Virginia Tech Continuing and Professional Education will again offer a four-weekend-long certificate program in meeting and event planning in spring 2009. This is the second time the program will be available since its inaugural offering in 2008.

The continuing education course will be taught in the Blacksburg/Roanoke area, with classes meeting over four weekends in full-day Friday/Saturday blocks. The program runs April 3 and 4, and continues April 17 and 18, May 1 and 2, and May 22 and 23. 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 in the 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.

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. The program fee is $1,895. There is an early-bird discount and two-payment option available. For details on payment options, visit the certificate program online.

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