A student at Leeds Metropolitan University has become the first to be awarded the coveted Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) Student Award at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Annie Metcalfe, a 22-year-old third year student of Events Management at the University, was revealed as a prize winner at ABPCO's first ever awards ceremony at part of its 25th Anniversary gala dinner.

Annie's award recognised her innovative and best-practice approach to her work placement year at Twickenham Rugby Stadium last year, where she impressed colleagues as an event manager at match days as well as conferences and events at the Stadium. Annie was subsequently put in charge of areas at Wimbledon, the Test Match and twenty20 games at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, The AEGON Classic at the Priory Tennis Club and Cheltenham Race Course.



Annie commented: "For me, placement year was Leeds Metropolitan saying 'Here is your golden ticket to the events industry, let's see what you can do.' I am so thankful to them for throwing me in at the deep end because, even if I didn't think I was ready or capable, they showed me I was. I am honoured to be the first events management student to receive the ABPCO Academic Achievement Award and I hope this encourages other event management students to use this short but highly valuable year to the best of their ability."

Annie's Placement Tutor at Leeds Metropolitan, Michelle Lanham, said: "Over the course of the year it was fantastic to see how much Annie grew in terms of her ability and confidence. She really worked hard at Twickenham to deliver superior events and I think this was reflected in the glowing references she received and also in their pleas for her to stay."

Glenn Bowdin, Head of the UK Centre for Events Management at Leeds Metropolitan, added: "We are delighted that Annie has won this new and prestigious award from ABPCO, recognising as it does Annie's significant achievements on placement and in a wider sense giving an insight into the employability of students and graduates in the events industry."

After completing her degree, Annie would like to travel the world with event management whilst staying in the sports stadium business and hopes to work with Lions Rugby Travel as part of The British and Irish Lions Rugby tour in Australia 2013.

Image l-r: Michael Foreman, ABPCO Chairman and Managing Director of Kenes UK, Annie Metcalfe of Leeds Metropolitan and Jennifer Jenkins, ABPCO Vice-Chair and Managing Director of MCI UK.