The Events Degree

Now this tweet from Kirstie Allsopp did come a while ago and with it came many people in both agreeance and disbelief at her sheer ignorance for the subject. Anyway, I think it’s time I took Allsopp on and fought back for the industry I’m basing my future career around.


I study Events Management at Leeds Beckett, formerly Leeds Metropolitan University. It’s the UK Centre and we’re fortunate to have lecturers with both amazing practical experience and high academia. Everyone is fully aware that it’s a controversial subject on whether or not it’s needed or useful, and it’s definitely up there with what people consider Mickey Mouse.

People think Events Management is all about planning parties. Well, ignorant people do. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. In my 2 and a half years studying so far, I have not heard the word ‘party’ used once. In a single lecture, seminar or casual conversation.

We effectively study a Business Management degree – but with an angle that you are running an events business. We learn the fundamentals of UK law, regulations, accounting, business management – and yes, a bit of creativity.

I’m not saying the average person can’t throw a party. Of course they can. You don’t need any qualifications for that. Just like you don’t to plan a wedding. People with absolutely no organisational skills or any understanding of the law do that every single day all by themselves without the help of a professional. But people don’t enter into this degree wanting to be party planners or wedding planners. We want to be conference managers, run international exhibitions, manage festivals, music events, sporting events – The Olympics.

It’s slightly different.

It’s the difference between planning something for 200 people that you probably know quite well, to being responsible for 80,000 strangers in a stadium who have all paid £60 each to both be entertained and safe.

Human error is always going to happen and things beyond our control are always going to happen – therefore inevitably, things that cause crises are always going to happen. However, we’re trained to put everything in place to prevent these occurrences. To prevent the next Hillsborough disaster which took the lives of 96 people, and the Brazil nightclub fire which took the lives of 233.

We learn the rules of capacity and what is a safe number of people to have in one venue. We learn the rules on fireworks and pyrotechnics. We learn many health and safety rules relating to events and venue management, and the laws surrounding them in quite some detail.

We learn these things so that hopefully these dreadful disasters don’t repeat themselves.

We learn these things so that people like Kirstie Allsopp can walk into the National Television Awards and feel comfortable and safe in the knowing that she will come out alive. She feels entertained and everything runs to time.

It’s supposed to feel effortless. It’s supposed to feel calm for the attendees. But without a doubt the entire events team are running round like headless chickens back stage. And the people that have been in the business for twenty years probably have worked their way up into that role, but the assistants on large scale events and the newly emerging talent which are going to take on the entertainment and business world in a matter of a few years, are all educated and trained in that profession.

Yes, it might be Mickey Mouse. But as a teacher once said to me, the company that made Mickey Mouse made a hell of a lot of money.

love lauren x


10 thoughts on “The Events Degree

  1. suchled says:

    In one of my incarnations I was a Careers Counselor. Don’t ever let anyone dump on what you are studying. It would make a great book if you wrote what you learn that they didn’t teach the girl who went to work for a company. I have two blogs. One is locked and it has a lot of stuff I wrote about Mental Health. If you go to it will tell you it’s locked. But if you’d like a key you can wander around and have a look at what you will. But you have to ask Mr WordPress and he will ask me and I will say OK.
    But If you want to look at this years stuff then it’s on
    I like you style lady.
    Regards John


  2. lydiaa1614 says:

    I applaud you for your choice in career and for this post. Having been a caterer in both the corporate and retail sectors, I am well aware of what can go into an event. I know the courses we have here are not nearly as detailed as yours and are usually about 2 years long at a community college.


    • bylaurenhayley says:

      Thanks Lydia. Its a newish development as a degree. I believe my uni was the first in the world and that was 1997. Its definitely becoming more of a profession as the years go on! Mine’s four years with one year in industry


  3. alfgarnet says:

    You could not of worded it better, hunny, has events managers , , co ordinarters, where I work and know exactly all the ins and outs that it intales , take care be strong ,


  4. Drifting Pages says:

    Fantastic piece and good for you for standing up for your degree and your industry. People are quick to make assumptions about certain university degrees without any understanding of what they actually involve and the hard work the students put in. I wish you all the best with your degree and your future career. I’m sure you’re going to rock it!


    • bylaurenhayley says:

      Thank you! I really appreciate it. Like you say, assumptions are often made. It’s only human, I can often do it too and have to stop myself and remember what people say about my course! It’s human nature but now I do try my hardest to remember there are always aspects to these things that I wouldn’t understand. So it’s educated me that far even if the degree appears to be useless to other people haha!

      Liked by 1 person

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