Biography: Research and Teaching

Mike is a Reader in Events at the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey, and is responsible for leading the school’s research agenda in the study of events and festivals. 

Visit Mike’s university profile here:

Research focus

Mike’s work is published across internationally recognised journals in his field (e.g. Tourism Management, Annals of Tourism Research). His research spans across management, organisational, and development studies, specifically examining the relationship between events, local communities, urban development, and the visitor economy. Most of Mike’s work focuses on large scale events like the Olympics and the countries, cities, and communities targeted to host. To date, Mike’s case study work spans across London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games (Gold Coast 2018), and regional sporting and cultural events (e.g. food and light festivals to regional marathons).

Mike has two Special Issues currently underway:

Committed to supporting colleagues’ research, Mike holds various editorial positions in international events and tourism journals. He is an Associate Editor for Annals of Leisure Research, and sits on the Editorial Board for Leisure Studies and Event Management journal. Furthermore, Mike sits on the Editorial Board and is the Social Media Editor for both Annals of Tourism Research, and, Annals of Tourism Research Empirical Insights (@AnnTourRes).

Public, policy and practitioner engagement

Mike frequently works with policy makers and industry practitioners as part of his commitment to real-world research impact and public engagement. As part of this, his work regularly features across international TV, radio and print media (e.g. The Guardian, BBC, ABC), and Mike often works closely with global organisations like the International Olympic Committee and regional events organisations as part of the research production process and/or dissemination of findings and recommendations. His research has been funded by international organisations (e.g. European Union, International Olympic Committee), informed numerous global policy reports (e.g. United Nations World Tourism Organisation), and Mike is part of a network of academic policy advisors for the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge (UK).  

Host of ‘InsideEvents’ – a new international podcast for 2020-2021

During COVID-19 lockdown, Mike hosted a new international podcast entitled: ‘Inside Events’ – speaking with authors of high quality research papers and projects in the field of events to discuss the detail and significance of their work, as well as how they tackle and answer some of the big issues facing events today. The podcast delves into real-world research problems, the “so what” factor, theoretical quandaries, philosophical questions, managerial and policy implications, future trends et cetera. The podcast will continue into 2021 and provides a set of research and learning resources for scholars, students and practitioners to use around the world. 

Click here for a full list of published and scheduled podcasts for 2020-21:

Previous academic and industry experience – a brief overview

Before joining Surrey, Mike was a Senior Lecturer in Events Management and formerly Programme Director of the MSc International Events Management and MSc Sport Management at Coventry Business School, Coventry University, UK. He has held visiting positions at Pace University (New York, US), Berlin School of Economics and Law (Berlin, Germany), and Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan). Mike is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with 12+ years teaching experience at bachelor, masters, MBA and doctoral level.

Before starting his PhD in 2012, Mike was a project manager at Research Councils UK Government funded organisation: ‘Vitae’ where he was responsible for managing the UK’s researcher development programme, including the ‘Researcher Development Framework’ and ‘GRADSchool’ events. Throughout this role and since, Mike has managed and/or supported the delivery of over 80 events, conferences, and festivals across education, sporting and cultural sectors, managing events in an eclectic range of contexts – from internationally renowned venues like the British Library, public squares and parks, to university institutions across the UK.

Mike is a shareholder in Cambridge-based company “YoYo Let’s Go” aimed at gamifying visitor experiences, and with his partner Alexandra is the co-owner of ‘Tiptoe Travel’ ( – an adventure tour company aimed at solo women travellers across the UK.

Get in touch – Twitter and vlog

You can follow Mike on Twitter @michaelbduignan, and, visit for a full overview of Mike’s research and teaching work to date.

Published works

Duignan, M.B. (2021). Leveraging Tokyo 2020 to Re-Image Japan and the Olympic City, Post-Fukushima. Journal of Destination Marketing and Management, forthcoming.

Duignan, M.B. (2021). Utilising Field Theory to Examine Mega-Event Led Development. Event Management, forthcoming.

Duignan, M.B., and Chalip, L. (2021). Guest Editorial: Special Issue on “Advancing Olympic, mega, and major event studies: Management and organisational perspectives”. Event Management, forthcoming.

Duignan, M.B., Down, S., and O’Brien, D. (2020). Entrepreneurial Leveraging in Liminoidal Olympic Transit Zones. Annals of Tourism Research.

Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray. (2020). Guest Editorial: Special Issue on “Events, Public Spaces, and Mobility”. Annals of Leisure Research, forthcoming.

Duignan, M.B., Pappalepore, I., and Everett, S. (2019). The ‘Summer of Discontent’: Exclusion and Communal Resistance at the London 2012 Games. Tourism Management.

Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray, D. (2019). Disorganised host community touristic-event spaces: Revealing Rio’s fault lines at the 2016 Olympic Games. Leisure Studies.

Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray, D. (2019). Walking Methodologies, Digital Platforms and the Interrogation of Olympic Spaces: The ‘#RioZones-Approach’. Tourism Geographies.

Duignan, M.B., and Pappalepore, I. (2019). Visitor (Im)Mobility, Leisure Consumption and Mega-Event Impact: The Territorialisation of Greenwich and Small Business Exclusion at the London 2012 Olympics. Leisure Studies.

McGillivray, D., Duignan, M.B., and Mielke, E. (2019). Mega sport events and spatial management: Zoning space across Rio’s 2016 Olympic city. Annals of Leisure Research.

Cade, N., Everett, S., and Duignan, M.B. (2019). Leveraging Digital and Physical Spaces to ‘De-Risk’ and Access Rio’s Favela Communities. Tourism Geographies.

Kirby, S., and Duignan, M.B. (2019). Searching for Sites of Liminality in “Giga” Events: Developing a Conceptual Framework. Routledge, book chapter.

Duignan, M.B. (2019). London’s Olympic-Urban Legacy: Small Business Displacement, ‘Clone Town’ Effect and the Production of ‘Urban Blandscapes’. Journal of Place Management and Development.

Kirby, S., Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray, D (2018). Mega-Sport Events, Micro and Small Business Leveraging: Introducing the “MSE-MSB Leverage Model”. Event Management.

Duignan, M.B., Kirby, S., O’Brien, D., and Everett, S. (2018). From ‘Clone Towns’ to ‘Slow Towns’: Examining Festival Legacies. Journal of Place Management and Development.

Duignan, M.B., Everett, S., Walsh, L., and Cade, N (2017). Leveraging Physical and Digital Liminoidal Spaces: The Case of #EATCambridge festival. Tourism Geographies.

Duignan, M.B., and Wilbert, C (2017). Embedding Slow Tourism and the ‘Slow Phases’ Framework: The Case of Cambridge, UK. In: Clancy, M. 2017. Eds. Slow Tourism, Food and Cities: Pace and the Search for the ‘Good Life’. London: Routledge.

Pappalepore, I., and Duignan, M.B (2016). The London 2012 Cultural Programme: A Consideration of Olympic Impacts and Legacies for Small Creative Organisations in East London. Tourism Management.

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