Joint Editor: Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events

Colleague spotlight | Professor Emma Wood


Emma is Research Lead for the UK Centre for Event Management and a member of the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality. She has published widely in the areas of event impact, event experience and event marketing. She is member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Travel Research, Event Management and the International Journal of Events and Festivals Management. She is also Chair of the Academy of Marketing special interest group in Events and Experiential Marketing.

Why do you think there are far fewer journal dedicated to events compared to tourism?

Academic research in events has been around as long as tourism research but has not been recognised in its own right until fairly recently. There are therefore a few well established journals in this field as well as several newer up and coming journals. The growth in journals tends to follow the growth in courses and in the number of academics specialising in the area. As events, and events management in particular, has increased in popularity within academia the number and quality of journals is increasing.

What do you say to those who advise researchers not to publish in events journals because they do not have high impact factors?

Impact factors take many years to build and several of the events journals are increasing these year on year. As a relatively young field it is important that we support the subject specific journals by submitting high quality research to these. These journals will attract the largest number of readers interested in the topics we research and in turn will lead to greater citations and impact for our work.

What is your assessment of the quality of papers published in events?

The quality of papers varies as with any field of study. There are many excellent events papers which contribute to broader theories and in turn, inform wider fields. These are highly cited within areas such as tourism, psychology, leisure, sport management and marketing. Within events there tends to be a natural focus on case study research. These can be very rigorous and meaningful studies and add much to our understanding of a variety of event phenomena. Other fields are less accepting of case-based research and therefore these can be superficially judged as lower quality.

I see you are associated with other journals, how did you become involved in those?

After being invited to write a conceptual paper on recollective experience for the Journal of Travel Research the editor invited me to be part of the editorial board. I was also invited to be on the editorial board of Arts and the Market (formerly Arts Marketing) when there was a change of editorship and a refocusing of the journal. My role within the Academy of Marketing helped in gaining this position.

After submitting several articles to Event Management I was invited to join their board and I have also accepted an invitation to the board of one of the other leading events journals, the International Journal of Event and Festival Management. Annals of Tourism Research recently launched a sister Journal, Empirical Insights. I was invited to join that board as a consequence of submitting to the Annals and regularly undertaking reviews for them.

What advice would you give someone trying to publish in your journal?

Journals are moving more and more towards ‘readable’ work. There’s no need to try and impress with overly academic, contrived language. Make sure that what you have researched and the reasons for researching it are clear and most importantly highlight what your research contributes to the body of research in your chosen area. Papers that focus on what is new, surprising and interesting in their findings always stand out for me. For our journal that should always encompass the contribution of your work to policy and practice. 

Have you identified any new themes emerging that are likely to be of interest?

Within events research there is certainly a shift away from economic impact to the community, personal or micro impacts of events. There are many opportunities to explore these aspects in greater depth drawing upon some of the theories and methods established in psychology and sociology. Other themes that warrant greater exploration are around sustainability and technology use related to experience; events and politics; and working practices within events organisations. 

Professor Emma Wood

Professor / School Of Events, Tourism And Hospitality Management

Emma Wood is Professor in Events and Experiential Marketing and Research Lead for the UK Centre for Event Management at Leeds Beckett University. Emma specialises in the impact of events on social change within communities and on shared memory creation.

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