Name of event: International Conference for Business & Economics
Title of presentation: The Re-branding of Mid-Sized Post-Industrial Cities – Challenges and Lessons Learned
The RSA Travel Grant provided me with financial support to enable me to attend an international conference where I was presenting a paper based on my PhD research into city branding. The conference was attended by delegates and speakers from all over the world, including Asia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Africa, North America and Australia. The opportunity to interact with scholars from a vast number of countries was phenomenal, and the contacts I made will be extremely valuable as I progress in my academic career.
The International Conference for Business and Economics in London was an excellent and well-attended conference, with speakers and delegates from over 30 countries around the world, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to present my paper with the financial support of the Regional Studies Association. The presentation went very well, and many delegates approached me afterwards to continue the discussion, which is always a good sign. I had the opportunity to network with colleagues from many different countries and institutions, and made some excellent contacts that will be helpful to me in my PhD experience as well as my future academic career. The conference included site visits to Cambridge and Oxford by bus for the delegates, and this provided a terrific opportunity to network with a large number of delegates and speakers and talk in more detail about their research interests and activities.
As a multi-disciplinary conference, the agenda included a wide variety of topics and paper presentations which provided me with a great opportunity to tie-in other research areas into my PhD work – this was immensely helpful to me as it provided me with richer research veins to consider and enrich my research. One of the key benefits of attendance at multi-disciplinary conferences is the opportunity to engage with researchers in other disciplines outside of my direct research areas, and I was delighted with the range of new ideas and research areas that I was exposed to, and which have influenced my research in a positive way.
There was tremendous interest in the RSA, as many delegates had not heard of the organization, and the promotional material disappeared quickly and I expect that at least a few will join the RSA and attend future conferences. In particular, there was keen interest in the upcoming RSA New Directions conference in Dublin, and I expect that I will see some of my new contacts in attendance (and of course will remind them by email before the submission deadline of February 24th). I am very proud to share information about the RSA as it is a remarkable association, and I was delighted to share the RSA material with the delegates at this conference.