International events management conference takes place at BU

Posted on Monday, July 8 2013

Nick de Bois at the Making Waves conference

Events management professionals and academics from around the world were at Bournemouth University for the International Conference on Events.

Delegates came from as far afield as China and Australia for the three-day Making Waves conference, which was organised by the Association of Events Management Education (AEME) and held at BU’s Executive Business Centre.

The aim of the conference is to share cutting edge research, thinking and industry practice and a number of presentations and workshops took place on subjects ranging from music festivals to the London 2012 Olympics and business events.

Opening the conference, Dr Keith Wilkes, Dean of the School of Tourism at BU, said: “The world would be socially, academically and culturally poorer without events.

“The aim of the conference is to debate the way that we see, think and undertake research into events.”

There were also keynote speeches from important names in events management and education – including Nick Dodds, Managing Director of Festivals and Events International, and PR director Alistair Turner, who has led the Britain for Events promotional campaign.

Nick de Bois MP, who is chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the UK Events Industry, gave the first keynote of the conference.

Nick said events contributed a huge amount to the UK economy and worldwide reputation, and academics and professionals need to work together to represent the industry.

“We know the industry provides invisible benefits and is a major contributor to the UK economy,” said Nick, who ran a marketing and events business before becoming an MP.

“When we host large events and conferences, what they are doing is not just leaving a large injection into local economies, but the opportunity for us to deliver long term growth into the UK.”

He added: “It’s very hard for one industry to bring about change, if it is developing its messages from diverse groups and sectors and effectively speaking from many different voices.

“I hope this conference will address how it will be able to support the case for change, the value of this industry, and how it teaches its young professionals for an industry that will, sure as anything, be very different from what it is today.”

More than 120 delegates from ten countries attended the conference, which was jointly organised by BU, AEME and universities in China and Australia, and sponsored by The Higher Education Academy.

Welcoming the delegates BU Vice-Chancellor Professor John Vinney said: “We have over 600 students from BU studying events and leisure, which I think makes us one of the largest in that particular sector anywhere in the world.

“The School of Tourism is a world leader in tourism research. I would like to say as the vice-chancellor how fantastic that School is and how important it is for the university.

“This is, therefore, a very appropriate venue for holding this year’s conference.”

Glenn Bowdin, chair of AEME, added: “I think that, as our industry moves forward with increasingly credible research to underpin it, industry and academics need to work together to provide a central voice.

“Hopefully, over the next few days we will have a great opportunity to network, to make future partnerships and hopefully develop collaborations and find like minds in terms of what we are talking about.”