Leeds Metropolitan University will celebrate 18 years of its UK Centre for Events Management (UKCEM) at the annual Venue Expo 2014 event in Manchester.

Current students and graduates hailing from the UK's longest-running events management course at Leeds Met - which will become Leeds Beckett University on 22 September - will come together at the Expo for the Big Northern UKCEM Gathering, to mark the centre's achievements, partnerships and developments.

The event will take place on Monday 1 September at 2.30pm in the Expo's networking lounge, and will also welcome many of the companies who provide student placements. The Expo will run from September 1-2.

Head of the UKCEM, Glenn Bowdin, said he wants graduates to feel proud of their events management qualifications and is looking forward to reconnecting with them at The Venue Expo 2014. He commented: "The UKCEM is an official partner of the 2014 Expo, and during the two-day event the university team will be delivering stimulating, provocative and inspiring education sessions which will focus upon mastering the art of engagement through social media. There will also be thought-provoking re-imagining events tours and a future thinking event design session.

"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 they emerge stronger and more employable as a result."

Future of Meetings research, carried out by Leeds Met academics for Meeting Professionals International (MPI), will be showcased at the Expo.

Jackie Mulligan, Principal Lecturer and Director of Enterprise for the Centre, who headed up the research, commented: "We hope to emphasise to the events industry that we are collaborators, we seek the same goals to enhance skills and to make all aware of the value of our industry. We are keen to work with industry partners to inform new education in the sector and feel we are in a good position to progress given our industry research, engagement, specialist and online provision.

"The large team of academics from all over the world who now teach and research within UKCEM have a lot to celebrate this year, most notably student achievements. The MPI Young Achievers Award was won by Leeds Metropolitan students three years in a row - most recently by Holly Glover, Olivia Pole-Evans and Faye Briggs. One of the three winners of The Eventice 2013, James Boardman, graduated from the UK Centre and The Eventice 2014 was won by two students from Leeds Met - Charlotte Jarman and Holly Glover."

Senior Lecturer, James Musgrave, said he believes that the student and graduate successes stem from the combination of academic and practitioner insights, staff engagement in industry and the real-world work that students undertake at UKCEM.

He added: "Last year the UKCEM Event Awards 2013 took place at the University's Rose Bowl. Through innovative and professional events, the students raised nearly £20,000 for domestic and international charities. One of our Senior lecturers Michelle Lanham tutored a group of students to conduct a flash mob to raise awareness of homeless people. Public perceptions were challenged and awareness of the charity 'Simon on the Streets' was raised."

Footage of the event can be seen"at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47rpIFc6DUI

Anyone interested in attending The Venue Expo can register through the event website www.thevenueexpo.co.uk. UKCEM graduates and companies working with the University by offering work placements are very welcome to attend the Big Northern UKCEM Gathering. Register for free here: bit.ly/1lUFrkv