The Future – What can I do with a major in Event Management?
Our Event Management program prepares students for successful and satisfying careers. This might include producing events in the public, government, non-profit, or private sector as a:
- Special event planner
- Meeting or conference coordinator
- Convention or trade show producer
- Community or cultural festival coordinator
- Sport and hallmark event director
- Wedding planner or other social event planner
- Music festival or concert promoter
You might work for a company that supports the festival and events industry as a:
- Hospitality or hotel venue coordinator
- Services or equipment rental account executive
- Brand marketing specialist
There is a good chance you may work with celebrities, venture capitalists, and other interesting people as you improve people’s quality of life.
2018 graduates Morgan Long at the MLS All-Star game in Orlando, Conner Harris with the Property Brothers at the High Point Furniture Market, and Ashley Gaines at the NFL Draft
Our students have a student government approved and funded club called Planning on Point (POP). Members regularly volunteer for local events, interact with event planners and venues and have attended professional conferences hosted by the North Carolina Association of Festivals & Events, HSMAI, the International Festivals & Events Association, and the International Association of Conference Planners. Several members have also completed bridal certification training.
Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Award for the Best Event Management Bachelor Degree by the International Festivals & Events Association in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
The Jobs and Internships
Event Management students have interned and have worked for a variety of organizations – here are a few
- The Metropolitan Opera, NYC – that’s Megan Nerney, summer 2019
- H.I.S. Events, Honolulu
- Orlando Magic (NBA)
- Orlando City Soccer (MLS)
- HPU Office of Admissions, Alumni Engagement, Campus Concierge, and Community Events
- Buckley Hall Events, New York City
- Marriott Waterfront Hotel, Annapolis, MD
- W Hotel, Dallas
- Hyatt Regency Hotel, Greenwich, CT
- StarPower Talent, Ocean City, MD
- Event Planning DC, Damascus, MD
- BMF Media, HotWire, and YELP – New York City
- Henry & Proximity Hotels, Greensboro
- Mac & B Events, Charleston
- Virginia Capital Trail Foundation
- Disney Magic Kingdom Food & Beverage, Orlando
- National MS Society – Greensboro
- Archdale-Trinity Chamber of Commerce, NC
- High Point CVB, NC
- Baptist Children’s Homes of NC
- AGENC – Los Angeles
- Revel Group – Chicago
- High Point Country Club, NC
- Colonial Country Club, NC
- Fiddlers Elbos Country Club – Bedminster, NJ
Check out the following HPU links for more stories like Lauren’s above:
Dr. Vern Biaett, CFEE, Assistant Professor of Event Management, was the founding department chair and curriculum coordinator, and was at HPU from 2014 to 2020. Previous academic experience included 8 years as an instructor and faculty associate at Arizona State where he taught special event courses in a certificate program he co-created. Before this he spent 30 years as a practitioner including event manager for both the city of Phoenix Office of Special Events and the city of Glendale Marketing Department. His favorite course was – The Rhetoric of Festivals & Events – Experience Design where he introduced students to strategies used to create great experiences and the philosophical foundations of festivals and events.
Dr. Brianna Clark, Assistant Professor of Event Management joined the program in fall 2018. She previously taught at Temple University in the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management where she designed, implemented and lead community based learning classes that focused on hands-on experience. Her favorite course – The Administration of Festivals & Events where she instructs students in the finer points of leadership, volunteer management, and board governance.
Mrs. Jessica Wiitala, MBA joined the program in fall 2019 as an Assistant Professor of Event Management. She has been teaching as part of her doctoral studies at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management where her 12 years of industry experience working with a number of event segments, including social and corporate events, has guided her delivery of event management courses and the implementation of several unique, hands-on projects. One of her favorite course is Event Budget & Finance where she has introduced Monopoly combined with Excel as a hands on method to better understand spreadsheets.
As needed, Adjunct professors teach various courses. Some of those who have been part of our HPU team include the following:
Mr. Kim Strable, has been with the program since 2015. He is currently the CEO of the Greensboro Sports Commission and teaches Introduction to Event Management.
Ms. Diana Parrish, has been with the program since 2017. Her background is in board development and non-profit management and teaches Introduction to Event Management.
Ms. Jennifer Lambert, has been with the program since 2013. She has experience as a corporate event planner and teaches an Event Practicum.
Ms. Amanda Melniczek, has been with the program since 2016. She has experience producing community and business events for a Main Street foundation and teaches an Event Practicum.
We also have dozens of guest speakers in classes and for seminars every year. On the left is Gail Alofsin, the Director of Corporate Partnerships of the Newport Harbor Corporation and an expert in event sponsorship, meeting with students during her recent 2-day visit to campus. On the right (third from the left) is Amy Grossman, Executive Director of the Greensboro Folk Festival in the classroom.
The 5 Reasons to be an Event Management Major at HPU
Communication: The event management program is part of the School of Communication – employers value communication skills
Balance: You can let your creativity loose while at the same time employ your analytical abilities – click to see some Poster Projects
Composure: You will come to realize you can handle constant change and chaos when totally emerged in an event – and think it’s fun
Impact: When you produce events that impact individuals and communities you will get rich in so many ways
Value: If you work for either yourself or for an organization, your entrepreneurial spirit will be valued
A few photos from the past few years.
Fieldwork & Research
Event students have conducted research at the John Coltrane International Jazz & Blues Festival in High Point in collaboration with the Tilburg University in the Netherlands to explore event experiences, ethnographic research to study the behavior of attendees at the North Carolina Folk Festival, Lexington BBQ Festival, and Chinese Lantern Festival in Chapel Hill, economic impact studies for HPU Athletics and the Lexington BBQ Festival, and SWOT analysis for a local Quaker group working to convert an old farm house into an event venue and the North Carolina Folk Festival as they explore possibilities of redesigning their foot print on downtown Greensboro.
Classes include numerous smaller research assignments such as interviewing professional event managers and service workers, internet case studies on operation issues, and marketing research used to design marketing and sponsorship plans.
Additionally, students have conducted independent study projects on topics ranging from producing a major fundraising concert with Carrie Underwood, to comparisons of security staff at Disney and Universal, to an examination of operational differences between American and English festivals.
It is important to plan and produce events, but just as important to know how to evaluate your efforts.