The UK Centre for Events Management (UKCEM) at Leeds Metropolitan University is celebrating almost two decades at the forefront of events management education and research with a special event on Wednesday 12 March.


Lecturers from the Centre, which boasts the longest-running events management course in the UK, will reunite with graduates from the course and key events organisations at The Big UKCEM Gathering, which takes place at International Confex 2014 in London.


The event plans to be a celebration of graduates' achievements, Centre partnerships and developments. Representatives from some of the many companies who provide placements for students on the course will be attending, highlighting the Centre's focus on placing employability at the heart of its provision alongside academic and industry research.


Launching in 1996, the UKCEM is one of only a few institutions to offer a degree course solely focused on events management and is well-known for innovations in events management education, from developing specialist courses such as conference and exhibitions management and partnerships to progressing industry education and, most recently, introducing the first pure online MSc in events management with global publisher Pearsons.


Head of the UKCEM, Glenn Bowdin, explained: "We have a very good social network of graduates and keep in contact with them. We are delighted to see so many doing so well. None of this would be possible without the industry employers who help our students through work placements each year. The practical experience our students gain enhances their learning and their ability to put theory into practice and they emerge stronger and more employable as a result."


Alongside The Big UKCEM Gathering, academics from the 30-strong team will be delivering educational sessions based on their own and recent research. Sessions will focus on innovation and engagement in social media, top tips for guilt-free events, and what it takes linguistically to conduct international business.


The past year has been a busy one for the UKCEM team, who have successfully delivered a range of industry-focused projects including the UK Economic Impact Study. This study provided the most comprehensive picture of the meetings industry to date. The Centre's research on the Future of Meetings, commissioned by MPI, has seen the team deliver presentations at live events across the world.