Moraine Valley Meeting and Planning students planned and executed a fall trade show for the American Society of Travel Agencies. (Back row, left to right) Lyndsey Murabito, of Burbank, Megan Villarreal, of Lake Station, Indiana (Front row, left to right) Diane Madrid, of Blue Island, and Karolina Czuba, of Palos Hills.

Students in Moraine Valley Community College’s Meeting Planning classes successfully planned and executed a fall trade show for the American Society of Travel Agencies (ASTA). For taking charge of the trade show, ASTA gave the college $3,000. That money will be used for scholarships for meeting planning students.

“The students did a beautiful job,” said Mary Beth Walsh, professor of Travel Business Management, Meeting Planning and Special Events. “It was a win-win situation. The association got excellent assistance with its trade show, and these students got great hands-on experience.”

Students in the spring 2016 semester classes planned the trade show, while students in the fall 2016 semester classes executed the show, including being on site to provide assistance. The students oversaw registration of more than 200 travel agents and set-up for nearly 60 vendors that included airlines, hotels, resorts, and more.

“It’s one thing to talk about it, and quite another to do it. I’m very proud of my students,” Walsh said.

Rosie Villegas, of Chicago, is one of the students who helped plan and execute the trade show.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like this. A lot of work goes into planning, but it was a great experience. And, I got to network with a lot of people in the industry,” she said.

Villegas, who is working toward a Travel Business Management Associate in Applied Science Degree and a Meeting Planner certificate, said the students were able to apply what they learned in the classroom to a real-world situation.

“It can now go on my resume that I helped plan this show, and that’s wonderful,” she said.