A bright new energy is on its way to the event industry. As event profs who remember being new to the scene, we believe in empowering fresh talent and starting them on the right foot. In this spirit, we hatched a plan to help up-and-comers in Calgary prepare for life after graduation day.
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We recently partnered with Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s School of Hospitality and Tourism to bring an eager class of Event Management students under our wings, sponsoring the group to attend GO WEST, a conference jam-packed with networking and learning opportunities. We leaned into our role as doting hosts, welcoming the students with gift boxes filled with conference necessities plus a few just-for-funs. We wanted the students to know they were guests at this conference, here to bump elbows with world-renowned speakers, not bus tables.
GO WEST provided a bustling three days filled with fantastic event profs, forward-thinking breakout sessions, and endless networking opportunities. We used our time between sessions to build up the students to feel #Networthy, creating a curriculum empowering each student to realize what they bring to the table while learning the immense value of networking. No more Rolodex of business cards; we encouraged the group to collect moments that enhance their network. Come conference day, like proud and embarrassing parents in the wings, we watched them walk boldly into the Edmonton Convention Center, seeking valuable connections, ideas, and experiences.
In our chats with the students, we witnessed their growth accelerating as they went through the week. Ideas churned about the future of events – from sustainability to technology – inspired by conference speakers and breakout sessions. We watched their confidence grow as they sat at the table with industry leaders, having conversations many of us only dreamt of in our early years.
When we look back on our head-first foray into the industry, it’s a whirlwind of gusto, rose-coloured glasses, and few avenues for formal training. Though we remember it fondly, we advocate for making it a smoother ride. When these students are unleashed, they will be our teammates, and we want to see them thrive from the get-go. We plan to continue to lend our perspective, network, and access to tools to make that happen.
Feeling inspired to pay your own expertise and experience forward? We would love to chat. Drop us a note!
Photo credit: Suzan Henke Photography.