UCS students turn Suffolk inside out for annual tourism conference

The Suffolk Inside Out conference team, from left, Seniha Oztemiz, Kesha Allen, Lauren Whittaker, Ri

The Suffolk Inside Out conference team, from left, Seniha Oztemiz, Kesha Allen, Lauren Whittaker, Richard Gibbs and Kimya Piper. - Credit: Archant

The Suffolk Inside Out tourism conference, which takes place at Trinity Park, Ipswich, on Friday, will be examining how trends including the ‘staycation’ can contribute towards growth and sustainable practice for businesses throughout the sector – from hotels and restaurants to visitor attractions and heritage, arts and cultural venues.

Suffolk Inside Out is the latest in a series of annual conferences to be organised by students from University Campus Suffolk (UCS).

The team behind this year’s event consists of five enterprising students studying for BA (Hons) Event and Business Management degrees, who each have their own take on what Suffolk in general, and studying at UCS in particular, means to them. They include:

Kesha Allen: “I was born and raised in Ipswich; Suffolk is my home ground for work, studies and family life. The county is a vibrant place to further my education as a UCS mature student and establish my professional career within business and events management”;

Seniha Oztemiz: “As a student from Cyprus, I find life at UCS and town life very peaceful. The Ipswich Waterfront and Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds are my favourite locations; the air is clear and the atmosphere calm, all factors which led to my studies within Suffolk”;

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Kimya Piper: “Although often challenging juggling family and studies, being a student at UCS has opened a world of opportunities. I moved to Suffolk 16 years ago and love the close location to the coast but also to London”;

Richard Gibbs: “I’ve lived in Suffolk most of my life; I love the contrast of busy towns, beautiful coasts and ambient countryside”; and

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Lauren Whittaker: “After exploring many universities in the UK, UCS Ipswich just felt right for me. Originally from South-East London, Suffolk feels relaxed compared to city life where I don’t feel lost in a crowd.”

The students are being supported in organising the event by senior lecturer and course leader Laura Locke, who said: “Live work-based projects such as this conference help support students studies and provides a platform to showcase professional development and industry insight.”

Suffolk Inside Out will bring together businesses and industry professionals alongside academics and students from UCS and also offers an opportunity for networking alongside exploring growth opportunities.

Speakers will address financial, political and environmental issues affecting Suffolk’s tourism businesses, with East Anglian Daily Times editor Terry Hunt acting as facilitator for the event, following on from last year’s conference which was entitled “Suffolk Unlocked” and supported by VisitSuffolk.

Speakers at the event will include Martin Evans, managing partner of hospitality and tourism consultancy The Tourism Business, James Kennel, director of the Economic Development Resource Centre at the University of Greenwich, and Helen Oldfield, director and founder of Ipswich-based Affinity PR and a visiting fellow at UCS.

Also speaking will be Professor David Gill, director of heritage and futures at UCS, who will discuss cultural heritage tourism, and Neil Prentice, managing director of White Space Agency, which is also based in Ipswich, who will discuss approaches to marketing.

Completing the line-up will be Chris Scargill, tourism and leisure partner at chartered accountants firm Larking Gowen, who will speak on tourism research and financial stability.

The event will conclude with a Q&A panel discussion involving the speakers, followed by a networking lunch.

The conference, on Friday, March 11, will run from 8.30am until 1pm. Places cost £30, including refreshments and lunch, and can be secured at http://onlineshop.ucs.ac.uk .

Exhibition space and sponsorship packages are also available until tomorrow, Wednesday, March 9.

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