Innovative Professor Dr. Scott Michael Smith introduces virtual event software to his Business school students as part of the class curriculum to enhance students’ employability and industry knowledge.

Dr. Scott Smith , PhD-TRM is a faculty member of Assumption University Thailand, MSME Business School, Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Dr. Scott Michael Smith emerged his university students to iStaging’s virtual event software boosting their employability and industry knowledge.


How it all started
The story starts before Dr. Scott Smith introduced the virtual event software to his Business school students. Mr Smith and few MSME Business School students were chosen to represent their university at the MICE Destination Management Competition.

The annual competition took place online for the first time and it’s where he got the chance to experience iStaging, virtual event and virtual tour software. iStaging was the official software provider for the MICE Destination Management Competition. Impressed with the iStaging platform and seeing this as an opportunity to improve an important skill set (ie. digital literacy) in the classroom, Dr. Scott was inspired to add the tool to his class syllabus.

How the virtual event software is used in the class
The students were requested to design and build a tourism education fair, career expo and travel expo in the metaverse as part of the class requirements.

The virtual event software was implemented in three different classes, Event Management, Tourism Destination Management and MICE Management. As part of the project, the MSME Business School students were required to create exhibition booths for major brands such as Marriott-Starwood, Hilton and Hyatt focusing on career opportunities. This opportunity given by Dr. Scott Smith and the Assumption University is a valuable asset in the hands of MSME students to showcase their creativity and their innovative ideas while getting ready to enter the job market.

Virtual booths and virtual showrooms created by the MSME Business school students as part of the event management class syllabus

The students worked on the project in incremental steps, starting with research and content collection. Students then worked together in the real world to design their exhibition booths for the virtual world. The drag and drop style of iStaging’s user-friendly platform allows students to quickly present marketing plans, presentations and projects through the use of virtual showrooms, virtual exhibitions, virtual tradeshows and virtual tours.

What they said

“With the iStaging platform, Assumption University tourism students created their alternate universe.”, said Dr Scott, adding, “The student feedback was very positive for this midterm project.”

Mr Kyaw Htet Aung said, “Using iStaging to express ourselves, rather than the standard PowerPoint presentation made the assignment more fun and interesting. My teambuilding skills were improved and the iStaging platform was easy to learn.”

Tourism student Mr Sitthipong Chaiyasit said, “The iStaging platform helped my team work together to design a virtual showroom that expressed our vision and ideas in a creative environment that is easy to navigate.”

iStaging also provided the opportunity for the best and brightest to earn an iStaging certificate to complement the coursework. Students who received the certificate say that earning the certification gave them confidence in their digital media skills and believe this will help them stand out from the competition.

The real benefits
Furthermore, Dr. Scott Smith highlighted the benefits of encouraging innovation and technology in the classroom:

1. Enhances Student Engagement
The powerful content-creation tools on the iStaging platform engage students more deeply with the content, which helps them better understand information and communicate their knowledge in visually and digitally compelling ways.

2. Offers a Deeper Understanding of Innovation and Technology
When students use iStaging to create their presentations, infographics, animations and videos for their assignments, they understand it more deeply and retain it longer. This enabled them to communicate their ideas in more innovative ways.

3. Helps students to stand out from their competition in the job market
Students who are proficient with digital tools like iStaging can more easily differentiate themselves during the job application, interview and hiring process i.e media-rich resumes, demonstrating their ability to learn and apply new technology skills. Perhaps most importantly, they can prove that they’ve developed the creative mindset employers seek.

With the completion of the class, Dr. Scott Smith was the first educator to implement a virtual event software in his class syllabus and his students were the first university students to create an event in the Metaverse. The project boosted student’s employability and enhanced their technology skills, leaving them all excited and satisfied with the results.

Watch our recent guest talk with Dr. Scott Smith and learn more about “How universities can leverage VR solutions ft. Dr. Scott Smith”.

Contact us