The conference at Bournemouth University was a great experience to interact with a vast majority of people from all over the UK and some as far as Dubai. It was heavily student-based so it gave us the opportunity to engage in conversations with like-minded people. There was quite an exhilarating atmosphere that filled the place and we couldn’t wait to get started. To start off, we were directed to a lecture theatre where we listened to two keynote speakers who were lecturers at Imperial college and Bournemouth University. However, during this time, we realised that we underestimated the number of people at the event. In fact, in total, there were 300 presentations being shown throughout the day!
Once the introduction was done, we moved to a separate building where the presentation would take place. This gave us the opportunity to listen and interact with various students on their chosen topics. We went to 4 separate presentations during the day in which we got to hear some interesting papers. This helped us to understand different ways a presentation could be approached and gave us an idea of how we should address ourselves during our own presentations for the MANG1021 conference. Having to organise a conference ourselves as part of our assignments, it was great to see how students worked and various ideas that we could incorporate to ours to make it more lively and interactive. Each room had 4 presentations that had to be covered within an hour including time for questions so it was interesting to see how it worked and how organised they remained during the entire duration.
It definitely wasn’t what we expected as there were plenty of students who weren’t afraid to challenge the presenters on the issues that they had chosen. Hence, this led to the presenter having to step out of their comfort zone to defend their work which led to several thought-provoking debates. But out of all these presentations, we were able to pick some favourites in which we thought stood out in terms of the energy that the presenter had when addressing it and the presentation topic itself as well as issues they were addressing.
One of our favourite presentations was the Burning man festival! Annayah Prosser from the University of Bath who spoke about the festival transformed her life in terms of research and the impact it had on those that were also at the event. She captured the ethical and practical barriers that stop us or forces us to avoid taking part in several projects and activities that could interest us e.g. being scared of going to the gym due to judgement from others. This helped the audience to think about life changing events they had experienced in order to understand her research. Shockingly, she managed to get a massive 1,200 participants for her project. With this, she was able to break down what they based their answer from, how it affect them and why they chose to go to the event.
From the second session, we had Hannah Moore from Blackpool and the Fylde College whose presentation was ‘To what extent is there a correlation between psychopathy traits and strong leadership in a project-based environment?’ In this presentation, Moore spoke about the issue of placing people in the workplace and differentiating between corporate psychopaths and leaders and various traits that they have. This was one of our favourite presentations as the audience were very intrigued by this topic which led to many debates and ideas.
Another notable presentation was Joseph Winer from Queen Mary University of London. His topic was the controversy of the naked body on stage. Before Winer started his presentation, he joked that he was worried that he would be perceived to be a sexist or a misogynist and had to quickly clear this before starting. Winer spoke about the power theatre directors had as they cast certain actors with what it deemed to be ‘the perfect body’ for partial nude scenes and the fact that this does not represent all human being’s body shapes in general. He explained how he felt that women should be encouraged to do more nude scenes and not just the men, who statistically are more likely to be in nude scenes, in order for us to embrace the human body. This meant that all body shapes should be encouraged to act, such as disabled people who are least likely to act in nude scenes in the theatre.
Furthermore, Hannah Styles who is a student from Bournemouth University investigated how tourists’ risk perception and decision making following terror attacks affected generational factors. She spoke about the influences media has had on our perceptions of visiting different countries and their ability to create widespread fear. Styles also discussed the fact that the hospitality industry is directly targeted and the popularity of individual tourism in today’s modern society rather than mass tourism. Hence, more people are deciding to travel individually. She used her questionnaire using snowball sampling to find out what makes students want to travel, the risk factors involved and scenario situations questions. The questionnaire showed most people are interested in why the terror attacks occurred e.g. to find whether tourists were targeted which influenced their likelihood of visiting a country. However concluded that although hospitality industries were one of the most affected, they are unable to control this as it is outside their industry.
Overall, the entire experience was quite enjoyable as we got to learn various things and had great experiences on the entire trip. Even got to see a bit of Bournemouth once the conference was done which wasn’t done in the best weather but was quite enjoyable overall.