EIA head hits out at 'crap' colleges

Events Industry Alliance (EIA) group chief executive Trevor Foley has called on colleges to up their game and create closer links with the events industry. “There are 56 event management degrees out there and most of them are crap,” Foley said at yesterday’s Business Tourism Partnership breakfast seminar, held at The Cabinet War Rooms and backed by Eventia. “I have tried to contact many of the colleges, but most of them won’t even tell me what they are teaching the students and this is a real challenge. A lot of students appear to be very good at table decorations but not so good at sales and marketing techniques.” The remarks came as the EIA celebrates the announcement of the UK’s first-ever ‘A’ Level course in event management, which it has helped create. London’s City and Islington College, in partnership with the nearby Business Design Centre, approached Foley to consult on course content and the first intake of students will come in 2008. Course details are still being finalised, but Foley said: “What we can definitely say is that it will contain all the important stuff – sales, marketing and operations – rather than just learning about the types of events and creative. It will clearly prepare students for roles in the industry.” City and Islington will operate as a testing ground for the new qualification, and if successful Foley added that there would be plans to extend it to colleges across the country.

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