Bournemouth University

School of Tourism

Air Festival Director sets students off to a flying start

Page published: 22 August 2011

Director of the Bournemouth Air Festival, Jon Weaver, has been working with BU students on the BA (Hons) Events Management degree to equip them with industry experience and knowledge before they jet off into the world of work.

As Bournemouth Borough Council’s Marketing and Events Manager, Jon uses Council events, including Bournemouth 200 and the Air Festival, as case studies for students to work on. They develop innovative ideas to make events unique and get to grips with the managerial issues involved with organising such huge events.

Jon Weaver first joined BU in an advisory capacity as the Events Management programme was being developed, then as an External Examiner.

Caroline Jackson, Associate Dean for the Events, Leisure and Retail Group at BU said: “Real life experiences help students to better understand the theories that they are learning in such a multi-disciplinary management degree. It has been invaluable to have had Jon’s support and critical eye on the content and performance of one of our most successful degrees.”

The School of Tourism focuses on applied research and education and in terms of events and leisure this is achieved by better understanding the impact and experience of society’s involvement in these activities.

Caroline continued: “To ensure that our courses are relevant and of value to the economy and society, we work with different professional and trade bodies, as well as with companies and individuals working in applied areas.”

But it’s not just a one-way relationship. As well as BU students benefiting from practitioner knowledge and experience, those in industry use BU’s research to feed into their day to day work.

Commenting on research at BU, Dr Richard Shipway, said: “Too often, the outputs of academic research are conveyed in a style that makes them inaccessible to practitioners and the practical applications are often not communicated. Having this ‘hands on’ engagement greatly reduces the current gulf that exists between academics and practitioners, whereby we can identify and clearly communicate practical applications.”

Bournemouth Air Festival takes place from 19-21 August 2011. Click here for more information.