09 Mar. 2018
A unique immersion
Students from IAE Bordeaux behind the scenes at Bordeaux Congress Centre
In early January, a group of 15 students in the second year of the Master’s Degree in Tourism Management at IAE Bordeaux School of Management were given a guided tour of Bordeaux Congress Centre. This was a precious opportunity for these future tourism and event-organisation professionals to familiarise themselves with one of the region’s flagship venues.
This visit, organised by Guilène Valette, Freelance Congress & Events, gave the students a chance to experience the inner workings of a top event venue and understand its modularity and complexities.
Hosted by Sabine Boucher, Sales Manager at Bordeaux Events, they also had an opportunity to meet professionals working in the sector and discuss their daily routines and activities.
The students were delighted with this experience!
"Personally, I found this experience very interesting. I was definitely expecting to find large modular areas offering endless possibilities.
But I wasn’t expecting Bordeaux Events to involve so many people in its sales and administrative organisations, etc.
I was also surprised to discover that such organisations are now required to perform business development activities all year long. I didn’t think there was such strong competition in France.
Lastly, I found it interesting to see the full range services such a facility is capable of offering, but also of adapting to its clients’ needs. Nor could I have imagined that support for clients – from their initial demand through to the implementation of their projects – would be provided in such a way.”
Hugo Boy – student in the second year of the Master’s Degree in Tourism Management at IAE Bordeaux
This immersion behind the scenes at Bordeaux Congress Centre was associated with a practical assignment carried out by the students, because prior to their visit, they had been working on a project to organise a consumer exhibition on the topic of nutrition and sport, involving 1,000 people. They had already drawn up a specification and a layout plan, produced a location checklist and designed a communication plan.
In addition to visiting the venue, this field trip also gave the students a glimpse of the real-life logistical constraints associated with the organisation of an exhibition. It gave them an understanding of the management of space and the importance of visitor flows. The group had an opportunity to consider how to set up the reception area, workshops, conference and signage in the venue itself.
After this field trip, and based on the information they had gathered, the students were able to refine a package they had prepared for exhibitors and improve their layout plan to reflect the realities.
As well as organising the tour of Bordeaux Congress Centre, Sabine Boucher presented the full range of venues and services.
The group was impressed by the sheer size of the Congress Centre and the amount of organisation required for major events such as the international showjumping competition, which requires several weeks to set up and take down.
These budding professionals were particularly interested in waste management and recycling issues, the building’s energy self-sufficiency, the carbon balance and reducing the impact of events.
The Master’s in Tourism Management at IAE Bordeaux is a two-year postgraduate training programme open to students who have already acquired a solid grounding in management and administration. This final year of specialisation in a specific sector ensures the training of operational managers who will be capable of managing tourism projects and facilities.
To ensure the provision of wide-ranging management training in the tourism sector, the teaching modules cover the different facets of tourism (outdoor holiday accommodation, cultural tourism, event organisation, etc.). The teaching, delivered by tourism professionals and university academics, is supplemented by a 6-month internship.
Head of the Master’s programme: Juliette Passebois Ducrois