A free public seminar in boosting the value and impact of sports and cultural events, in our region and beyond, is set to take place at Leeds Beckett University on Friday 13 November.

Hosted by the University’s International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality (ICRETH), the event, ‘Maximising the value of sports and cultural events’, is taking place from 1.30pm - 4pm at Headingley Carnegie Pavilion, room 418.  

The event forms part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)’s annual Festival of Social Science, a national initiative aiming to showcase the important role which social science research plays in our social, economic and political lives.

There has long been an interest among local authorities and other agencies in the use of publicly-funded events, from the Grand Départ of the Tour de France to very locally-focused food and community arts festivals, for the purposes of economic development.

This free event will show the practical contribution social science research can make to improving post-event evaluation, and the kinds of strategies that policy-makers might adopt for increasing the economic and social impact of public investment of this kind.

The afternoon will consist of short informal presentations by key practitioners from the world of sport, the arts and local authorities, as well as from experts with extensive evaluation experience. This is followed by the opportunity for networking and discussions.

Speaking on the day will be: Jane Earnshaw, Programmer for Leeds Inspired at Leeds City Council and former Director of I Love West Leeds, presenting It depends what you mean by ‘value’: reflections of different ways of valuing arts and cultural events; Dr Emma Wood, Reader in Events Marketing at Leeds Beckett University, whose talk is entitled ‘Social’ goals: benefits beyond the economic; Independent Consultant, David Andrews, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Yorkshire Tourist Board (now Welcome to Yorkshire), who led the team that successfully bid for the Bollywood (IIFA) Awards in 2007, presenting Are big events worth it? An insight into their cost and bidding processes; and Dr ShiNa Li, Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett, will discuss her research, Maximising the economic impact of sports and cultural events.

Professor Rhodri Thomas, Head of ICRETH, said: “We applied to host this event, our third, because we feel it helps us convey some important messages about our research Centre. Being part of the ESRC’s festival indicates that we are trusted partners in a wider project to promote the value of social science research.  It also reflects our concern to work with practitioners and to engage audiences beyond academia. The theme is clearly topical and we hope will attract significant interest.”

For more information, and to register to attend this free event, please go to http://bit.ly/LeedsBeckettESRC.

The ESRC’s 13th annual Festival of Social Science takes place from 7-14 November 2015 with over 200 free events nationwide. The Festival provides an opportunity for anyone to meet with some of the country’s leading social scientists and discover, discuss and debate the role that research plays in everyday life. A full programme is available at www.esrc.ac.uk/festival. You can also join the discussion on Twitter using #esrcfestival.