Online associate and bachelor's degree programs in event and hospitality management are relatively easy to find. While some programs are offered entirely online, others require on-campus exams and real-world internships. Associate degree programs offer basic training in the field, while bachelor's degree programs prepare students for management positions.
Courses in these programs include convention planning, promotions, marketing, and events management. Some distance learning programs also allow students to specialize in a particular concentration, such as casino management.
Event coordinators do not have to hold special credentials, but opting for professional certification might be helpful for career advancement. Certification options are available through the Convention Industry Council and by the Society of Government Meeting Professionals.
Associate Degrees in Event Management
Online associate degree programs in event management provide training for students desiring careers as event coordinators. Students enrolled in this program learn to coordinate meetings and events for a variety of clients and venues. As communicating with customers, vendors, managers, and event-attendees is crucial to an event coordinator's success, there are several communications courses integrated into a typical online associate's degree program in meeting and event management.
Program Information and Requirements
Online associate degree event management programs are 2-years in length, and generally require 45-60 credits. The online courses must be completed within the same time frame as campus-based courses. Although most programs are available entirely online, some instructors require students to come to the campus to take exams.
Students interested in taking an event coordinator associate degree program online should have Internet access and an e-mail account, as well as know how to send and receive e-mail messages with file attachments. In addition, students need to know how to use a Web browser and perform word processing functions. Some schools offer online tutorials for students new to distance learning.
List of Common Associate Degree Event Coordinator Courses
Online associate degree programs typically have the same general education requirements as on-campus programs, such as composition, math and science classes. Coursework specific to the event management industry covers event planning, finance, marketing and sponsorship.
Event, Meeting and Conference Management
This online event coordinator course trains students in organizing such events as weddings, concerts, movie premiers and sporting events. Students learn about logistics, coordinating food and beverage choices, room flow and curtailing liability issues.
Management Skills for Event Coordinators
This online course is designed to help students achieve certification through the Institute of Certified Professional Managers. Students learn to apply managerial skills to their event planning, as well as to run an event coordinator business.
Distance learning courses on event promotion are geared toward teaching students how-to publicize their events. Such courses combine marketing, public relations, communication and critical thinking skills.
Students enrolled in online event sponsorship courses learn to entice businesses, individuals and other sponsors to support their events. Emphasis is on illustrating how sponsors will benefit from contributing to an event via visibility, sales potential, goodwill and possible returns on investments.
Bachelor's Degrees in Hospitality Management
Online bachelor's degree programs in hospitality management are designed to build on students' current event coordinator education and experience and to prepare them for higher-level positions. Students enrolled in this distance-learning program are trained to observe the social habits of diverse cultures, evaluate various viewpoints, and be excellent communicators. Program graduates are well versed in all areas of hospitality and event management, such as travel and tourism, recreation, lodging, conventions, and food service industries. Business management courses are combined with hospitality topics of study to produce highly qualified event coordinators.
Program Information and Requirements
Online bachelor's degree programs in hospitality management are 4-year programs. However, students who have already earned an associate's degree may be able to transfer credits to this program and cut the time required to complete the program.
Students in distance learning bachelor's degree programs learn by taking online courses, participating in online forums, and downloading both audio and video lecture files. In order to maximize this online learning experience, students should have access to up-to-date computer equipment and a high-speed Internet connection. Colleges typically do not provide software to students. However, some distance learning courses may require either free or purchased software. Textbooks may be ordered online or may be purchased at a bookstore on campus.
List of Common Bachelor's Degree Hospitality Management Courses
In addition to general education and business management courses, the classes typically found in an online bachelor's degree hospitality management program cover marketing, management, purchasing, and event planning. Students may also choose to focus their degree in on particular area, such as convention planning, hotel management, or casino management.
Beginning Hospitality Management
This distance-learning course introduces students to various hospitality industries, including restaurants, spas, hotels, convention centers, and casinos. Students enrolled in this class learn the different management techniques involved with the various industries and to coordinate events for those establishments.
Hospitality Events Management
Students enrolled in this online event coordinator course learn to coordinate, promote and budget a variety of special events. Crowd control, risk factor assessment and protocol are also studied.
Managing International Events
This distance learning course instructs students in proper events coordination in global venues. Topics of study include economic considerations, cultures, marketing and advertising methods.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the employment rate for meeting, convention and event planners is expected to grow by 10%, an above-average rate, from 2014-2024. The BLS also states that the median annual wage for meeting, convention and event planners was $46,840 in May 2015. Event planners may choose to specialize in a particular area, such as wedding planning, sporting event management or working for a specific venue to plan events.
Students with a bachelor's degree in hospitality management may choose to enroll in a Master of Management in Hospitality degree program. Hospitality management master's degree programs are designed to accommodate restaurateurs, hoteliers and consultants.
By earning an online associate's degree in event management or a bachelor's degree in hospitality management, students can build the managerial and organizational skills they need to become event planners. After graduating, they may also enhance their resumes and increase their job opportunities by pursuing a professional certificate in the field, or go on to pursue a master's degree in hospitality.