for the next level, for things like risk management and finances. Speakers will also come in to share their experience," adds Carrière.

The program welcomed its first class last fall. About 15 students who already had experience in the field enrolled. "What’s very interesting is that the experience the students bring can benefit the other people in their class. There’s already a form of networking going on." The ITHQ program, which was created in partnership with the Institut de l’événement (IDÉ), can lead to an Emerit certification from the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC), and from there towards becoming a Certified Event Management Professional (CEMP). A significant asset in a field where specialized training is rare.

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