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Leading Universities team up with ABPCO for industry research

Leading Universities will work together with The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) on research intent on aiding managers within the association sector.

Senior academics from nine universities met at the Barbican to map a research agenda with the intention of helping to boost the competitiveness of managers working in the industry.

This follows ABPCO’s strategic decision to create a new membership category specifically to connect academic research, researchers and professional practice.

“Universities are often seen by practitioners only in relation to issues associated with the flow of students to the industry,” comments Rhodri Thomas, Professor of Tourism & Events Policy at Leeds Beckett University. “That’s important but universities can offer more. A significant volume of research is produced by academics that, if presented appropriately, might prompt practitioners to re-think some of their practices or help them answer some of the questions that challenge them from time-to-time”.

ABPCO’s Caroline Windsor introduced the event by stating that gaining access to research produced in universities was one of ABPCO’s five priorities and the links between ABPCO and leading Universities has never been stronger.

“We recently undertook a poll of our members and this issue came out top,” said Caroline. “There is a thirst for more knowledge and we hope that this collaboration will help create a flow of useful research to help quench it”.

A finalised subject for the research will now be decided upon based on the needs and wants of the industry following this initial meeting.

Universities taking part in the research include:

• Leeds Beckett University • University of Surrey • University of Greenwich • Bournemouth University • University of Derby • University of Sunderland • London Metropolitan University • Northumbria University • Liverpool John Moores University

ABPCO is the UK’s leading organisation for professional conference and event organisers, industry associates and those studying for, or seeking a career in the conference and meetings industry. For more information about ABPCO visit


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