15 Oct Was it worth the effort…? Thoughts from the LOC Malmö
Thanks to everyone who participated in the 26thEASM – The European SportManagement Conference, hosted by the Department of Sport Science at Malmö University. The conference attracted about 500 participants from 43 nations. In connection to the conferencea Student Seminar with 50 students and a PhDStudent Seminar with 21 PhDstudents took place. The conference theme Managing Sport in a Changing Europe, aimed at reflecting ongoing processes of change and challenges within sport and society to be handled by sportorganisations/actors at different levels including globalisation, migration, segregation, integration, etc.
To organisethe EASM conference is very time and energy consuming, and in many ways challenging. Overarching strategies and issues, as well as thousands of small but yet important details, have to be handled by a local organisingcommittee on a daily basis for a long period of time. However, it is also an opportunity to have an impact on the field of sportmanagement and future directions. Through the conference theme and selected keynote speakers, we wanted sportmanagement to step out of its comfort zone. This is something we deem necessary in order for sportmanagement to have a wider social and societal relevance.
Not only the conference but also the Student Seminar was an opportunity to challenge and develop the dominant tradition of sportmanagement and thereby influence the future of the professional as well as the academic field. We think, for example, that the theme around ‘How to manage issues of children’s rights, integration and inclusion in and through sports’ was an eye-opener to a lot of the students. By the way, having the students from all over the world with us was great and added vibrancy to the whole event.
Maybe, the most important function of the conference is to create an arena for networking and exchange of ideas and knowledge. The way the programme is constructed, the nerve added by the keynotes, openness to new perspectives, an inviting spatial setting, proximity and, of course, a relevant content aresupportive structures for the creation and exchange of ideas. We hope that this was provided in Malmö.
We believe that the spatial and social context of the conference, Malmö andSweden in this case, should have an impact on the conference and the conference theme. It could of coursebe used as place marketing, but more importantly, it creates credibility and a concrete basis for interesting discussions, also from critical perspectives. The city of Malmö with its growing population, tangible social and economic challenges and innovative and progressive projects, solutions and sportenvironment, worked as an inspiring and illustrative frame for the conference and the Student Seminar.
Based on this, Malmö will become the first EASM Legacy Charter City and representatives of Malmö University will regularly report at future EASM Conferences on the use of sportmanagement in responding to challenges faced by the city. So, you’ll hear more from us!
Finally, hosting the EASM conference is a great team building exercise (size XXL)! We have all learned a lot about ourselves and each other in the LOC. As the president of the conference, I’m extremely proud of my team.
As one member of the LOC said yesterday: “I have repeatedly asked myself: Was it worth it? Has our department or myself benefited from organising the EASM conference or was it just one year’s wasted work? Despite a bumpy ride and a bunch of stress along the ride, I think we would do it all over again, but maybe not in the next couple of years :)”
We are more than happy to welcome you to visit us in Malmö again. Also, see you all in Seville next year!
Varma hälsningar från/Warm greetings from
Karin Book (President of EASM 2018)
on behalf of the Local Organising Committee
Department of Sport Science