Spotlight Industry

5 questions for Prof. Dr. Cornelia Zanger

// Johanna Müdicken

Prof. Dr. Cornelia Zanger holds the chair of marketing and commercial management and is head of event research at TU Chemnitz. Photo: Prof. Dr. Cornelia Zanger

CIM: Prof. Dr. Zanger, the event and trade fair industry offers great prospects for people, doesn’t it?

Prof. Dr. Cornelia Zanger: Yes, absolutely. The event industry is relaunching now, and according to the latest R.I.F.E.L. study, 75 percent of companies have an acute need for labour. There are more than 20 vacancies for analogue and digital project managers and staff, as well as vacancies for those who work on the technical side.

Is there now too much of a gap between what employers and employees want?

I don’t think it’s just about that. The pandemic wasn’t easy for either side. There has been too much uncertainty for employers to be able to plan well and give both skilled professionals and young people a clear idea of their prospects and opportunities.

In your study entitled “Fachkräftebedarf in der Event- und Messebranche 2018-2023” you described this pressing issue at the end of 2017. How has the situation developed since then?

We know the skills profile required in our industry: the typical range of professional skills combined with digital and strategic expertise. At TU Chemnitz we have adjusted our bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes to suit the new requirements for digital and hybrid events. 

Has the pandemic exacerbated the shortage of skilled staff?

Yes, unfortunately. Since our industry attracts many highly motivated young people, the poor prospects over the last two years have led to many going to work for the industry’s customers or leaving the industry entirely. That’s why the training and further training of skilled professionals is such an urgent issue.

How can we make our industry more attractive to young people?

As a result of the “new normal” in our industry, there are exciting new opportunities in live, digital and hybrid events. Young people have the opportunity to develop very well both professionally and personally, quickly take on responsibility and contribute creative ideas.

Many thanks for the interview, Prof. Dr. Zanger!

Johanna Müdicken