Monthly Archives: May 2011

Edinburgh Festivals’ far-reaching impact revealed

Edinburgh has the best evaluated festivals: yesterday saw the publication of a major impact assessment report on Edinburgh’s twelve main festivals (those who make up Festivals Edinburgh). Following the small ‘via’ link above this text takes you to the Festivals Ed media release; there’s then a link from which you can download the full 100+ page report.

The media release will give you the key findings, so I shall restrict my comments to applauding the thoroughness of their approach in carrying out this research, being open in their methodology and seeking at every stage to reflect the breadth of each festival’s impacts. It’s a report of its time and an important foundation for future work. It also recognises that there’s a policy angle to this, and you could say it hits the right buttons for continued investment in these events.

(I suspect this report will shortly be coming to a Festival and Event Management course near me.)

Parallel discussions.

Another week and another slew of podcasts down the wires from the RSA. Of note to me recently has been the discussions that focus on some of my favourite themes, yet apply them to subjects other than events. Two of note have been:

As it happens both of these discussions are built around religious focuses, primarily Christian as Loyd puts forward the idea that churches are the natural home of the Big Society (which others point to libraries, schools, etc.). It is while listening to these discussions and other such podcasts that I propose to myself swapping out the <place> or <faith> or <building> and inserting <event> or <festival>. The common themes of community, identity, power, network and capital are pretty clear to see. That they are often linked to online relationships and the achievement of shared goals further convinces me that there’s merit in this work.

Can I yet sum up my proposal in a pithy aim? How about an investigation into… the impact of communications technologies on the live event and festival experience, reflecting on the development of communities, social networks and social capital as a result of these forms of interaction.

Re-engaging with my research plans.

I’ve been starting to get back into the PhD mindset of late. Much as I’ve enjoyed a lot of the marking I’ve been doing of late it’s refreshing to be able to think creatively for a while: retaining a critical approach, but being less judgemental. My supervisory team is coming together in the background, but in the mean time I presented to Edinburgh Napier Business School’s annual research conference today. I found myself mixed in with some final year DBA students, but they (and the audience) were welcoming and generally kind.

First up was the latest iteration of my ‘background ideas and inspiration’ Pecha Kucha, first presented last December. As is often the case only a minority of the audience were aware of PK, so the concept of managing that amount of visual information is to some extent a novel one ??? fortunately zoo TV and ever-diminishing attention spans have us well trained. It seemed to go ok and my narrative kept pace with the pictures. I like this form of presentation and I hope it survives beyond a point where the novelty wears off, maybe only then will it be fully exploited and the truly creative work will come out.

The second part of my session was built around a one-slide ‘poster’. This was therefore a trial run for a conference presentation I hope to give in Aberdeen on 19 June: iDocQ is being hosted by Robert Gordon University and ‘is an opportunity for new researchers working in the field of information science to present their research to their peers and gather feedback on their ideas’. That all sounds good to me and was suggested by one of my putative supervisors, which is always a reasonable place to start. The idea is to produce a poster, to which each contributor will talk for 10-15 minutes… but the posters will be projected on to a screen, so there’s only so much detail that can be included. After a few iterations I have something which covers key aspects of my proposal and I hope will hold up in an environment where others have more to say. Today’s evidence suggests I should be ok, that there’s enough on the slide to talk about and for people to understand what I’m trying to do. Certainly there’s enough there for people to say afterwards: ‘nice ideas, but you need to find a closer focus’!

That’s all fine, so I’ll keep turning up at conferences with my novice hat on to pick up ideas and gather the thoughts of others. Once iDocQ has passed I’ll stick the poster up on here ??? until then it’s still a work in progress, afterwards I can work on the next draft, and the next… (repeat to fade).