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Event Management School at Oglebay National Training Center

Update on the 2021 Event Management School

In conversations with our Event Management School partners (IFEA, NRPA and the Oglebay National Training Center), given what we currently know of the COVID-19 pandemic; the most optimistic, projected and realistic timelines for a vaccine and distribution; our concerns for ensuring the safety and health of our students, instructors and staffs; and our uncertainty regarding travel capabilities, both continentally and from outside of North America; we have determined that we will not be able to do the 2021 Event Management School in-person and on-site at Oglebay, in West Virginia, this coming January.

Following up on our decision to cancel the in-person version of the 2021 Event Management School in January, we sent out a survey to all of our 2020 Year One Class Professionals, to assess interest in the possibility of creating a virtual option for the school. Based upon the responses that we received and conversations with all of our partner organizations, we have now determined – in the interest of maintaining the unique (and hard to replicate) in-person experience, one-on-one networking opportunities, the extensive and high quality training provided by our professional instructors, and the special environment of the Oglebay Resort – that we will not be providing a virtual option in 2021. Instead, we will all look forward to continuing the school (with many new program updates to reflect the new world that we will all be operating in), in-person, in January of 2022 (January 16-21). Watch this page for more information in the months ahead.

While waiting is as hard for us, as all of you, when we begin again in January of 2022, the school and the training provided will be even more critical to your professional success, as we all adjust to the new expectations of all stakeholders, new challenges and opportunities, new health and safety regulations, and a world that will need our events to re-bond our communities and countries, more than ever.

For those of you who may be considering the Event Management School as a new Year One Class Professional, we look forward to welcoming you to one of the most unique and valuable educational opportunities in our industry. In the interim, we encourage you to consider a membership in the IFEA and NRPA, where you can take advantage of many valuable member resources, as we all continue to learn more about the changes that lie ahead for all of us.

If you are a current member of the IFEA, we encourage you to consider participating in our professional Affinity Groups, Covid Task Force Committees, sharing your experiences in our quarterly magazine (ie: the business of international events), and taking advantage of our many other professional resources, publications and networking opportunities.

We look forward to hopefully seeing and celebrating with you all in-person, again, at Oglebay in January of 2022. Mark your calendars now!

(Posted: 12/1/2020)

2022 Dates TBA

Oglebay Resort & Conference Center
Wheeling, West Virginia
Oglebay Resort & Conference Center in January. 

Quality festivals and events are among the most successful tools available to communities, states, regions, and even countries to increase tourism, create powerful and memorable branding and imaging opportunities, bond people together, encourage positive media coverage, enhance economic impact, and add to the quality of lives for those who live there. On the other hand, a poorly planned, managed and executed event can have a reciprocally opposite effect.
Over time, events themselves have changed; from often informal affairs to spectacular productions, requiring new sets of skills, experience, creativity, financing, planning and leadership. As a result, event management has evolved into a business and an industry, with new demands, challenges and expectations every day; from attendees / participants; sponsors; host communities and a plethora of other partners that the success of any event depends on.

Presented by two of the most respected professional associations in our industry – the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) – the Event Management School at Oglebay National Training Center in West Virginia was designed around the concept of bringing new and mid-career industry professionals together with some of the most highly respected and experienced professionals in the field, for a comprehensive educational and networking opportunity that will cover the critical basics of successful event management and then put students in an applied-knowledge project environment to test and further what they have learned.
Students in class. 
Teachers with the Oglebay Cup. 
Celebrating after graduation! 

Year One Session Topics

  • Understanding Event Management and the Impact of Events
  • Business Plans
  • Event Budgeting and Budget Management
  • Building a Successful Volunteer Program
  • Event Administration & Legal Considerations
  • Event Operations
  • Merchandise Programs
  • Sponsorship Sales & Service
  • Marketing & Mediums
  • Food & Beverage Programs
  • Event Risk Management
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Event Ticketing, Financial Transactions & Audience Expectations
  • Building Community through Proactive Events management
  • Including Fans with Disabilities
  • Surveys, Evaluations and Economic Impact Studies
  • Open Forum Roundtable Discussions

Year Two Session Topics

  • Application of Project Management to Events
  • Designing & Controlling the Event Experience
  • Advanced Risk Management
  • What Cities Want from Event Partnerships
  • Advanced Considerations for Including Fans with Disabilities
  • Applied Sponsorship Research
  • Applied Budget Development
  • Applied Sponsorship Proposals and Follow-Up Reports
  • City Event Concept Development Project & Presentations
  • Open Forum Roundtable Discussions

Future School Dates:

  • TBA

Additional Information

Participant Insight

"This was the best School I have ever attended! This was my second at School at Olgebay but I am a learner, so this one was more for me. The presenters were OUTSTANDING! The wealth information that was shared and their willingness to share it with us, was such a blessing. I love the atmosphere of the Schools at Oglebay, where everyone is so fun to be around in the midst of this crazy world and times we are living in. Thank you so much for all you do and did, to make this AN EXPERIENCE I will always remember."
2018 Event Management School Attendee

Participant Insight

"As a Year 1 student, I was not sure what to expect but I felt compelled to share that the program absolutely exceeded my expectation. The caliber of the presenters was top-notch and the program topics offered direct application to my daily responsibilities as an event organizer. Thanks for developing this school. It has been the most intense event-specific training I have ever attended. I’m sincerely looking forward to Year 2."
Rachael Goodwin
Town of Leesburg, VA
2015 Graduate

Participant Insight

“It was informative, engaging and motivating. Every day provided an incredible opportunity to learn from the speakers and other students. I am most appreciative to have been able to meet so many leaders in the event management field and I am inspired by their enthusiasm, commitment and dedication to the profession. Oglebay was a great host site. Everyone there worked very hard to make sure we were all well taken care of and enjoying our stay. So glad that I was able to attend and I am looking forward to returning as a Year 2 student!"
Debe Shafer
Texas A&M University
2015 Graduate


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