MPI Toronto Chapter Student Club President
Like us on FB:MPI Toronto Student club
When entering the Hospitality and Tourism Management program at Ryerson University, I was relieved that I had found the perfect program for me!
I have always been interested in pursuing a career in event management and in my fourth year Management Career Strategies class had the opportunity to organize a speaker panel as one of our assignments. Immediately I knew that I wanted “Event Management” to be theme of this project.
Instantly my creativity took over and I was envisioning a grand stage, pipe and drape, lights, teleprompter etc. After my first consultation with my professor, I began scaling back a bit as there was no budget whatsoever. From that point, my focus became all about the details no matter how small.
We were fortunate enough to secure three great panelists: Duff Shaw, Industry Legend; Helen Frank, Senior Event Coordinator at Toronto International Film Festival Group; and Arlene Stein, Founder & Chair at Terroir Hospitality Symposium.The panel was a candid conversation with these event professionals from different specialties and all three speakers were very enthusiastic to take part and very encouraging throughout the process. I have heard time and time again that the event industry is different from others in the sense that everyone knows each other; it is extremely collaborative, and also very welcoming. Planning this panel is a testament to that very idea.
I thought I would share with you some of the talking points that I found most interesting:
- Current industry professionals are very receptive to helping students and giving them advice from their past experiences.
- Relationships in this industry are everything! In fact, it was discovered that Arlene had actually taken a course from Duff in the past and we also found out that both Duff and Helen are members of MPI. The discussion, as a result, was very animated and all speakers drew from their experiences. All of these connections brought to light the power of networking within the industry. While some industries are very secretive and competitive, event management professionals get together and share their best practices.
- Organizing events is adrenaline inducing regardless of the scope of the event. You can take a basic event and no budget and make it unique with your own special touches. When working with a team you become most effective when you surround yourself with different skill sets.
Overall I think going through this process was a very rewarding experience where I was able to plan and execute a successful event, meet people in the industry, and learn in the process.