Julia Rutherford Silvers, CSEP

Certified Special Events Professional

Event Management Authority

Like angels and elephants dancing on the head of a pin, our dreams and responsibilities may have no limits, but must be balanced according to the music of the moment.









EMBOK Day at the

Las Vegas International Hospitality and Convention Summit IV 


The progress of the Event Management Body of Knowledge (EMBOK) was the focus of a day-long review and discussion of the International EMBOK Model at the Las Vegas International Hospitality and Convention Summit IV at UNLV on June 5, 2007. The proposed intent of EMBOK Day 2007 was to explore the links between competency and curriculum in the context of the International EMBOK Model. The suggested topics for discussion included but were not limited to:

    - The role of competency qualifications for academe and industry

    - Quality assurance initiatives in higher education  

    - The status of international recognition of standards and qualification credentials

    - The EMBOK as a tool in curriculum and instructional support material development


EMBOK Day 2007 examined the role of the International EMBOK Model (see below) in the context of curriculum development for academic programs. Using the “open space” format, i.e. the agenda was driven by those in attendance and their topics of interest, the discussion focused primarily on using the EMBOK framework as a benchmark/standard for development of accreditation for events management programs as well as articulation agreements between institutions to ensure the efficacy and efficiency of credit transfer.


Numerous types of educational programs discussed included university degree programs, community college programs, continuing education programs, certificate programs offered through universities as well as commercial entities, and professional certification programs offering credentials through industry associations. It was noted articulation agreements that allowed the transfer of credits between universities and with community colleges often required the same course title and course number as well as an assurance that the same scope and level of content was covered.


It was suggested that the EMBOK knowledge domains provided the nomenclature for comparable course titles as well as an assessment tool for course content. In addition, it offered a benchmark for curriculum differentiation between programs aimed at credit transfer (e.g. community college) and those aimed at personal development or interest (e.g. continuing education), with the credit transfer programs adopting a broader scope and deeper content. Of note, the participants were exclusively faculty members in the academic realm (university and community college), and therefore professional development programming offered through industry associations was not included in the discussion. However, it was observed that the EMBOK could be used as the standard for both certificate programs (educational institutions) and certification programs (professional associations).


Uses discussed for the EMBOK included:

  • establishing standards for a quality equivalency assessment of curricula

  • a capstone course assessment tool; mapping the exit test to the knowledge domains

  • establishing linkage across numerous degree program curriculums and course materials (e.g. textbooks)

  • illustrating the commonalities of skill sets in different event sectors (e.g. meetings v. trade shows v. sports events) and thereby fostering career mobility

As was also discussed at the 2006 EMBOK Day, it was cited that many opportunities exist within the EMBOK Model for academic programs with both an applied and a research emphasis, and participants were referred to the EMBOK Research Menu as a tool. The scarcity of study materials for the EMBOK was noted, and participants were advised that a PowerPoint describing the Model and its features was available for downloading on the International EMBOK web site ( www.embok.org) as an educational resource.


Overall, the participants agreed that the EMBOK framework will serve as a valuable curriculum development tool for them and has the potential for elevating the status of events management programs as well as facilitating quality assurance initiatives for academic programming, workforce education, and regulatory agendas.


Developed by members of the International EMBOK Executive, the Model, which has been released into the public domain, is a knowledge framework and descriptive summary of the scope and processes that are used in the management of events that may be customized to meet the needs of various cultures, governments, education programs, and organizations.


The initial global EMBOK framework and taxonomy, based on a comparison of the knowledge systems supporting the event management industry including numerous occupational standards, certification knowledge domains, academic curriculums and literature review, was introduced by Julia Rutherford Silvers at the 2004 Las Vegas International Hospitality and Convention Summit and expanded at the 2004 International EMBOK Imbizo (the Zulu word for gathering)


Click here to view a PowerPoint that explains the International EMBOK Model.

The International EMBOK Model

2005, International EMBOK Executive, All Rights Reserved

2001-2016, Julia Rutherford Silvers, CSEP. Albuquerque, NM, USA. All Rights Reserved.

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