Hospitality Expo 2018

After weeks of preparation, research and practise the final year students of the International Hospitality Management BA(Hons)  delivered a day of excitement and innovation for the Contemporary Issues in Hospitality Management module.

Following feedback from students and visitors of past years, the event was tweaked to enable students to better focus and showcase both their creativity and academic prowess. This resulted in a research poster expo which enabled visitors to vote for the best poster and deliver bonuses to the top three groups.

Dr Ioannis S. Pantelidis, module leader said: “We have been running the annual hospitality management expo for as long as I remember but as successful as the expo was our module team still felt that we did not fully showcase our student’s research skills. Some groups were focusing more on the showmanship and less on researching and validating the core elements of their concept.

“The expo feedback from students and other stakeholders has always been so positive that for years we were reluctant to change the format, afraid that we may diminish the learning experience, but this year we decided to take the leap forward. At first we were a little apprehensive as we did not want students to miss out on the excitement and creative innovation of past years, but at the same time we wanted to push our students more so that they can showcase a number of transferable skills including research skills that perhaps in past expos were not as easily facilitated. This new format together with an enhanced Dragons Den formative preparation enabled us to achieve more than what we hoped we could.”

The module team received numerous emails and feedback from students and visitors. One of those emails read: “I hold you guys responsible for my outburst of tears of joy and emotion. …We all had a really good time, considering where our group came from and how many times we changed our concept.

“I feel we are a perfect case study to come speak to your students next year! The module results have affirmed my beliefs that the choice I made to get my full degree and continue with a masters will happen. The comments have given me such a boost and I just wanted to thank you for making it a great experience, it’s made me believe in myself. We are taking the concept further and I look forward to discussing it with you shortly.”

At least three out of the 11 concepts hope to push forward in bringing their concept to the market and the school hopes to create an incubator space to facilitate such enterprises. Dr Pantelidis working in partnership with BeePurple will reinforce the existing entrepreneurial network opportunities within the University of Brighton – he also hopes that the SaSM Imaginarium (an incubator named so after the Hospitality Imagineering postgraduate module) will be a beacon of inspiration for students wishing to take their concepts seriously and continue their careers as captains of their own future.

The module team really enjoyed running this new format which proved to be a great success amongst students, visitors and academic assessors alike. Dr Conor Sheehan said: “The Hospitality Research Expo 2018 showed us what our students were made of. Innovative hospitality concepts showcased with conviction, energy and enthusiasm by the elite of tomorrow’s hospitality workforce.

“It surpassed all expectations to make a teacher truly proud of his students’ exceptional achievements.”

Gillian Parfitt is course leader for International Hospitality Management BA and International Student liaison tutor. She also leads the team at the Culinary Arts Studio who facilitated a wonderful goodbye evening meal for our students and colleagues.

Upon reflecting on the day Gillian said: “What a fantastic day! The Hospitality Expo 2018 exceeded all expectations and has provided a wonderful opportunity for the students to show just how creative and innovative they can be.

“I am so proud of all of them and the hospitality industry will be so lucky to have such excellent graduates across the world when they finish their course in July.  I am going to miss them all a lot!”

We also were lucky to have the students currently studying at the university’s International College visiting us for the day and they were able to visit the expo to really experience university life and a really different style of assessment.  Following the expo, we all met up in the Culinary Arts Studio for a little celebration of such a great day – tinged with a little sadness that the students on our European Batchelor of Arts programme are now returning to France and Holland to complete their studies.

The video below shows highlights from the expo and a 360 degree video of the pre-opening:

For a 360 degree video of the pre-opening of the expo see this:


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