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Academic Events: An Empirically Grounded Typology and Their Academic Impact

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The meetings industry, government bodies, and scholars within tourism studies have identified the need to understand the broader impact of business events. To succeed in this endeavor, we consider it necessary to develop analytical frameworks that are sensitive to the particularities of the analyzed event, sector, and stakeholder group. In this article we focus on the academic sector and offer two connected analyses. First is an empirically grounded typology of academic events. We identify four differentiating dimensions of academic events: size, academic focus, participants, and tradition, and based on these dimensions we develop a typology of academic events that includes: congress, specialty conference, symposium, and practitioners' meeting. Secondly, we outline the academic impact of attending these four types of events. For this purpose, the concept of credibility cycles is used as an analytical framework for examining academic impact. We suggest that academic events should be conceptualized and evaluated as open marketplaces that facilitate conversion of credibility. Data were obtained from interviews with 22 researchers at three Danish universities. The study concludes that there are significant differences between the events in terms of their academic impact. Moreover, the outcome for the individual scholar depends on the investment being made. Finally, the study calls for a future research agenda on beyond tourism benefits based on interdisciplinary collaborations.
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Keywords: ACADEMIC EVENT; BUSINESS EVENT; IMPACT; LEGACY; TYPOLOGY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 8, 2020

This article was made available online on February 29, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "ACADEMIC EVENTS: AN EMPIRICALLY-GROUNDED TYPOLOGY AND THEIR ACADEMIC IMPACT".

More about this publication?
  • Event Management, an International Journal, intends to meet the research and analytic needs of a rapidly growing profession focused on events. This field has developed in size and impact globally to become a major business with numerous dedicated facilities, and a large-scale generator of tourism. The field encompasses meetings, conventions, festivals, expositions, sport and other special events. Event management is also of considerable importance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations in a pursuit of a variety of goals, including fund-raising, the fostering of causes, and community development.
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