We’re pleased to be launching You Ask, We Answer – our latest blog series dedicated to creative events management.
In this series, Alice Bonnett, our Head of Student Experience, selects real questions submitted by prospective students to be answered by Clare Hearn, Course Leader of our online MA in Creative Events Management, along with Jasper Mehagnoul, a recent graduate of the course.
Alice Bonnett: Clare, I think this is a good question for us to get started with: “What sort of career opportunities are currently available in the digital events sphere?”
Clare Hearn: Well, I guess it's time to talk about COVID-19!
Firstly, I feel it's important to say that our MA has always been delivered digitally, and we have always included online and hybrid events in that programme.
That's because Falmouth as an institution has a long, long track record of using technology in innovative ways to deliver online and hybrid events - from network performance with Elton John to live music concerts every Friday in our performance centre from DIME Online, which is our partner organisation in the States.
Basically, digital events are not new to Falmouth; we've embraced them and celebrated them. And, up until this year, that has actually been kind of an uphill battle for us. We've had to persuade people to come on that journey.
Now, people in the audience here will be so much more familiar with digital events, because that's what we've had to attend over the last six to eight months.
What that means is that there are considerably more opportunities in terms of digital events, in terms of what we are able to do at home, and what people now trust us to do independently at home. That's been a massive, rapid evolution.
For example, one of our current students, Sophia, has just gained an incredible digital internship opportunity working for the government in Fiji. She doesn't live in Fiji, however, we are now able to promote these incredible project management opportunities. That one internship is probably going to be a game changer in terms of her career moving forward.
If you want to get events experience, you don't have to be working in your own country anymore. It's not just internships and volunteer work either. There are increasing numbers of paid opportunities around digital delivery, or at least an acknowledgement that there's a huge amount of planning that we can do for a time when we are not under lockdown.
It's about understanding where to look to find those opportunities, and thinking about what you can do at the same time as being on the course. We're not seeing the industry disappear, it's still very much with us.
Alice Bonnett: How does the course focus on digital events specifically? Are there parts of the programme dedicated to them?
Clare Hearn: Yes! Let me give you the boring, administrative bit first. The MA emphasises digital for two reasons - because it's always been online and because Falmouth has a deeply embedded heuristic learning programme. You learn by doing, so all of our programmes are practically focused.
If you're on campus and learning within that traditional education model, then you can work in groups to deliver a physical event. That's not possible because this is an international online course. We have students based all over the world, so how do we work together to deliver something? It means creating digital and hybrid online events.
One of our modules, called 'Digital Futures for Events and Events Marketing', is assessed through the design, delivery, and reflection on a digital event. Students work together in multinational groups in order to do that.
We obviously work on physical, more traditional events as well, but this is what we do. Digital is in the DNA of the course.
Jasper Mehagnoul: I can attest to that. We had a group, like Clare said, with everyone based all around the world. That was a challenge! We had to consider how to handle different time zones, where the event would take place, and find a way to tackle everything efficiently.
There's another module called 'Creative Practice in Event Design', and it was great because we had to write a real event, with a business plan. That was a really valuable experience. You get feedback, and then have to consider how you would do it again.
It's group work, so you tackle it together. We were living in Kenya, Ireland, China - and we would all meet online and argue about the same event! [laughs] I was getting stuff from two different continents, while sitting in China trying to model everything together. The experience is something surreal in that sense. It can be stressful, but it's also fun. That's how you will remember it.
Are you considering a career in creative events management? Our online, part-time course makes it possible to earn your degree while still managing your professional and personal commitments. Gain the skills and practical expertise you need to succeed, with support from our acclaimed academics and your own student advisor: