Check out our interview with Tommi Hanley, who is our Lead Instructor in Event & Promotions Management in Kelowna!
CAT: Hi Tommi! Thanks for taking some time to meet with us today! To start out,we often get questions about “promotion” aspect of the program. Can you tell us what makes the Event & Promotions Management program stand out among your typical “event planning” courses?
Tommi: Yes! For starters, it doesn’t matter how wonderful an event you can create or deliver, if people don’t know about it, it will not be successful. Marketing and promoting events are imperative to their success.
We study a lot of promotion and marketing strategies in the EPM program, and this is why some students end up following a more marketing focused career. You could be the person who helps market the event – sell tickets, gain sponsors, place advertising, create the social media strategy – for an event – rather than focus on the logistics or end delivery of the event. There is a great many paths students can pursue upon graduation.
How would you describe the program in terms of experiential learning?
I believe in education that allows the student to become involved in the career they are pursuing. The hands-on curriculum students get in this program, where they are creating events, delivering events, promoting event, and playing a role in large-scale events (such as Center of Gravity) is one of their greatest assets upon graduation.
Can you tell us about some of the students you’ve worked with, and where they’ve ended up after graduating from the program?
Yes! There is such a diversity of options with this kind of training. One of my past students is a key organizer with the Roots & Blues Festival; one works at the South Okanagan Events Centre; one is with Festivals Kelowna; several are in Calgary with event planning companies; one is working with a decor and logistics company focused on weddings; another is a promotions manager for a radio station in Calgary. Another has his own music production company and is booking all kinds of shows in Kelowna and throughout western Canada. A couple of them work for Habitat in Kelowna, which has its own event production arm as well. Those are just some of the Event & Promotions Management grads that come to my mind!
What has been your experience as an instructor in this program?
I have greatly enjoyed my time here to date. It is very gratifying to be able to share my experience with students, not only in event planning, but in marketing, business communications, and media. It is a place where all of my career experience has been utilized in some form or another. I love the interaction with students and to see their enthusiasm for their future careers is fantastic.
Anything else you would like to say?
I feel confident that our grads leave the school well-prepared to enter the events industry. I believe the course has gained a good reputation and we do have potential employers approaching the school to seek out grads to hire knowing they are well educated and ready to take on the world!
Tommi Hanley – Lead Instructor (Kelowna), Events & Promotions Management
Tommi joined us at Centre for Arts and Technology with 25 years of experience under her belt. In addition to teaching, Tommi is also the owner of Shop the Valley Destination Management, which provides destination management services for corporate, association and not-for-profit meetings and incentive travel market.
After working as the Editor for Meetings & Incentive Travel Magazine, Tommi launched Thompson Lloyd Communications (TLC), which specialized marketing, promotions and public relations. Her clients included Fairmont Hotels and Resorts; Vancouver Molson Indy; Tourism Malaysia; Tourism Kelowna; Inc.; Manteo Resort; Beyond Wrapture Day Spas; and more.
Tommie was instrumental to the creation of the Canadian Meeting & Incentive Travel Symposium and Trade Show (now IncentiveWorks). Now in its 20th year, it is considered to be the premier show of its kind in Canada, attracting more than 400 international exhibitors and 3,000 delegates every year.
Tommi served on the Board of Directors of SITE Canada (Society of Incentive & Travel Executives) for five years, including two terms as elected president. She was the first woman in Canada to attain the Certified Incentive Travel Executive (CITE) designation from SITE.
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