Edinburgh Institute: Festivals, Events and Tourism deliver event expertise to budding Festival and Event Professionals in Dubai
As part of the recent Middle East Event Show (1 – 2 June), the Edinburgh Institute: Festival, Events and Tourism delivered their 3 day Executive Certificate in Festival and Event Management in Dubai. The Middle East Event Show is the key platform for Festival and Event professionals to connect, network and do business in the region. It combines a traditional trade show with innovative and thought provoking seminars, workshops and practical demonstrations addressing key trends and issues in the industry.
Event management is a key growth area for the UAE economy and increasingly demands professionals with recognised skills, trained in the art and science of event management – especially so with the continued success of key events such as the Etihad Formula 1 Grand Prix, Dubai World Cup and cultural events such as the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Film Festivals. Recent UK research (People 1st, 2010) identified key skills for those entering the events industry as leadership qualities and experience; project management; customer service and relationship building; and strategic, operational and financial expertise.
Organised in conjunction with IIR Exhibitions, the course was presented by EIFET Director Dr Jane Ali-Knight, a renowned and innovative leader in international events education. Jane has co-authored several texts on Festival and Event Management and is also an industry practitioner, having worked with the Abu Dhabi Film Festival since its inception in 2007. She was joined by EIFET Associate Paul Gudgin, a former director of the world’s largest arts festival, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, who has visited the region twice before to deliver master classes with key government bodies. Paul comments "I have seen at first hand the exciting portfolio of major events being developed in the UAE. It will require an ambitious, creative and skilled workforce to help maintain this momentum and I hope our Executive Certificate Programme will help encourage and inspire future event managers in the region’’
The Executive Certificate in Festival and Event Management has been delivered, in conjunction with the Australian Centre for Event Management, UTS, in Edinburgh since 2004 and is designed to provide a foundation of key skills and knowledge associated with the creation and delivery of corporate (e.g. product launches, conferences, functions, fundraising events), private (e.g. parties, weddings) and public events (e.g. festivals, street parades, fairs and sporting events). It is intended to both enhance the professional skill and knowledge base of those already employed within the event industry and to serve as a sound platform for people wishing to launch careers in event management.
28 festival and event industry professionals from the government, private and freelance sectors in the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman participated in the programme. Jane said: “Destinations like Abu Dhabi and Dubai have recognised the power of festivals and events to increase brand awareness and put their destinations on the world stage. The energy and dynamism in the room revealed how eager people working within the industry are to up skill the local population and professionalise the industry.’ Course delegate, Isobel Abulhoul, Director of the Emirates International Literature Festival, commented ‘The Event Management Course was packed with really useful details and advice on how to run events more professionally. It was amazing how much was packed into the three days….the health and safety aspects, and risk analysis elements of the course were of particular interest, and areas that I think can often be overlooked. I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone involved in events.’
As well as delivering the ECFEM programme, Jane was also a judge at the Middle East Event Awards held on June 1st to honour outstanding achievements in the Middle East Events Industry. Future plans include the delivery of the programme through the Edinburgh Institute in Hong Kong and also in London in 2012.