To educate or not to educate – that is the question!

As promised last week, this week’s blogpost is about my thoughts on the educational opportunities in the meetings industry in Denmark. And I have to say that they have always been almost non-existing, though we are veeeeery slowly catching up on other countries.

The meetings and events industry is a multi-billion kroner industry – we all know that. But how come we place all this money in the hands of people who are not educated in the industry? Because we have to!

Until only a few years ago, Denmark had no official educational opportunities within this industry. In the US, UK, Switzerland, and Germany, they have been ahead of us for years and years when it comes to education for the hospitality industry in general (including meetings and events).

Today we have masters in service management and experience management as the only two specialized in the hospitality industry. We also have event coordinator and service management coordinator educations and a few possibilities for part time educations/classes in the meetings and events industry. But that is it. And some of these are not even entirely meetings/events focused.

So, how do we manage all these billions of kroner events? By experience! Most of the people who work in the Danish meetings and events business have learned by experience – and have become really great at what they do. They have ended up in a job where designing meetings and events became part of their everyday work and they have grown with that task. I know a lot of people in the business who ‘accidentally’ ended up here…including myself!

Way back when, I got a job where I ended up spending most of my time planning meetings. And the rest is history, as they say. Later, I have grabbed some of the opportunities for further education and has taken a CMM (Certificate in Meeting Management) and an experience management education.

However, I do hope that those in charge will look into the possibility of establishing more educational opportunities in the meetings and events industry in Denmark. The young generations need formal educations in order to compete globally – and the World is getting still more global.

When you do not have the opportunity to get a formal education (at least I am not ready to go back to school full time to further educate myself…and I am pretty sure I am not the only one :o)), you can get further education – though informal – during a business network or courses and classes. But we should not underestimate the value of exchanging experiences and learning from peers. Sometimes, learning from someone who has actually tried (and failed?) herself, is even more valuable than learning from a teacher who is too remote from the ‘battle field’.

But what happens when the industry evolves and we have to stop planning meetings and start designing experiences – or even stop designing experience and start solving problems? Can we keep up?

Right now, I am attending MPI’s World Education Conference in Las Vegas, NV, USA, to expand my knowledge. I expect to return to Denmark full of new inspiration and ideas for creating the ultimate experience.

See you back home.