Virginia Tech Continuing and Professional Education, in partnership with the Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Center, will offer a four-weekend-long certificate program in meeting and event planning in spring 2008.

The continuing education course will be taught both in the Virginia Beach and Blacksburg/Roanoke areas, with classes meeting over four weekends in full-day Friday/Saturday blocks. The Virginia Beach program begins March 7 and 8, and continues March 28 and 29, April 11 and 12, and May 2 and 3. The Blacksburg/Roanoke program runs April 4 and 5, and continues April 25 and 26, May 16 and 17, and 30 and 31. Participants who successfully complete the program will be awarded 6.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and a Certificate of Achievement in Meeting and Event Planning.

Tailored to the needs of new meeting and event managers as well as those seeking a career change, the program assists students in designing, developing, and implementing outstanding meetings, conferences, workshops, and events. Students will build a toolkit that provides the most current information related to key components such as audiovisual services, technology, checklists, realistic timelines, program assessment, and on-site operations.

Howard Feiertag and Bonnie Wallsh will be keynote presenters in both locations for the inaugural year of the program. Feiertag, a well-known hospitality industry veteran, is on the faculty at Virginia Tech in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Pamplin College of Business. His more than 40 years in the hospitality industry includes convention bureau management, hotel operations, food and beverage, sales and marketing, catering, meetings and convention management, as well as tourism and travel.

Bonnie Wallsh has been actively involved in the hospitality industry for 30 years. She is a Certified Meeting Professional and the only Certified Meeting Manager in the Charlotte, N.C. area. She is the chief strategist of Bonnie Wallsh Associates LLC, a professional meeting management and training firm which has been producing meetings, conferences, trade shows and training programs since 1978. Wallsh is an active member of Meeting Professionals International.

The Certificate Program in Meeting and Event Planning is offered through the Virginia Tech Continuing and Professional Education department. The program fee is $1895, but there is an early-bird discount for those who register before Feb. 8, 2008, for the Virginia Beach program and March 7, 2008, for the Blacksburg/Roanoke program. For further information, please visit the program’s webpage.

For specific requests regarding the Virginia Beach program, contact Stacy Harvey, outreach program specialist, at stacylharvey@vt.edu or (757) 363-3930, extension 301. For information regarding the Blacksburg/Roanoke program, contact Angela Marshall, program coordinator, at amarshal@vt.edu or (540) 231-5126.