Keynote Speakers

Professer Joe Goldbaltt

Professor Joe Goldblatt holds the world's only professorial chair in planned event studies and is the executive director of the International Centre for the Study of Planned Events at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is the author of the first text book in the field of events management which has been continuously published for 25 years. The seventh edition of this book will be published in October 2013. He was the founding president of the International Special Events Society and the developer of the original Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) program.

Dr. Goldblatt was the founding director of the George Washington University Event Management Certificate Program and led the worldwide expansion of this program to San Diego, California, Toronto, Canada, Barcelona, Spain and Manila, the Philippines among many other destinations. He also served as Dean of the graduate school at Johnson & Wales University where he created the first master of business administration degree program in Event Leadership.

He has produced hundreds of events for luminaries including two U.S. presidents and the opening of the Donald Trump Taj Mahal Resort. He has conducted research and presented educational programmes for the American Society of Association Executives, Professional Convention Management Association, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the World Bank, EventScotland, Homecoming Scotland 2009, the East Lothian and Fife Councils and other organizations in Scotland and throughout the world. He has delivered education programmes in China, Colombia, Japan, Russia, and many other destinations.

He has received two honorary professorships from leading Universities in the People's Republic of China. Professor Goldblatt has produced research for Welcome America, The Pennsylvania Family Reunion Project, Homecoming Scotland 2009, the Papal Visit in 2010, the wedding of the daughter of HRH The Princess Anne, Zara Phillips, in 2011 and other major events.

He received the first ever Lifetime Achievement award for service to the industry from ISES. Event Solutions Magazine awarded him the Industry Visionary Award for his contributions to event management education and research.

In 2007, Professor Goldblatt was named Event Educator of the Year by the Professional Convention Management Association and in 2008 he was honored as the Distinguished Alumnus from his alma mater, St. Edward's University. Also in 2008 he was the first educator to be inducted into the International Festivals and Events Association Hall of Fame. In 2012 he received the Klaus Inkamp Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Special Events Society.

Dr. Elling Hamso
Managing Partner of Event ROI Institute

Elling has spent most of his career as a senior executive in the Norwegian oil and gas industry and later as a management consultant. He started an event agency in Norway in 2000 and Event ROI Institute in 2005.

He has been Chapter President and a member of the European Council of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and is currently a member of the jury of European Best Event Awards (EuBEA), International Best Event Awards, Middle East Best Event Awards, Meetings Industry Marketing Awards (MIMA) in the Uan Best Event Awards.

Conference & Incentive Travel Magazine ranked him 5th on their list of the 50 most influential people in the UK meetings and events industry in 2006 and Eventbranche magazine named him third among the 30 most influential in the meetings and eventsK, Evento Awards in Finland, Irish Event Industry Awards and Estoni industry in the Netherlands in 2012. He consults and speaks frequently on subjects such as ROI, events industry trends, meeting architecture, procurement and risk management.

Elling has a B.Sc. in Management Sciences and a Ph.D. in procurement strategy from Manchester University.

Nigel Mitchell
Lead of nutritional services to British Cycling and the British Professional Cycling Team Sky Pro Cycling

In 2012 he provided nutritional support for the historical Bradley Wiggins Tour de France Win and for British Cycling at the 2012 London Olympiad the. His role involves leading and providing specialist nutritional services to top athletes and sports men. Nigel qualified has a registered dietician in 1991 since then he has worked in a variety of clinical academic and sports roles.

In 1999 he was appointed Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University which provided Nigel the opportunity to further develop his nutritional expertise. Since leaving this position in 2005 he has worked full time in sports nutrition however he recognizes the importance of clinical practice and still provides a dietetic service to a local GP.

Nigel maintains clinical expertise and is committed to supporting athletes and sports people to achieve their sporting goals. Nigel recognizes and values the contribution that innovation and research provides to sports nutrition and he is currently involved in partnerships with Universities on academic projects this has included projects with Portsmouth University where he holds the honorary position of Senior Lecturer.

He has worked with a wide variety of sports/athletes including winter Olympic athletes. He believes an individual's nutritional needs should be provided through the diet and were appropriate specialist dietary products should be used. He specializes in performance-focused diets to help people perform better.

Professor Colin Beard

Professor Colin Beard is a Professor of Experiential Learning and holds a PhD in this subject. He originally trained as a zoologist, and commenced his early zoological career by living in the Amazon rainforests back in the early 1970s. He has worked for many wildlife organisations, including the RSPB protecting sea birds in Hampshire, and the declining Red Kite in the Welsh Mountains in the 70s. He is now a Teaching Fellow at Sheffield Business School and a member of the events team. He was awarded a UK National Teaching Fellowship in 2005. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD. He is the owner of a consulting business specialising in Coaching, Learning and Development, and he advises many corporate organisations, public bodies and outdoor adventure companies on individual and organisational learning. He has written over twenty book chapters, and several international books and journal articles on experiential learning. He was also a co-author of the first global text on Adventure Tourism. His research interest is in the human experience of learning and development events.

More details can be found on his website:

Chris Gratton BA(Econ), MA(Econ), PhD

Chris Gratton is Emeritus Professor of Sport Economics and Director of the Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. He currently has six academic sports books in print, the latest being The Global Economics of Sport, published in 2012. Chris's main areas of research include: the economic benefits of major sports events; measuring the economic importance of sport including the use of satellite accounts for sport; and the analysis and modelling of large sports participation surveys. He has represented the UK on the EU Workshop on Sport and Economics from 2006 to 2011 and continues to represent the UK on the EU Expert Group on Sport Statistics.

Howard Lyons

Howard Lyons has been an academic, teaching, writing, researching, consulting and operating a variety of businesses for over forty years. He is currently a visiting fellow at Sheffield Hallam University’s Business School (where he previously worked for many years), and was until recently also a fellow at the University of Exeter Business School. Howard has been a visiting fellow at many international universities, and served on the UK Cabinet Office Technology Foresight as a futures analyst.

At present he retains a small teaching interest and an active involvement in events research, alongside an increasing political and community involvement - in the far west of Cornwall.

Having spent decades working in emerging fields of business education he has considerable experience of the evolution of new subjects and disciplines, and the opportunities and challenges facing academics seeking to build careers within the career structures of universities. Hence he was a major reviewer for this AEME Conference and is presenting a paper that considers the writing of conference papers by events management academics.

Tony Rogers

Tony Rogers is a consultant specialising in conferences, business tourism / business visits and events, and destination marketing and management. He established his own consultancy, Tony Rogers Conference & Event Services Ltd, in September 2009 ( Until September 2009 he worked as Project Director for Eventia (now EVCOM), the events industry trade association, and prior to this he spent 19½ years as Chief Executive of the British Association of Conference Destinations (BACD).

Tony is an honorary member of the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO), an association he managed for eight years (2000-2008); a Visiting Fellow at Leeds Metropolitan University's UK Centre for Events Management; a past member of the European Advisory Council for Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI); and author of several books on the international conference industry including 'Marketing Destinations and Venues for Conferences, Conventions and Business Events' (written jointly with Rob Davidson of the University of Greenwich) and 'Conferences and Conventions: A Global Industry', both translated into Chinese (the latter has also been translated into Portuguese). He has also been a course validator for Sheffield Hallam University, University College Birmingham and the University of Westminster.

Susan Spibey

"My work is about guiding individuals and organisations to make a difference both through internal and external communication activities, meetings and events"

Susan has spent more than 25 years creating and implementing event strategies for business development for clients across a range of industries and professions internationally. She has lived and worked in the UK, Belgium, France, Germany and Italy.

Before founding SJS International in 1992, Susan started her career in the Conference Division of NATO at its Headquarters in Brussels and then for more than 10 years with the United Nations Specialist Agency in Rome, where she managed a wide range of events across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

With a lifetime of experience in the meetings and events sector, Susan is now championing the recognition of Event Management as a Profession, leading on the creation of the UK professional body for event management - the Institute of Event Management and raising awareness of the importance of skills for economic benefit.

She was involved in the development of the UNEP Global Reporting Initiative and on the ISO20121 Advisory Panel on Sustainable Events.

Tel: 0560 366 0524 or Mob: 07714 245 745

Joel Lavery

British Cycling
National Partnerships Manager

Joel Lavery is National Partnerships Manager at British Cycling. The main focus of his work is to engage with stakeholders and partners across Local Government, Leisure, Sport, Health and Transport sectors, cycling organisations and the voluntary community sector to increase participation in cycling and create new pathways into cycle sport. He has helped develop numerous cycling strategies and legacy plans and advises government bodies and various organisations on cycling participation and development on behalf of British Cycling.

Joel began his career in coaching and sports development and has carried out various Sport and Leisure Management roles over the last 20 years, including managing leisure facilities, parks and open spaces, sports development programmes and education initiatives like school sports partnerships, sports colleges and regeneration schemes.

Immediately prior to joining British Cycling he was Head of Strategy and Performance at Blackpool Council Department of Culture and Communities where he led policy and strategy development, business support, planning and performance improvement like Best Value, CPA and CSIT. He was a member of the North West Cultural Observatory, developed the Fylde Coast Cultural Strategy under the LAA/MAA framework and helped develop other corporate strategies and plans like the Local Area Agreement and the Sustainable Communities Strategy.

Joel has also had a lifelong involvement in the Olympic Sport of Taekwondo. He was former British Heavyweight Champion and represented Great Britain at international level. He lives on the Fylde Coast with his partner Jo and two young daughters Isobel and Alexandra and enjoys pretending to be a Golfer and Cyclist at the weekend.

Key Dates

Early bird registration
Friday 9 May 2014

Final delegate registration
Friday 13 June 2014