Education of Future MICE Professionals More Significant Than Ever Before

Education of Future MICE Professionals More Significant Than Ever Before

Summer semester at the Prague University of Economics and Business (VŠE) was concluded in mid May, and so was the master's event management course, launched in cooperation of the Prague Convention Bureau with the Department of Tourism in 2016. Despite the complications associated with the coronavirus epidemic, the whole course was transferred to online environment and successfully closed within the distance learning.

The idea of accrediting a new university course dedicated to meetings industry originated almost 10 years ago. The key motivator was the absence of such a closely specialized course across universities throughout the entire Czech Republic. "Even back then, we saw a significant gap in the university system that needed to be filled. After initial negotiations and preparations, the course was accredited, and in 2016 it was under the Department of Tourism of the Prague University of Economics and Business that the course was launched. Now, in times of coronavirus crisis, the training of new tourism professionals is more significant than ever. The sector is experiencing a large outflow of experienced experts, and newcomers may perceive it as lacking perspective or even risky. It is through this course that we want to show students that events organization and tourism as such remain an important sector of the economy, and that work in this field has a future," explains Roman Muška, Director of the Prague Convention Bureau.

For students who enrolled in this year's optional event management course, we prepared a series of 11 lectures in cooperation with the members of Prague Convention Bureau and other partners. These were led by lecturers from practice who have been engaged in the meetings industry for many years and can thus pass on valuable experience to interested learners. In addition to the general knowledge, know-how and advice, each of the speakers also explained the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their particular segment of the meetings industry, and the changes and challenges that this situation brought to the organization of events.

Ondřej Špaček from the Economic Impact company devoted his whole lecture to the influence of the pandemic that was also devoted to a whole lecture led by. Other lectures focused on topics such as destination management (lectured by Roman Muška, Prague Convention Bureau), corporate event management (Sylvie Neves, MCI Group and Lenka Žlebková, Prague Congress Centre), congress and conference management (Ivo Miksa, GUARANT International, and Elena Alexandrová, AIM Group International), sports events (Markéta Štěrbová, Czech Ice Hockey Association), catering services (Jan Šmelhaus, Zátiší Catering Group), management of conference facilities (Miroslav Bukva, Aquapalace Hotel Prague), management skills (Renáta Křečková, Hotel International Prague) or audiovisual technologies (Jan Kubinec, AV Media).

"The Department of Tourism of the Prague University of Economics and Business deeply appreciates this long-term cooperation with the Prague Convention Bureau. Our thanks, as every year, also belong to all lecturers in the industry. Students in this summer semester had 100% participation in online lectures, they were also present in spirit, they participated in interactive discussions and quizzes. During the course, the teams wrote proposals of a hybrid event, which they also presented at the last online meeting. Students thus had the opportunity to apply the information they obtained into a practical assignment. Everyone appreciated, of course, the expertise, but also the interesting presentation of the lectures. The optimism and encouragement for the future, that they do not study the subject for no use, and that there will be a professional application for them in the tourism industry in future, also deserve an appreciation," concludes Zdenka Petrů from the Department of Tourism of the Prague University of Economics and Business.

The optional Event Management course will continue at the Prague University of Economics and Business in the following year. It will be re-listed for the summer semester of the academic year 2021 / 2022.

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