This month MSc Events Management students were treated to a special guest lecture from Caribbean Rum Specialist, Peter Holland, Owner of the Floating Rum Shack. Peter had a lot to say about exhibition and event management practice. His role as brand ambassador for a number of Caribbean rum brands sees him attending more events in a single month than many event managers will stage in a year. Among his top tips to students hoping to work with guest speakers, exhibitors and other participants as part of their events were:
- Walk-a-mile in your participants’ shoes (i.e. consider their needs when designing your events)
- Pay attention to small details (for e.g., make sure speakers and exhibitors can easily find food, water and toilets)
- Deliver on your promises (i.e. if you say you will do something, do it!)
The students also learned that every rum has a story. The Jamaican, Martiniquan and Barbadian rums Peter demonstrated each told a story of the island it was from. These histories related to the colonial pasts of each of these islands as well as their shared legacies of slavery. The session highighted many possiblities for using food and drink to explore a variety of cultural areas, including economic issues, gender and racial stratefication and ethnic and nationalist identies (Bonnekessen, 2015).
Staff members looking for a fun, interesting activity to add to a lecture, seminar or conference on cultural heritage, events, hospitality or tourism management can feel free to contact Nicole Ferdinand via e-mail at email@example.com. She would also be interested in hearing from members of staff who use food and drink as part of their teaching and learning practice.
Bonnekessen, B., 2010. Food is good to teach: An exploration of the cultural meanings of food. Food, Culture & Society, 13(2), pp.279-295.
Dr Nicole Ferdinand is currently leading the BU Carnival University which is made possible by a BU Learning and Teaching Fellowship Grant from CEL. Dr Ferdinand is one of BU’s four Learning and Teaching Fellows for 2017/18.