Enrollment in event management surges

Kiana Roppe

Event management within the apparel, events and hospitality management department began at Iowa State in January 2011 with a total of 24 students. Since then, enrollment in event management has risen to 217 students, including both majors and minors, in a little more than a year.

“I think more and more people are joining this major because it’s new and exciting,” said Jessi Decker, junior in event management. “When I heard that Iowa State started offering an event management major, I went for it.”

The event management major is a four-year accredited program. It is the only one in the state of Iowa and one of the few in the Midwest. According to the U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau Labor Statistics, meeting, convention and event planning employment are expected to increase 44 percent by 2020.

“Our major includes curriculum in areas such as business management, journalism, advertising, hospitality management, business law, entrepreneurship, creative problem-solving, as well as specific areas within event planning and management,” said Jamie Beyer, an adviser and lecturer within the program.

Potential careers in event management include community relations specialist, corporate events planner, conference manager, events operations manager, special events coordinator, fashion show coordinator and wedding planner.

“The best thing about the event management major is that I can use my creativity,” Decker said. “I want to either own my own event planning/coordinating business someday or work for a well-known event planner/coordinator.”

To prepare for their future careers, students study trend analysis, hospitality and resource management to organize events that are both on time and within budget. Out-of-class experiences and internships are required and encouraged. Decker works at the Memorial Union as a wedding coordinator.

“I am responsible for keeping in contact with the couple throughout their planning process and schedule meetings to show the venues at the Memorial Union,” Decker said. “This job has been great experience and I am learning so much.”

Other opportunities on campus include working at the ISU Fashion Show, planning events for the athletic department, ISU Alumni Association, ISU Dining/Catering, the greek system, Dance Marathon and Veishea.

“We foster students’ learning by providing them academic knowledge in partnership with experience and application to best prepare them for a successful career in event management,” Beyer said.

The major is expected to continue to grow and students who are interested are encouraged to enroll.