The Event Industry Through the Eyes of a Student

This episode of The Event Manager Podcast by Skift Meetings sees us joined by Panashe Mahakwa, a student at Vistula University in Warsaw and recipient of the 2022 MPI Foundation Student Scholarship Award. We’ll be looking at the event industry through the eyes of a student during this episode. 

Mahakwa’s venture into the events industry began back in his home country of Zimbabwe, where he was studying accounting at university. He was only in his first year of studies when the COVID pandemic hit and brought everything to a halt. Classes all moved online and like many students during this period, the university experience wasn’t the one they had envisioned for themselves. As such, his dad suggested taking this opportunity to go and experience another culture, which led to Mahakwa’s move to Poland. He restarted his studies in Vistula University in Warsaw, entering a competition around tourism, which in turn resulted in him winning the 2022 MPI Foundation Student Scholarship Award at IMEX in Frankfurt. This experience even has him considering his educational focus, with the potential of a switch from finance and accounting to event management. 

He also discusses growing up in Zimbabwe, his experiences there, the culture he was immersed in and whether he sees himself returning to home one day to further his career and bring everything he has learnt back to his country. Mahakwa notes that the events industry isn’t one that is well known or understood within Zimbabwe, even he wasn’t well versed in it before moving to Poland, therefore he discusses what he thinks some of the challenges may be in trying to bring all he has, and will continue to learn, back to the country and what he has found exciting and interesting during his journey into the events industry.

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A constant source of consideration is where we all see business events going in the future, and Mahakwa share his own opinions on this topic hint; he thinks that they should incorporate entertainment and fun alongside the business elements. He also shares his thoughts on where events will be held in the future – in person, hybrid, the metaverse?

In discussing the project which led to his involvement in events, Mahakwa discusses the metaverse and his views on it, in particular how he would define it to others and why he chose this as the technological focus of his project. 

As always, this is just a snippet of the conversation you’ll hear in this episode, so why not dive in now and hear how the next generation of event professionals view the future of the industry. 

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