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ATLAS Events Special Interest Group
Inaugural Expert Meeting
Breda, the Netherlands, 19-20 May 2011
The Social Dimension of Events



The rapid growth of cultural, sports and business events has focussed attention on the impact of events, and in particular their economic significance for cities and regions. There is increasing interest, however, in the less tangible social impacts of events – in terms of building social capital, fostering social cohesion and forging social identities. Few major events are now without programmes for community engagement, education or cultural development. Appeals to the social significance of events are often an important part of the legitimisation of public subsidy and commercial sponsorship.

Although most people seem convinced that events have an important social role in local and global communities, there is relatively little empirical evidence to back up assertions that events build social capital or social cohesion. The newly-formed ATLAS Events Special Interest Group is organising an expert meeting to try and address this crucial issue. How important is the social dimension of events? Are the social impacts of events really important to local communities, or just window dressing for consumption-based cultural and sports policies? Which groups in the community actually benefit from the organisation of events?


Call for papers

The ATLAS Events Special Interest Group therefore invites papers related to the social impact of events for its inaugural meeting. Themes expected to be covered during the event include:

  • The role of events in building social capital
  • The social impact of events
  • The impact of events on different social groups
  • Volunteering for events
  • Educational impacts of events
  • Events and sense of identity and place for social groups

The Expert Meeting is designed as a small-scale event for researchers to present and discuss their work with colleagues. Participation in the meeting is subject to approval of an abstract and preparation of the paper prior to the meeting. Selected papers will then be published, and the research programme to be developed by the group will be based on the outcomes of the meeting.


Abstract submission

Please submit an abstract of your proposed submission (maximum 300 words) to Greg Richards at Tilburg University ( by 15th February 2011.


Conference venues

The meeting will be hosted by the Academy of Leisure at the NHTV in Breda, a leading centre for event education and research. The organisation of the meeting will be supported by ATLAS and the Dutch Centre for Leisure and Tourism Research (CeLToR), which also includes the Universities of Tilburg and Wageningen.


Participation fees

Participation fees € 150 € 200

The fee includes coffee breaks and lunches on both meeting days, dinner on the first day of the meeting and conference documentation.





Delegates need to book their own accomodation. The hotels below are recommenden:

Golden Tulip Keyser Breda
Average customer score: 8,5
Keizerstraat 5
4811 HL  Breda (Central Breda)
Weekdays Business Class Room: €185.00; Luxe Suite: €225.00 Breakfast (p.p.p.n.): €19.00
Weekend 1 person incl. Breakfast (p.p.p.n.): €99.00 2 persons incl. Breakfast (p.p.p.n.): €129.00

Apollo Hotel Breda City
Average customer score: 8,0
Stationsplein 14 –
4811 BB Breda (Central Breda, near station)
Room price: EUR 105,00

Hotel Sutor

Average customer score: 7,7
Catharinastraat 2
4811 XH  Breda (Central Breda)
Double room from € 75 per night, excl. breakfast





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