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Sunday, September 25, 2022

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SDSU's L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is developing several resources to teach students and professionals alike how to conduct meetings virtually. SDSU's L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is developing several resources to teach students and professionals alike how to conduct meetings virtually.
 


HTM To Educate Students and Meeting Professionals About Virtual Events

The L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is developing several courses designed to educate students and professionals about how to conduct effective virtual meetings.
By Georgia Burge
 

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show a loss of 459,000 jobs in the hospitality industry in March alone, due to the global spread of COVID-19. Though the industry may have taken a hit, that hasn’t stopped San Diego State University’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) from making a positive impact in the field.

The school is developing several resources to teach students and professionals alike how to conduct meetings virtually. These will include a massive open online course (MOOC) in partnership with industry organizations for all meeting professionals, a more in-depth series designed for intermediate to advanced professionals, and new curricula that will be added to HTM graduate and undergraduate courses in the fall. 

These courses will be taught by Mandy Brown, a national sales manager for Hornblower Cruises and a part-time HTM instructor. After seeing the industry’s shift to virtual, she believes it would be helpful to teach others what she knows about how to conduct successful virtual meetings and events.

The MOOC style course, designed to be delivered to a large number of participants at once, will include an overview of what virtual meetings are, types of platforms professionals can work with, how they relate to live meetings and how the possibility of virtual events can be part of the event planning conversation from the very beginning rather than a reactionary measure.

“Virtual meetings can be thought of from the beginning in the case that something does happen that’s out of your control,” Brown said. “They can also be used to expand and enhance the live event to capture more of an audience.”

Brown will also be teaching a more in-depth, six-hour course to classes of 30 to 40 more senior professionals. The session will be broken up over a few days and the content will be tailored to the professionals who register.

On Monday, April 20, Brown held a virtual meeting that was open to all HTM students where she discussed the current climate of virtual meetings. She also challenged students to approach all virtual class meetings from a professional perspective in order to make the meeting more successful.

Overall, she encouraged them to try small improvements that could help improve everyone’s experience as they adjust to virtual modalities. She’ll also be working more virtual event-centric lessons into her Specialty Event Management (HTM 430) class this fall and contributing to graduate-level courses.

Carl Winston, director of the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, believes the inclusion of virtual capability will be necessary even when face-to-face events and meetings return. 

“Meetings will be back, and they’ll be back in a large way,” said Winston. “We know that when people get married, they want to hug the bride. But some people may be too ill to travel, so having a virtual capability for a wedding to stream to an iPad is real and something that people need to produce.”