Media Release: Edinburgh Festivals renowned director returns to city for Napiers management training

ANOTHER sell-out year expected to follow announcement of Paul Gudgin’s involvement in Edinburgh Napier’s Event Management programme

Edinburgh Napier University Business Schools Institute for Festival and Event Management (IFEM) will be welcoming back to the capital the Edinburgh Festival Fringes renowned director to present the university’s highly-successful Executive Certificate in Event Management.

For those in the know, Paul Gudgin is the events industry, having worked with the Edinburgh Fringe – widely regarded as the world’s largest arts festival – effectively doubling the event in size during his tenureship between 1999 and 2007. How Paul did it, along with a range of other top insider industry tips for success will be revealed to a select group of just 50 delegates commencing January 25th 2009.

With places limited to ensure teaching quality Edinburgh Napier is expecting demand to exceed availability for the tailor-made, four-day professional festival and event management programme. Since its 2004 inception, Napier’s Event Management training has proved a year-on-year sell-out.

Says a spokesperson: “Right now a career in event management is that rarity: a dynamic, ‘glamour’ industry, thriving despite the economic downturn. With a new sales record set in 2009 for the Festival Fringe an nine per cent increase on the previous record despite the Credit Crunch – the evidence suggests the events industry in Edinburgh is bucking the recessionary trend. In Edinburgh alone festivals are estimated to bring in revenues of over £200 million each year.

“Events professionals keen to gain the edge in a competitive market would be wise to head for Edinburgh given the citys world-wide reputation for events. But this Edinburgh-based course also has a distinctly progressive, international outlook. Organised in conjunction with the Australian Centre of Event Management (ACEM), based at the University of Technology in Sydney, Paul Gudgins co-presenter is Rob Harris, renowned as an innovative leader in international events education .

“The first of its kind in Europe, the course is an accelerated training programme, arming delegates with essential in-depth knowledge of all aspects of event management, including marketing, operations and best practice in the planning, managing and evaluation of events, generating public, political and business support, and creating relationships with sponsorship bodies and the media.

“In previous years, delegates have come from a broad range of backgrounds, including arts, sport and tourism. Companies, including Marks & Spencer, Standard Life, Scottish Equitable, Gleneagles Hotel and Maximillion Events, have all reaped rewards from sending employees on the programme.”

Paul Gudgin commented: “This year Certificate will be ‘The Ashes’ of Event Management an unmissable meeting of Australian and British expertise. I have been a guest speaker in the past and found the standard of teaching first rate but the certificate is about more than that. It is about outstanding networking opportunities, nurturing delegate confidence and providing real inspiration.

“We look to reassure delegates about their existing abilities and arm them with plenty of ideas they can implement straight away in their own events. Rob and I hold each other in very high regard, and share opinions on many issues. We also have some strongly contrasting ideas and we are not shy about airing them. So delegates can expect some real creative sparks to fly in January!”

Faith Liddell, director of Festivals Edinburgh, commented: “Other cities are constantly trying to catch up in the events arena and we continually seek experienced, professional staff to help us stay at the forefront of festivals and events across the world. Education plays a vital role in helping us to retain our position as the world’s leading Festival City and Napier’s course offers an important platform for the development of the professional skills we need to do this.”

Kara Davies, manager of the Music Box venue at Stevenson College, west of Edinburgh, signed up for the 2009 course, and comments: “This course has real quality and its really comprehensive. I wanted to develop valuable planning tools, and the specific abilities this course gave me are less about theory and academic concepts, and more about practical skills, which is what I needed.

“Now I can really benefit the people of Edinburgh with programmes not currently on offer in the city. I wanted to network, and the networking opportunities are phenomenal. Last year, I was able to interact with knowledgeable, high-level people who organised the Sydney Olympics, that’s a real opportunity!”

Dr. Eleni Theodoraki, chair of Napier’s IFEM, comments: “Event management is a key growth area and should be considered as a solid career move with a bright future. With the upcoming 2011 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the eyes of the world are turning to Scotland events. Napier’s event management training has an outstanding international reputation, and is the leader in Festival and Event Management in Scotland. Dr Theodoraki was an organiser of The Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organising Committee and is a member of the London 2012 Olympic Games Bid Committee.”

The 2010 Executive Certificate in Event Management starts in Edinburgh on 25th January. For further details contact Edinburgh Napier University Business School on 0131 455 4504.


Cat Synnot

T: 0131 553 0158


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Contact: Cat Synnot
Phone: 0131 553 0150