Kari CraigSan Diego native, Kari Craig used to work in higher education, and health and wellness, but recently decided to open her own business in event planning (Kari’d Away Events), which focuses on birthday parties, weddings, bar mitzvahs, baby showers, divorce parties and much more. She believed that learning more about the industry and also networking with industry professionals would be a good decision.

“I decided to go back to school at SDSU because it is a reputable school and I wanted to learn more about my new industry. I heard great things about the certificate program at SDSU in meeting and event planning from a friend. I attended the orientation and fell in love with the program immediately. I decided to sign up right away,” says Craig.

Craig’s first class, Meeting and Planning Basics, is taught by Annette Gregg. “She has high energy and was able to share personal experience she has had both in the industry and what to expect from this program,” she says. Craig points out that the highlights of the first course were that, “it was great to hear about the facts, trends, and challenges in the industry in 2012, the job opportunities, five steps toward measuring meeting ROI, and the chance to work in groups.”

Other takeaways for Craig were how to write meeting and event objectives – the five components to help describe meeting results (SMART goals), and how to complete a session worksheet. She says, “The session worksheet helps the planner to understand objectives, who the audience is, as well as how to set up the room and evaluate the audience.”