This week has marked the fifth year of the NEC’s training programme for local students studying for a BA or Masters in live events.
Event Week Live, run in association with Birmingham City University (BCU), aims to provide real on the job learning, giving students further skills they can take into their prospective work places. Across three days, 15 students have benefitted from a talk from NEC MD, Kathryn James, witnessed the behind the scenes action of setting up and running the world’s largest dog show - Crufts, and experienced how the venue provides its outstanding customer service.
The success of Event Week Live has grown year on year, and now also involves many industry bodies including GES and this year, the Kennel Club.
Duncan Sedgwick, Course Director - MA Event and Exhibition Management at BCU, said: “Events Week Live is a fantastic opportunity for students to experience, first hand, the workings of an internationally renowned organisation such as the NEC. It builds on their network of industry contacts and gives them the chance to work with the NEC in a professional context. The days spent at the NEC really give them a chance to build on their experience and helps kick start their careers in a fantastic industry!”
Andrew Hickinbotham, UK Sales for GES added: “It’s always a fantastic opportunity to discuss the awesome events sector with a student group, especially at the NEC. Once again; great fun, great questions and great discussion: with subjects ranging from creativity to sustainability, tensioned fabric systems to data intelligence.
“I am a huge advocate of bringing new talent into the industry, and this key event always gives me the warm feeling that the future is in safe hands”.
Following on from Events Week Live, five of the most engaged and promising students will then be chosen to take part in the NEC’s Elite programme. Run across one year, the placements can be fitted around other studies or work, with experience including event shadowing and introductions to industry contacts with support from a personal mentor.
Michelle Baldwin, NEC Senior Event Manager who leads the Elite programme said: “The NEC is dedicated to nurturing young, local talent and this is an opportunity we are really proud to offer. On completion of the Elite programme students will be armed with the key fundamentals for a fruitful and prosperous career. The insight and industry contacts they’ll also gain will prove invaluable as they take their first steps into the world of live events.”