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Events Education & Research: Coming of Age

The 15th Association for Events Management Education (AEME) Educators Forum is aimed at experienced educators, researchers and practitioners, as well as early career researchers and doctoral students, with an interest events education and research.


The UK Centre for Events Management (UKCEM) is proud to be hosting the 15th AEME Events Management Educators Forum at Leeds Beckett University. 

Events management is frequently referred to as a “new subject” in higher education, yet the first undergraduate events management degrees appeared over two decades ago in the UK.  Since then, there has been significant growth in the higher education provision worldwide both at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels. Alongside this boom in course delivery the research and publication base that underpins the subject has also grown exponentially driven by and encouraging a diverse base of dedicated event educators and researchers.

The time has come to drop the “new subject” tag line and demonstrate the maturity of the field of events management through the depth, quality and volume of education and research being undertaken round the world. This conference draws together events education, research, event studies and critical event studies. The broad conference themes aim to provide opportunities to reflect on the foundations of the subject and create space to shape our future direction. The conference offers time to take stock of all that has been achieved and to look forward to a strong future for events management.

This international conference invites abstracts on all aspects of events education, research, event studies and critical event studies, within the overall themes of Past, Present and Future:

  • Learning from the past
  • Current state of play
  • Future directions

Contributions are welcomed from experienced educators, researchers and practitioners, as well as early career researchers and doctoral students.

Key features of the conference

  • Celebrate the coming of age of events management education at this milestone event
  • Be inspired by keynote speakers from academia, industry and policy organisations
  • Showcase and support new talent by welcoming early career researchers and doctoral students
  • Create national and international research and education networks
  • Help shape the future through round-table debates and discussions on issues relating to teaching and research assessment and funding
  • Enjoy the vibrant city of Leeds and our high quality, easily accessible city centre venue

Key Dates

Abstract submission: 25 April 2018

Early bird registration deadline: 1 May 2018

Registration deadline: 4 June 2018

Conference: 4-5 July 2018

Key Note Sessions

We’re delighted to provide further detail on the topics to be discussed in our three excellent key note sessions. The conference theme of reflecting backwards, looking forwards is explored with each session providing fascinating insights into three highly pertinent areas of event management.

Dr Roxy Robinson discusses the challenges of straddling the academia/industry divide and her own journey.

Events Education, Research and Practice: a Journey from Industry to Academia, and Back!”

Professor Chris Rojek’s lecture critiques the impact of the Sao Paulo Declaration on current and future thinking. 

 ‘Events, Leisure and Tourism: World Leisure, Uneven Globalization and Patchwork Cosmopolitanism

Dr Marjana Johansson considers how festivals present and perform diversity and how this contributes to our understanding of otherness and identity.

“Identities, bodies, hierarchies: The organising power of festivals

Key Note Speakers

Plus Icon Dr Marjana Johansson, Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow

Marjana Johansson is Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow. She has previously taught at the University of Essex, Stockholm School of Economics, and Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki. Her research broadly addresses organisational identities and inequalities, diversity and intersectionality; and cultural production and consumption with a focus on festivals. Within the latter research stream she is particularly interested in how cultural events such as festivals shape social identities and experiential consumption. She has also written about aspects of branding, space and place in relation to events and festivals. Recent publications include a paper on the emergence and discursive representations of boutique festivals in the UK, and a chapter on the staging of diversity in a festival context. 

Her research has been published in journals such as Gender, Work and Organization, Culture and Organization, Urban Studies and European Urban and Regional Studies.

Marjana Johansson

Plus Icon Dr Roxy Robinson, Creative Director of From the Fields Ltd

Dr Roxy Robinson is the Creative Director of From the Fields Ltd, the company behind Kendal Calling and Bluedot festivals. She is also an author, speaker and festivals consultant, having published her book ‘Music Festivals and the Politics of Participation’ with Routledge in 2015. Roxy has produced live events since 2004, starting out as the band booker for pubs and clubs in Leeds. During this time, she also pursued her research interests in cultural studies and events management, which were focused on audience participation and creative design within the boutique festival sector. 

Despite her passion for music, Roxy developed a specialism in the non-musical elements of festival programming and in 2009, helped to launch the arts program for Kendal Calling Festival, which went on to win Best Small Festival at the UK Festival Awards in 2010. In 2012, she completed her interdisciplinary PhD on the evolution of boutique events and the influence of Nevada’s Burning Man on British festivals. Her doctoral research explored participatory programming and idealized event production at festivals in the US and UK. Roxy also ran her own carnivalesque indoor festival of live reggae, ska and bass-heavy music in Leeds for a decade, an experience she describes as her ‘ultimate labour of love’. Roxy is now a full time practitioner growing the creative department at From the Fields Ltd, which manages theming, décor and the programming of performance and installation artworks at the company’s portfolio of events. 

Roxy Robinson

Plus Icon Professor Chris Rojek, Professor of Sociology at City, University of London

Chris Rojek is Professor of Sociology at City, University of London.   Since 1994 he has held successive Chairs at respectively, Staffordshire University, Nottingham Trent University and Brunel University.  He is the author of 15 solo authored books and over 50 refereed articles, including Rojek, C. (2013). Event Power: How Global Events Manage and Manipulate published by Sage.  He is the co-author of two other books and had edited 16 books.  He has contributed widely to the sociology leisure and tourism.   His most recent book is 'Presumed Intimacy: Para-Social Relationships in Media, Society and Celebrity Culture', (Polity, 2016).  He is currently writing two books on 'Low Trust Society' and 'Idols and Idolatry'. In addition, he is co-authoring a book on 'Lifestyle Guru's'.  Professor Rojek regards himself to be a General Sociologist. He has particular expertise in the sociology of celebrity, the sociology of culture, social theory, leisure and tourism.

Chris Rojek

Registration and Costs

There is one complementary place per institution for AEME members to attend the conference, all other attendees are required to pay in accordance with the rates below:


AEME member


Early bird




Early bird




Normal rate




Normal rate




Day rate




Day rate




Gala dinner (if not attending full conference)



Full conference includes: Conference all days, lunches and refreshments at the conference venue, delegate pack, and gala dinner.

Day rate includes: Conference for that day, lunch and refreshments at the conference venue, delegate pack. 

Consession rate applies to full-time PhD students.

Early bird rate applies until 1 May 2018.

Call for Abstracts

This international conference invites abstracts on any aspect of events education, research, event studies and critical event studies, within the overall themes of Past, Present and Future:

  • Learning from the past
  • Current state of play
  • Future directions

Contributions are welcomed from experienced educators, researchers and practitioners, as well as early career researchers and doctoral students.

One of the aims of our forum is to encourage events educators and researchers of the future to join the forum and share their research and ideas, particularly PhD students and Early Career Researchers.  To support this, we have also included a special conference rate for PhD students and are pleased to be able to offer an extended deadline to encourage further submissions

Abstracts of 250 words should be sent to: aeme2018@leedsbeckett.ac.uk by 25 April 2018.  Submissions should include the full title of the presentation (as it will appear in the conference programme), author(s) and affiliation, a succinct abstract of 250 words (maximum), references, 100-word author biography (including contact details), and an indication of which stream the paper falls within.


Academic Programme

Details to be announced.

Social Programme

Tuesday 3 July - evening
Delegates are invited to meet, eat and socialise on the evening before the Forum. Details to be announced.

Wednesday 4 July - evening

Conference dinner.

Venue and Accomodation

Plus Icon Venue

The conference venue is The Rose Bowl, the flagship development for Leeds Beckett University and a landmark for the city of Leeds. This centrally located state of the art development features the very latest in modern conferencing facilities and design, including free Wi-Fi. It is within easy walking distance of major hotels, restaurants and bars, as well as the train station and other public transport links.

Campus Map PDF

Plus Icon Accommodation

Leeds has a wide variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets. More information can be found here.

Plus Icon Getting to Leeds

Leeds is centrally located in in the UK, making the city easily accessible to delegates:

Just two hours from London by train, with direct train links to most major UK cities.

Leeds Bradford International Airport provides speedy domestic links and daily flights from more than 65 destinations and a wide network of inbound connections worldwide.

Leeds is at the heart of the UK motorway network, with excellent connections in all directions. The A1 and M1 link to the north and south, and the M62 to the east and west.

Organising Committee

Glenn Bowdin – Co-Chair
Professor Emma Wood Co-Chair
Professor Dorina Buda
Dr Kate Dashper
Dr Ian Lamond

Event Coordinators
Becky Rowlands

Contact Details

If you have any questions, please contact aeme2018@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

Social Media
Follow us on Twitter @UKCEM
Conference hashtag #AEME2018

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