Dr. Mike Duignan is a tenured Associate Professor at the internationally renowned Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida (#1 USA, #4 Global, Shanghai Ranking 2022-23), and he is the Editor-in-Chief of the leading journal for the study and analysis of events and festivals: Event Management.

Formerly, Mike was an Associate Professor and Department Chair at the Department for Events in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey in the UK, where he was also the Director of the Observatory of Human Rights and Major Events – the UK’s official Olympic Studies Centre supported by the International Olympic Committee and TeamGB.

Over the past decade Mike has travelled the world examining the economics and social impacts of hosting major events, including the London 2012, Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020 and now the Paris 2024 and LA 2028 Games, alongside various other events like the Commonwealth Games and regional sports and cultural events. This work has been published in leading journals and funded by large- and small-scale grants from the International Olympic Committee to the European Union.

Mike is committed to real world impact and has significant experience consulting and advising a range of event-related actors including event owners, organizers through to tourist boards with the aim of working with stakeholders to optimize the power and potential of events for social and economic good.

Mike’s work has been featured in international media from Les Echoes to The Guardian and he has given interviews and debated live on radio and TV from the BBC to a one hour debate on Sky News on the global events’ response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Mike holds various editorial positions. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Event Management; former Deputy Editor for Annals of Leisure Research; and currently sits on the Editorial Boards of Leisure Studies and International Journal of Festival and Event Management. He also sits on the Editorial Board and is the founding Social Media Editor with Prof Sara Dolnicar and Prof Scott McCabe for both Annals of Tourism Research, and, Annals of Tourism Research Empirical Insights (@AnnTourRes).

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 continues into 2023-24 and provides a set of research and learning resources for scholars, students and practitioners to use around the world. 

Mike’s expertise is split across two key areas: ‘Planning Perspectives’ and ‘Critical Perspectives’ and covers the following themes and concepts:

1) Planning perspectives

  •  Event analytics and 360 degree impact evaluation
  •  Event strategy, policy and planning 
  •  Event-led tourism and urban development
  •  Event-led destination marketing and development
  •  Community and small business leveraging
  •  Understanding visitor behaviour and experience in event destinations
  •  Utilising new technologies and big data for event planning.

2) Critical perspectives

  •  Human and community rights in the context of planning, staging and the legacy of major events
  •  Local impacts of event-led urban development and regeneration projects
  •  Leveraging events as a platform for educating visitors and raising awareness about critical issues (e.g. human exploitation, trafficking etc).