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The meeting industry needs architects

24 January 2014

They spoke of personnel training for the exhibition and convention industry at the session 'The meeting industry labour and education market.' Although the event industry market emerged in Russia some 15 years ago, no special training for the industry has ever been provided. Last year, a very first 4-month convention management training course was developed in the School of Conference Interpreting and Translation of Herzen University. This was announced by Anzhelika Antonova, Candidate of Philological Sciences, Director of the School of Conference Interpreting and Translation at the 3rd Europe+Asia Event Forum. According to her, the training modules consist of 252 classroom hours, including 80 hours of foreign languages. Upon completion of the training course (November-March), students will go practicing at the United Nations or the European Parliament (April-May). The School of Conference Interpreting and Translation was established five years ago with the assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, European Commission, UN Secretariat and Herzen University; its graduates are in high demand in the international labour market - 6 people work currently at the UN Headquarters in New York, and 8 in the European Parliament. 'I was pleased to see our graduate here in PetroCongress,' she said.  'It's good when such important events use services by highly professional specialists.'
 The session moderator, International Expert of the Tempus educational programme Elena Vasilieva (St. Petersburg) showed the presentation by  Yulia Sakharova, Director of HeadHunter Northwest (St. Petersburg). The main conclusion of the study was as follows: if no-one wanted to get employed in the event industry 3 years ago, today 3.1 people apply for each vacancy in St. Petersburg, and 2.4 - in Moscow. Although, none have appropriate education; usually graduates from philology departments and institutes of foreign languages come to the meeting industry. 'In fact, we need special experts called meeting architects in the Western business,' Elena Vasilieva said. These are creative experts able to design business meetings as an architect designs a building, build business relationship and develop an event from scratch.' She said that currently training programmes have been prepared for: Foreign Regional Studies, Advertising and Public Relations, Cultural Studies, Linguistics and Intercultural Communication, Art Management, Economics and Management (Experience Economy).
Foreign MICE training programmes were presented by Alima Bekenova, Director of Business Academy Icker (Kazakhstan), Marina Gunare, Director of Educational Programmes for Tourism and Service at Baltic International Academy (Latvia), and Marina Belskikh, General Director at International Business Development Alliance (Canada). 
Problems associated with the lack of professional standards and, accordingly, educational programmes for event industry professionals were addressed by Galina Karpova, Dean of the Tourism Faculty, Professor, Head of the Department of Economics and Social Management, Finec (St. Petersburg) in the report prepared jointly with Lyubov Khoreva, Professor, Director of the Institute of Tourism and Service.