The Aleit Academy is South Africa’s premier boutique tertiary institution, consistently producing new innovators and future Event Industry leaders. Our full-time Event Coordination diploma course is fully accredited and internationally recognized. It incorporates both theoretical components as well as hands-on, practical exposure to the industry.
At the start of this year, phrases like “virtual classroom”, “online lessons” and “distance learning” weren’t really part of our main vocabulary, but times have changed – and fast.
Alongside many universities and colleges throughout South Africa and the world, a new “normal” has developed here at The Aleit Academy, though it definitely presented various challenges.
In these uncertain times, there is no denying that the events industry is one of those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – however, from creative minds come exceptional ideas and problem solving solutions! With an Event Coordinator’s mindset, work ethic and precision, there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome!
The transition at The Aleit Academy from “normal” face-to-face lectures to e-learning went as smoothly as can be expected and has been overwhelmingly successful in keeping our students engaged, motivated and learning! Students follow a fixed schedule, watch lectures via pre-recorded videos and complete all their projects and tests through available online platforms.
We at The Aleit Academy focus on developing well-rounded, flexible and resourceful creatives who understand and value an entrepreneurial ethos. We therefore believe that our students will come out on top after this daunting period.
This is how we have gone about maintaining progress in the very valuable practical elements of our course throughout our three year groups:
Our first-year students are working hard to plan a black tie charity event, for Samaritan’s Feet, to raise funds for the less-privileged. Amongst various other facets, they are learning about the important documents to use when planning such an event, how to compose an email to their client, suppliers and even possible sponsors, the importance of continuous communication between team members and that the planning phase leading up to the event is even harder work than working at the event itself!
The Aleit Academy second- and third-year students were originally scheduled to step into external placements from August to November 2020, but with the industry still mostly closed down, we have had to improvise… Therefore, we created virtual simulated internships, led by a selection of contracted industry specialists. We are extremely thankful to be in a position to be able to adapt in such a way as to not hinder our students’ academic and practical achievements. We are specifically delighted to be able to still have our final year students graduate by the end of 2020. Thanks to our team’s flexibility, leaders’ positivity and a motivated student group, we are making the seemingly impossible, possible!
Furthermore, the second-year students also have the responsibility of coordinating their Huisdans event as part of their annual practical project. For this event, there are some fundraising elements required to ensure we can host an amazing evening. The students were extremely creative during this time and ensured they stayed connected with one another, even though they were apart, by hosting virtual challenges to raise funds. This inspired creative thinking and resulted in innovative ideas.
Similarly, the soon-to-be graduates of 2020 are taking on the Jan Kriel annual wine auction as their practical project for the year – gaining sufficient experience and building on their resumes before stepping out into the industry. This will ensure that they keep busy mastering the art of staying motivated while working remotely for the most part, while also learning how to communicate virtually and master all there is to know about the world of events.
Some other positive affirmations to keep in mind if you are part of the events industry include:
- We believe that the hospitality industry will soon recover. It is one of the most essential economic industries for many countries when it comes to hosting tourists and bringing people together. People crave human interaction and this means that, even though we are in a very difficult position with the restrictions right now, the work that you did to sustain the industry will pay off when we are able to return. It is also a superb time to re-think your business and your position in the market. What will the events industry need when it re-opens, that only you can provide? Find your niche, and prepare to take the industry by storm.
- The future is uncertain, but has it not always been? The novel Coronavirus has forced the world to change – we might as well use this opportunity to ensure it is changed for the better! In the events industry in particular, this may mean a renewed focus on health and safety measures for events.
- There will be new industry trends and you can be a part of scripting these. Ensure you utilise your creativity and reimagine certain elements of events rather than continuing with the usual or “norm”.
- Support local and ensure that you lend a helping hand where you can, as that person might help you again in future. We need to create new contacts and a new network of people/ suppliers and work together when reopening the events industry.
With all that said, we at The Aleit Academy are excited to release our 2020 graduates into the world and to see how they will impact the extremely important rebuilding of the hospitality industry. We also look forward to welcoming our new 2021 intake who will soon commence their journey at The Aleit Academy – full steam ahead!