An experienced events professional who has specifically honed his skills in event and festival site design is (momentarily) stepping out of a field and into the virtual classroom to teach event management students at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). 

Rupert Bassadone, founder of Event Site Design, and head of operations at WOMAD Festival, is preparing to teach students – studying on MMU’s MSc International Events Management programme – an introduction to AutoCAD and event site design. 

On November 23, Bassadone will deliver a one-day training programme, which will provide students with AutoCAD basics so that they can learn how to create a site plan for an event or festival.  

Working under Bassadone’s tuition, students will undertake live training, learning skills so that they can confidently navigate their way around AutoCAD in order to modify and draw an event site plan using the software’s foundation tools.

Bassadone explained: “It’s been a tough year for the events and festivals industry but it’s great to know that students remain positive about their futures and want to learn all they can in order to get ahead. 

“I know from talking to MMU’s course leaders that the students want to learn more CAD skills specifically because they regularly see job adverts that request AutoCAD knowledge. I’m genuinely excited to give students an introduction to AutoCAD and to impart years of knowledge from standing in a muddy field with flags and GPS.”

Event Site Design, founded by Bassadone, who has been designing event plans for more than 12 years, produces intelligent site maps and detailed site plans for event and festival organisers, as well as precision mark out services and site production. Clients include award-winning festivals and events, such as Shambala, The Game Fair, Red Bull Soapbox, Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park, Blenheim Palace Horse Trials and WOMAD. Furthermore, Event Site Design delivers an online course that teaches #eventprofs how to use AutoCAD to design event plans. 

Bassadone continued: “It has taken me years to master AutoCAD and to make the tools, commands and features work for the event and festival industry. In our sector, it’s vital to have CAD skills if you want to be a practical asset to any event production or operations team. I’m looking forward to giving students a truthful insight so that they can navigate the software and create basic site designs and event plans of their own.”

Jonathan Sibley, senior lecturer in events management at MMU, commented on the collaboration: “Unfortunately, there can sometimes be a negative narrative within the events industry that questions the value of event management degrees. Therefore, as a university, we have to work hard to ensure that our graduates and post-graduates are taught industry-relevant skills, as well as being provided with knowledge and experience, in order to defy the notion that event management degrees do not adequately prepare students for employment.”

But Sibley is not only encouraging event management students from MMU to sign up for CAD training, but he is also urging other education providers to work with industry in order to provide skills based training and education for students. 

“I am sure that all events management courses work closely with industry partners and engage with professionals to share their knowledge and experience, but I would encourage more universities to invite industry practitioners to teach within their institutions,” he said. “If we want our students to progress after university then we really do need to engage with the companies that will employ them.”