Students looking to learn more about professional development and risk management as those topics apply to the field of meeting and event planning can do so this fall with two fast-paced online classes offered through SDSU Global Campus.

The classes, part of the Meeting and Event Planning Certificate program, will be taught by instructor John M. Rose, who has more than 35 years of subject matter expertise in the area, including 24 years as a C-Suite Executive in the Insurance, Assistance, and Intelligence industries.

Rose recently completed his Executive Doctor of Business Administration at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School, first taught the two classes in 2022, and is returning to offer them again this fall. He previously was awarded an MBA from Pepperdine after studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Kansas.

Professional Development

In the professional development class, students will work on developing the confidence, experience, and knowledge needed to pitch their meeting and event planning services to a company’s board of directors or other decision-makers.

Students practice by presenting a mock event to their fellow students who are acting as members of a company’s board of directors to work on the skills needed to build their own book of meeting and event planning business.

Most students in the meeting and event planning space will be independent contractors and work for themselves as opposed to working for a company offering the services, Rose said. That makes having the ability to pitch your services to an executive-level audience crucial to success.

Instructor John Rose

Instructor John Rose

“It’s a tough audience, but you have to win that business, so it’s a mix of sales and public speaking skills that you’ll need,” Rose said.

Event Safety, Security and Risk Management

The other class Rose will be teaching this fall – Event Safety, Security, and Risk Management – helps students understand the risks of meeting and event planning, including everything from bad weather to attendees engaging in threatening or inappropriate behavior during an event.

‘It’s really helping students identify those potential pitfalls and come up with a risk assessment plan,” Rose said. “That helps them win business.”

Rose said his students come from all walks of life, ages, and backgrounds, which provides a wide range of experience and perspective for the in-class discussions. The students range from those just out of college and starting their careers to older students who may be looking at transitioning out of one career into meeting and event planning and even retirees looking for a good side hustle, he said.

“I love that because we get so many varying reasons why people want to do this type of work,” Rose said.

The Return of Live Events

The meeting and events space was hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions that were implemented in early 2020, but three years removed from that period, Rose said the industry is roaring again, particularly as it relates to corporate and business travel.

With more employees working remotely, many companies are holding smaller corporate gatherings intended to replace the face-to-face collaboration that used to be a pillar of in-office work. That means more opportunities for meeting and event planning professionals to host events at area hotels, conference centers, and other venues, according to Rose.

“The world of corporate events is just exploding right now,” Rose said. “What companies are saying is, ‘We want to get our people together for collaboration.’ I’m seeing a lot of that and helping meeting and event planning professionals identify that opportunity is huge.”