Festivals and events have become a valuable resource to communities. Over time, events have changed from informal affairs to spectacular productions, demanding extensive skills and experience. As a result, the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) and NRPA have partnered to create this two-year professional development program geared toward event management staff.


Wheeling, West Virginia

Important Notice: The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA), the National Recreation and Park Association and the Oglebay National Training Center have decided to cancel the Event Management School scheduled for January 15-21, 2022. 

Despite the current state of affairs, we are committed to your continued professional development. More information coming soon.

Schedule & Learning Objectives

The Event Management School first-year curriculum was created with the goal of providing a strong basic understanding and awareness of the multiple, critical components involved in event planning and management. The second-year curriculum builds upon that first-year knowledge-base by providing more applied workshop-styled opportunities in specific areas, together with a project-based opportunity to help bring the “real world” a little closer to the classroom.

Year One Session Topics   Year Two Session Topics  
How to Build a Successful Event Application of Project Management to Events
Business Plans Applied Program and Event Development
Event Budgeting and Budget Management Applied Budget Development
Building a Strong Volunteer Program Applied Sponsorship Research
Sponsorship Sales and Service Applied Sponsorship Proposals and Follow-up Reports
Food and Beverage Programs What Cities Want from Events and How To Strengthen Those Partnerships
Merchandise Programs Advanced Risk Management & Contingency Planning
Event Administration and Legal Considerations Case Study: The Development of a World Class Programmable Park
Marketing and Media City Event Concept Project
Social Media Marketing  
Risk Management Open Forum Roundtable Discussions (Year 1 and Year 2)
Surveys, Evaluations and Economic Impact Studies  
Community Building through Proactive Events Management  


Who Should Attend

Park and recreation managers and staff responsible for the successful design, development and execution of events of any size. This event also is great for key event volunteers looking to broaden their knowledge.

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 and 2014 Year 1 student

"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., and 2014 Year 1 student

Additional Information

For more information about the program content, contact customer service at customerservice@nrpa.org

For more information on registration and other details, contact Oglebay at ntc@oglebay.com