Event Management Minor

Two students at an event.The event management minor offers students of the Department of Human Performance and Health Performance at Western Michigan University the opportunity to learn the management techniques needed to successfully plan, implement and evaluate meetings, festivals and special events. Course materials will provide theory and applications that will prepare students for careers event planning in the commercial, non-profit and governmental sectors. The program consists of 15 hours of required courses and the completion of HPHE 1700 as a cognate.

For class listings, including a program guide, visit the advising page for the event management minor.

Declaring a minor

Students need to meet with a College of Education and Human Development advisor to declare the minor. CEHD advisors are located in 2421 Sangren, 2nd Floor.

Program coordinator:
Deb Droppers
(269) 388-3884

What is event management

A student helps at an event.Event management is a profession that requires public assembly for the purpose of celebration, education, marketing and reunion. The profession of event management continues to be more competitive and requires academic study in the theory and practical application of event management practices. The event management minor program in HPHE is for students who are interested in the theoretical and practical aspects of event and meeting management including research, design, planning, coordination and evaluation of events and meetings of all sizes and event types.

A student helps at an event.As the demand for experiential events continues to grow the field as a professional will require a high level of management capacity building steeped in innovation with a commitment to customer centricity. This curriculum is designed to provide the framework to empower students to embrace these ideals.

According to the Travel Industry Association over 31 million US adults attended a festival while traveling away from home. Notwithstanding those who stay at home and celebrate an event either for work, recreation or part of a family celebration. Events account for more than 55% of a business marketing mix. Below is a summary of some of the businesses that would hire event managers:

  • A student helps at an event.Banking and investment groups
  • Car dealerships
  • Casinos
  • Caterers
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Cities
  • Coalitions
  • Convention centers
  • Convention and visitors bureaus
  • Country clubs
  • Cruise lines
  • Department stores
  • Florists
  • Hospitals
  • Hotels and resorts
  • Museums
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Private schools
  • Professional associations
  • Public relations firms
  • Shopping malls
  • Theme parks
  • Tourism organizations
  • Trade associations
  • Universities 

What is an event planner

A group of students.Event planning requires creativity, organization and flexibility. Event planners thrive on the challenge to work well under pressure to meet deadlines and be able to multitask as they juggle multiple projects. They are assertive when dealing with a crisis yet patient with their clients, staff and volunteers. They love the challenge of creatively dealing with a situation or a problem, and they are always looking to improve what is already a great event. Strong written and verbal communication skills allow event planners to negotiate well with their client, staff, and vendors. Here is an innate sense of passion for the customer and the mission of the event and a desire to understand what is at the core of the customer's desire to celebrate.

A group of students.They are willing to work nontraditional hours which can mean staying late or getting there early to make sure the work is done. Behind the scenes they are thinking and problem solving so that problems don't happen, and they quietly celebrate when all the pieces come together. And at the end of the day there is a deep appreciation and understanding of budgeting that will help to sustain and provide consistent programming.

Quick facts

2012 median pay: $45,810
Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree
Number of jobs in 2012: 94,200
Job outlook 2012-22: 33% growth rate


The CSEP and CFEE require professional job experience as well as a college degree prior to completing certification.