Better Event Design, a virtual knowledge exchange conference presented in tribute to Julia Rutherford Silvers, was hosted online by the School of Architecture + Cities on 7 April. 

Talk being delivered in virtual conference space at Better Event Design conference

Better Event Design’s uniquely designed virtual space for the University included a conference area, exhibition booths, reception and roof top party area created by the event sponsors All Seated exVo on their new 3D virtual event platform. 

Attendees from across the globe came together to honour the life and work of the late academic, author and event designer Julia Rutherford Silvers, with speakers from nearly every continent honouring her memory. There were short tributes about Julia's life and work, from her seminal publication entitled ‘Professional Event Coordination’ to her collaboration on the Event Management Body of Knowledge (EMBOK), which was included in the programme.  

140 event professionals, students and academics from Europe, North America and the UK attended the event for the keynotes that celebrated Julia's inimitable six A's in event design and delivery, known as Anticipation, Arrival, Atmosphere, Activities, Appetite and Amenities. The Better Event Design conference provided a whole new experience in attending virtual events, and the celebratory and educational nature of the event equipped attendees with actionable ideas and inspiration for their future events. 

The event was part of the new and expanding ‘Learning Bridges’ initiative founded by Dr James Morgan in 2020, which is a knowledge exchange vehicle for sharing events management knowledge between higher education institutions and the event industry globally. Since its launch, institutions participating in ‘Learning Bridges’ include the University of Brighton, University of Derby, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Greenwich, Haaga-Helia University, University of Hertfordshire, University of Northampton, Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Salford, University of Sunderland, University of Surrey, University of Westminster and York St John University.

Talking about the event, Dr James Morgan, Principal Lecturer in Event Design and Technology at the University of Westminster and organiser of Better Event Design conference, said: “Having the opportunity to work with industry in terms of procuring event sponsors, providing  an international  roster of speakers and involving students, academics and industry professionals from around the world truly highlights the international reach of the university's knowledge exchange activities.”

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