HRTM students shine in North American business event challenge

HRTM Event Team Photos
Pictured Left: Break the Mold - Lillian Nguyen, Mackenzie Brabec, Addisyn Dupler, Emily Zetterman, Aubrey Jensen; Pictured Right: Experience Vanlife - Jessica Conrad, Kiana Walsh, Ryan Sedlacek, Ally Norris

HRTM students shine in North American business event challenge

07 Jun 2021    

Two teams of students from the Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management Program at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln earned top-five finishes in the North American Student Competition of the Professional Convention Management Association. 

The third year of the competition featured collegiate teams from Canada, Mexico and the United States. The competition tested student knowledge and understanding of issues and trends affecting the business events industry. Five finalists were selected to present their proposals and do a live question and answer session with the panel of judges.

PCMA created this competition to engage students pursuing careers in the business events industry and provide a networking and mentorship platform for professional growth.

The “Experience Vanlife” team of Jessica Conrad, Ally Norris, Ryan Sedlacek and Kiana Walsh placed second. The team presented a 14-day roadtrip-style event that takes place across the Western United States. Experience Vanlife featured 28-stops, educational sessions, attendee packages and a mobile app for travelers to navigate their journey and stay connected with other event attendees. There was also a livestream, virtual component available across multiple platforms in an effort to be inclusive and accessible to all audiences.

The “Break the Mold” team of Mackenzie Brabec, Addisyn Dupler, Aubrey Jensen, Lyllian Nguyen and Emily Zetterman placed fourth. Their team curated an event plan for universities to implement that embodies diversity and inclusion, and engagement from a student perspective. The team emphasized the importance of storytelling within experiential events as a way to connect different forms of knowledge and voices. The event involved student affairs professionals shadowing college students, as a way to gain insight on creating events that cater to students with diverse backgrounds. 

Both teams were advised by Kristin Malek, assistant professor in the Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management Program. 

To learn more about the competition, click here.

Students in the hospitality management major have six emphasis areas to choose from: tourism, event management, hotel management, club management, food and beverage management, and human resources. Students graduate with a bachelor of arts in hospitality management with an embedded leadership and communications minor. The program also recently announced the campuswide availability of its 18-hour hospitality minor and is currently involved in fundraising efforts to support program expansion for its new academic space.

To learn more about the Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management Program, click here.

College of Education and Human Sciences
Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management