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Student Q&A: Tania Laguna

Business Faculty Student - Event Management

Editor's note: Upskilled is currently not taking enrolments for Event Management. Please contact us on 1300 009 924 to discuss other course options.

Tania is an Upskilled online student
who recently completed the popular SIT50316 - Diploma of Event Management. She decided to gain formal qualifications in event management as she often plans events within her role as an EA for CSR Limited. Here, she shares her study experience, and how it was to learn with Upskilled.

How did you find your course in Event Management?

It was good; I was a bit apprehensive at the beginning because I haven’t studied for a long time, but once I started my course, it was exciting, and getting through each unit made me feel more confident.

What made you decide to do this online course?

I do a lot of event management at work, including organising the Christmas party for 150 people every year. I also arrange conferences and other events throughout the year. I thought that getting formal qualifications in events would be in line with my objectives for the year, and my manager was happy for me to do the course, so I thought why not?

Student Q&A: Tania Laguna, Diploma of Event Management

Was studying a suggestion from your management team?

Actually, I suggested it because my manager asked me to look for courses online, and I found Upskilled, so thought that the SIT50316 - Diploma of Event Management would be a good option to pursue.  

What industry are you in, Tania?

I am an Executive Assistant to the New South Wales management team for CSR, a company that manufactures Gyprock and Fibre Cement Sheets. “We’re the Gyprock people.” Being a large company, we attend and hold many conferences. 

What’s the general format of your events?  Do they range in size and location?

Yes, definitely. We hold something called the NSW Residential Customer Function which we hold each year for up to a 150 people; our top clients. We invite the VIP’s of each company that we supply stock to, and we look for different places each year to make sure it’s a successful event and that the attendees have fun.  

For example, one year we managed to arrange a very successful function, it was held at the Carrington Hotel.  Our guests were invited to stay overnight in the hotel.  The food was magnificent and the entertainment was wonderful. We hired Frankie J. Holden and his group.  It was a 1950s theme. It was a great event and a very successful one! It helped that most of our clients ranged in age from 40s to 70s, so they could all comprehend the theme and they loved it.

Since you’ve been involved in putting on events, what are some of the biggest challenges that people in the industry might overlook?

First and foremost, the thing that I always suggest is to have a back-up plan. I always book a space that has an indoor and outdoor space. For example, last year I arranged our Christmas party for December, when the weather is supposed to be beautiful and hot.

However, on the day, it rained. Everything that I arranged for the outside space, (such as props) I could still use inside. So, we just had the event inside rather than outside; no one got wet and we didn’t have to cancel it.

Is there a lot of follow up that goes with planning an event?

Yes, as well as pre-planning! I always have a pre-meeting and taste testing because if the food is not up to scratch, then the event won’t be as successful.  

Student Q&A: Tania Laguna, Diploma of Event Management

What advice would you give to a student thinking of doing this course?

My advice would be to make sure you open and read the links for the coursework. If you don’t follow up, read and listen to them, it won’t help you along the way.  

I found that whilst I was listening to all the trainers and all the videos online, they really helped me in getting through the course and answering the questions correctly. I advise everyone to make sure that they’d actually do listen to the videos and follow what they say.

What are a skills an event manager needs to have?

  • You need to be outgoing
  • Be able to talk to people
  • Have good communication skills
  • Ability to follow up
  • Have the type of personality that drives and has excitement for planning events

Is there anything else you wanted to add?

Yes, you need a lot of support from your family and friends because sometimes there are bits of the subjects that you have to go through that require support. 

I get a lot of support from my husband because he’s good with maths and financial topics but the main person that I could rely on was Gideon Roos, my trainer. He was there at my beck and call, always helpful. I can’t really thank him enough.  If it wasn’t for him, and if I didn’t have his support, I think I would have found the course more difficult, but he is just the best, very knowledgeable. He is always available and so helpful.

Learn more about Event Management

Check out Upskilled’s Event Management Industry Insight for information on salary, job prospects, skills required and more. Find out what an Event Manager does in Upskilled’s Job Role and careers section.

Upskilled also has a range of online courses in Event Management.

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