Events students and staff attended the Meetings Industry Association (mia) ‘Stop & Think’ Anniversary Conference on Friday 12 June, reporting on the conference throughout the day and producing articles and a summary publication for attendees.

Led by Emma Heslington and Chloë Matthews in our University’s Event Support Services (ESS) team, BA (Hons) Events Management students Gabrielle Doolan, Caris Etherington and Olivia Wright-Lewis and BA (Hons) International Business student Sukbir Kaur worked with BBC Breakfast business journalist, Steph McGovern, to write articles from each session during the day-long conference.

Steph then used these articles as part of her closing keynote and the team's reports on the eight sessions, quotes, and social media monitoring formed part of a 13-page publication which was completed by the close of the event and can be viewed here.

Emma Heslington, Event Support Service Co-ordinator at our University, said: “It was an intense, deadline driven day of notes, interviewing and editing and we are delighted with the finished product. I am very proud of the ESS team and the fantastic UKCEM students we worked with who were professional, motivated and talented. Custard Communications and Steph McGovern were great to work with, taking the time to share their invaluable knowledge."

The mia is one of the largest and fastest growing trade associations in the sector. For nearly 25 years, they have been connecting people, ideas and best practice. The association has facilitated meetings, debates and gatherings with some of the brightest minds in the industry to solve business problems and to facilitate learning in order to advance the standards of conference, meetings and events facilities and service throughout the UK.

The Event Support Service (based at the UK Centre for Events Management (UKCEM) at our University) is run by qualified events management graduates and fresh-thinking undergraduates. Olivia, who is taking part in the mia conference, is also set to begin a year’s work placement with the team starting in August. The Service provides high quality expertise to clients, ensuring that events reach their full potential. The team provides everything from full event management to support on staffing, social media campaigns, marketing or consultancy on event design. For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0113 812 9161. 

A team of Leeds Beckett University students is preparing to help stage one of the city’s biggest music events as Live at Leeds returns for its ninth year.

Around 175 Leeds Beckett students of music, events management, entertainment management and broadcast media will be involved in a variety of roles across the May bank holiday weekend. As well as running the wristband exchange, managing stages and live sound, and making video footage of performances, during the main event on Saturday 2 May,  the students are also organising and running the annual ‘Unconference’ on Friday 1 May and a new event, Live at Leeds Extra Time, held on bank holiday Monday 4 May.

Samuel Nicholls, Senior Lecturer in Music at Leeds Beckett, commented: “It’s fantastic to be able to bring music industry professionals to Leeds for ‘Unconference’, allowing our students and the public to engage with them and share their knowledge in an informal setting. The opportunity for BA (Hons) Events Management students to work on a real-life event, in collaboration with the team at Leeds College of Music, is invaluable.”

The Unconference is set to take place at Leeds College of Music from 10am to 6pm and will feature a keynote talk from James Brown and Tom Hudson of Pulled Apart by Horses. This will be followed by panel discussions around the live music industry, publishing and alternative funding streams; and talks by representatives from Columbia Records, Dice.FM, SJM Concerts and Sentric Music Rights Management, Kendal Calling, Big Life Management and more.

Next up will be a ‘meet the experts’ sessions, presented by Blacks Solicitors, with local and national industry representatives including PRS for Music Foundation and Spine Farm Records. Finally, there will be a listening panel where bands and artists can submit their music to be discussed by a panel of experts who will also give practical advice on recording, releasing and getting exposure.

The Unconference is supported by Leeds Beckett University, Blacks Solicitors and PRS for Music Foundation. The event has been organised by Leeds Beckett BA (Hons) Events Management students and will be filmed by students of BSc (Hons) Broadcast Media Technologies. It is free to attend but please register in advance at

Also coordinated by the Leeds Beckett events management students is the Live at Leeds Extra Time event taking place on bank holiday Monday at Goals Soccer Centre on Redcoate Lane, from 12pm. This event includes the Live at Leeds Football tournament, where 32 teams will compete to win the trophy from last year’s winners, ITV; an acoustic stage with local bands Esper Scout, Sons of Great Men, and more; food from The Pizza Guy; stalls and pop-up shops from &/or Emporium; Zorb football; and a silent art auction.

Entry to the event itself is free and all proceeds from activities will go to Martin House Children’s Hospice. 

Samuel added: “Live At Leeds Extra Time is a great event that brings together a large number of music industry organisations in Leeds in a social setting at Goals Soccer Centre. For the students to be able to facilitate this, while raising money for Martin House Children’s Hospice, is fantastic experience, as well as showcasing music and art students’ work through our live music stage and silent art auction.”

The live music stage at Live at Leeds Extra Time is presented with support from PRS for Music Foundation.  For more information please go to

Achievements of events, tourism and hospitality course graduates at Leeds Beckett University were recognised at the inaugural Alumni Awards this week.


The Awards formed a key part of the School of Event, Tourism and Hospitality’s Big Alumni Gathering at International Confex.


James Musgrave, Senior Lecturer at the UK Centre for Events Management at Leeds Beckett said: "This was a great opportunity for the achievements of our alumni to be celebrated; it’s great for those enrolled on the course to see what can be achieved and we are pleased to have graduates now at all levels and top levels of industry”.


Highlighting the scope of achievement, six different awards were presented to alumni.  Glenn Bowdin, a member of the judging panel added: “Those that have been nominated are truly outstanding examples of where a degree can take you with dedication and hard work and will inspire both current students and will be of interest to those in industry."


The winners are as follows;


For Inspirational Graduate; Daniel Schofield – Head of Operations at Manchester City Football Club is an excellent example of a graduate that has made significant progress within the events industry and provides inspiration for students and other graduates that with the right attitude and determination. Daniel has worked in the past with the British Heart Foundation, arranging 8 fundraising events per year.


Inspiring Mentor was awarded to Brooke Mah - Client Services Coordinator at Middle East Investor Institute showed how getting involved and investing your time and energy in others can help to develop your own skills, yourself as a person and a professional, and your career.


Emma Bonnici- Director of Kanga Events received the Positive Impact Award. By seizing on the opportunities available to her which has allowed her to develop her business internationally.


The winner of the Innovative Project Award went to the UK Centre for Events Management very own, Emma Heslington. Emma has taken on the leadership of the Event Support Services – a new enterprise that supports events for clients from within UKCEM. Emma has shaped the direction providing innovative new type of service within a traditional university environment.


Receiving the Highest Industry Climber Award was Kate Kelly- Venue Relationship Manager at Fisher Productions Limited. Kelly has made significant progress in her career and worked her way up through proven results and is now providing excellent leadership in Fisher Productions leading their Venues Portfolio.   


Finally the Award for Successful Graduate Entrepreneur went to Libby Willetts who is the Managing Director at EMA Events. Libby received multiple nominations that provided evidence of how as a graduate she has transitioned from being a student, moving to working for others to developing her own successful company.


Two Leeds Beckett University Events Management students are celebrating after securing jobs for a prestigious events management company in Dubai.

Final year students Joanna Thomas and Jenny Homer were named as winners in The Eventice, an Apprentice-style interview process, at International Confex held at Olympia in London last week.

Joanna and Jenny will join DMG Events in Dubai, the market-leading event organiser for the construction industry, throughout the Middle East and North Africa region.

Speaking about their success in the competition, Glenn Bowdin, Head of the UK Centre for Events Management at Leeds Beckett, said: “We are very proud and delighted to again have two award-winning students on our events courses.  This is the third year running that our students have been winners in this national events management competition. 

“It is a positive endorsement of the approach that we take to developing employability within Leeds Beckett University, where industry-ready events management graduate skills and knowledge are developed alongside an academic understanding of the subjects.  Employers are very impressed with our students and this recent result adds to our already high graduate employment.”  

Speaking about triumphing in the competition, BA (Hons) Events Management student Joanna Thomas said: “The Eventice was the most incredible experience as it pushed me in ways that I have never been pushed before. This not only developed me as a person but also an event manager. To win was the icing on the cake and goes to prove that hard work, passion and commitment goes a long way.” 

BA (Hons) Conference & Exhibitions Management student Jenny Homer added: “I entered the competition with the mind-set of enjoying and learning from the experience, whilst putting my name out in the industry. Nobody loses in a competition like this, everyone gains so much from it, and everyone comes out a winner in the end.

“At first glance, two five minute presentations and three days out of University in final year, so close to dissertation hand-in seems CRAZY! But I cannot praise this competition enough; I have 14 new like-minded friends who I will no doubt have the pleasure to work with again in my career. I’ve learnt so much over the three days and I can now happily finish my degree without the added pressure of finding a job, and the fact I am continuing my journey with one of my best friends is just amazing!”

The Eventice has been running since 2011 and has placed 17 students over the past four years in jobs within the events industry.  For three days the candidates were put through their paces with various activities which showcased their ability to multi- task, organise, lead, project-manage, negotiate, network and present.

The School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality at Leeds Beckett will be hosting their second Big Alumni Gathering at Confex on 18 February.


The event has been organised following the success of the Gathering last year, which saw 60 professionals, graduates and members of the School team meet. The Big Alumni Gathering will take place between 3.30pm – 5pm on Wednesday 18 February in the Event-In-Situ space at Olympia in London. The winners of the first Alumni Awards will also be announced during the Gathering.


Head of the UK Centre for Events Management at Leeds Beckett, Glenn Bowdin, will be reminding graduates to feel proud of their qualifications and is looking forward to reconnecting with many of them now working at all levels within the events, hospitality and tourism industries. He explains: “We have a fantastic network of graduates and keep in contact with them. We are delighted to see so many doing so well in industry and we continue to work with industry.


“The practical experience our students gain with our placement companies in particular enhances their learning and their ability to put theory into practice. We see them emerge stronger and more employable as a result.”


Jackie Mulligan, Director of Enterprise for the School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality, add: “The event offers an opportunity for businesses that support us and those attending Confex to meet and network with some of our very talented graduates and team. After the event, attendees are invited to join the ‘after party’ at local bar and restaurant Sticky Fingers. The party is being supported by Monin – a partnership borne out of the vibrant Alumni community.


Those interested in attending The Big Alumni Gathering can register for free.

As part of Confex and the Event Production Show, attendees at the Big Alumni gathering will also be able to gain access to hundreds of exhibitors and industry experts.