Dr Mike Duignan

Head of Department and Reader in Events
+44 (0)1483 689652
30 AP 02
Student feedback & consultation hours: Tues & Wed 3-5pm (by appointment - email Mike for 1-1 slot)

Academic and research departments

School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.


Mike is Head of Department and Reader in Events at the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey, and Director of the 'Observatory for Human Rights and Major Events' (HaRM) - the UK's official Olympic Studies Centre endorsed by the International Olympic Committee. As of November 2021, Mike became the Editor-in-Chief of the leading international journal in the study of events and festivals: Event Management.

You can find a detailed overview of Mike's profile and work at: www.MichaelDuignan.uk.

Research focus

Mike studies the social and economic impact of planning and staging major events at the community, regional, national and international level.

He works closely with leading events organisations, managers and policy makers to analyse and evaluate impact. This includes consulting on policies and practices aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to optimise the event's contribution to society, inspire pro-environmental behaviour, and balance these societal objectives with strong economic performance. 

Mike's expertise and interests sit at the nexus of both planning and critical perspectives:

1) Planning perspectives

  •  Event analytics and 360 degree impact evaluation
  •  Event strategy, policy and planning 
  •  Event-led tourism and urban development
  •  Event-led destination marketing and development
  •  Community and small business leveraging
  •  Understanding visitor behaviour and experience in event destinations
  •  Utilising new technologies and big data for event planning.

2) Critical perspectives

  •  Human and community rights in the context of planning, staging and the legacy of major events
  •  Local impacts of event-led urban development and regeneration projects
  •  Leveraging events as a platform for educating visitors and raising awareness about critical issues (e.g. human exploitation, trafficking etc). 

Mike's work primarily focuses on large-scale events like the Olympics and the countries, cities and communities targeted to host. To date, his field work spans across London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, and regional sporting and cultural events (e.g. food and light festivals to regional marathons). Conceptually, Mike's work primarily draws on theories, concepts and ideas across management, organisational, and development studies. His work is published across internationally recognised journals in his field (e.g. Tourism Management, Event Management, Annals of Tourism Research), and, has featured across TV, radio and print media from The Guardian, Les Echos, BBC to ABC news networks. 

Mike holds various editorial positions. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Event Management; former Deputy Editor for Annals of Leisure Research; and currently sits on the Editorial Boards of Leisure Studies and International Journal of Festival and Event Management. He also sits on the Editorial Board and is the Social Media Editor for both Annals of Tourism Research, and, Annals of Tourism Research Empirical Insights (@AnnTourRes).


Host of 'InsideEvents' - a new international podcast for 2020-2021

During COVID-19 lockdown, Mike hosted a new international podcast entitled: ‘Inside Events’ - speaking with authors of high quality research papers and projects in the field of events to discuss the detail and significance of their work, as well as how they tackle and answer some of the big issues facing events today. The podcast delves into real-world research problems, the “so what” factor, theoretical quandaries, philosophical questions, managerial and policy implications, future trends et cetera. The podcast will continue into 2021 and provides a set of research and learning resources for scholars, students and practitioners to use around the world. 

Click here for a full list of published and scheduled podcasts for 2020-21: https://michaelduignan.uk/2020/06/17/events-a-new-international-podcast/


Previous academic and industry experience - a brief overview

Before joining Surrey, Mike was a Senior Lecturer in Events Management and formerly Programme Director of the MSc International Events Management and MSc Sport Management at Coventry Business School, Coventry University, UK. Before Coventry, Mike was a Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK. He has held visiting positions at Pace University (New York, US), Berlin School of Economics and Law (Berlin, Germany), and Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan). Mike is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with a 10+ years teaching experience at bachelor, masters, MBA and doctoral level.

Before starting his PhD in 2012, Mike was a project manager at Research Councils UK Government funded organisation: ‘Vitae’ where he was responsible for managing the UK’s researcher development programme, including the ‘Researcher Development Framework’ and ‘GRADSchool’ events. Throughout this role and since, Mike has managed and/or supported the delivery of over 80 events, conferences, and festivals across education, sporting and cultural sectors, managing events in an eclectic range of contexts – from internationally renowned venues like the British Library, public squares and parks, to university institutions across the UK.

Get in touch - Twitter and vlog

You can follow Mike on Twitter @michaelbduignan, and, visit www.MichaelDuignan.uk for a full overview of Mike's research and teaching work to date. 

My publications


Peer reviewed publications

Duignan, M.B. (2021). Leveraging Tokyo 2020 to Re-Image Japan and the Olympic City, Post-Fukushima. Journal of Destination Marketing and Management.

Duignan, M.B. (2021). Utilising Field Theory to Examine Mega-Event Led Development. Event Management.

Duignan, M.B., and Chalip, L. (2021). Guest Editorial: Special Issue on “Human Rights at the Olympics, Mega- and Major-Events.Event Management.

Duignan, M.B., and Pappalepore, I. (2021). How do Olympic cities strategically leverage New Urban Tourism? Evidence from Tokyo. Tourism Geographies.

Duignan, M.B. (in production, scheduled for Dec 2021 release). Managing Events, Festivals, and the Visitor Economy: Concepts, Collaborations and Cases. CABI. Edited book.

Duignan, M.B., Pappalepore, I., Smith, A., and Ivanescu, Y. (2021). Tourists’ Experience of Mega-Event Cities: Rio’s Olympic Double Bubbles. Annals of Leisure Research.

Walsh, L., Down, S., and Duignan, M.B. (2021). Regulatory Informality Across Olympic Event Zones. Event Management, forthcoming.

Duignan, M.B., Down, S., and O’Brien, D. (2020). Entrepreneurial Leveraging in Liminoidal Olympic Transit Zones. Annals of Tourism Research.

Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray. (2020). Guest Editorial: Special Issue on “Events, Public Spaces, and Mobility”. Annals of Leisure Research, forthcoming.

Duignan, M.B., Pappalepore, I., and Everett, S. (2019). The ‘Summer of Discontent’: Exclusion and Communal Resistance at the London 2012 Games. Tourism Management.

Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray, D. (2019). Disorganised host community touristic-event spaces: Revealing Rio’s fault lines at the 2016 Olympic Games. Leisure Studies.

Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray, D. (2019). Walking Methodologies, Digital Platforms and the Interrogation of Olympic Spaces: The ‘#RioZones-Approach’. Tourism Geographies.

Duignan, M.B., and Pappalepore, I. (2019). Visitor (Im)Mobility, Leisure Consumption and Mega-Event Impact: The Territorialisation of Greenwich and Small Business Exclusion at the London 2012 Olympics. Leisure Studies.

McGillivray, D., Duignan, M.B., and Mielke, E. (2019). Mega sport events and spatial management: Zoning space across Rio’s 2016 Olympic city. Annals of Leisure Research.

Cade, N., Everett, S., and Duignan, M.B. (2019). Leveraging Digital and Physical Spaces to ‘De-Risk’ and Access Rio’s Favela Communities. Tourism Geographies.

Kirby, S., and Duignan, M.B. (2019). Searching for Sites of Liminality in “Giga” Events: Developing a Conceptual Framework. Routledge, book chapter.

Duignan, M.B. (2019). London’s Olympic-Urban Legacy: Small Business Displacement, ‘Clone Town’ Effect and the Production of ‘Urban Blandscapes’. Journal of Place Management and Development.

Kirby, S., Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray, D (2018). Mega-Sport Events, Micro and Small Business Leveraging: Introducing the “MSE-MSB Leverage Model”. Event Management.

Duignan, M.B., Kirby, S., O’Brien, D., and Everett, S. (2018). From ‘Clone Towns’ to ‘Slow Towns’: Examining Festival Legacies. Journal of Place Management and Development.

Duignan, M.B., Everett, S., Walsh, L., and Cade, N (2017). Leveraging Physical and Digital Liminoidal Spaces: The Case of #EATCambridge festival. Tourism Geographies.

Duignan, M.B., and Wilbert, C (2017). Embedding Slow Tourism and the ‘Slow Phases’ Framework: The Case of Cambridge, UK. In: Clancy, M. 2017. Eds. Slow Tourism, Food and Cities: Pace and the Search for the ‘Good Life’. London: Routledge.

Pappalepore, I., and Duignan, M.B (2016). The London 2012 Cultural Programme: A Consideration of Olympic Impacts and Legacies for Small Creative Organisations in East London. Tourism Management.


Other publications 

Duignan, M.B., and Mair, J. (2021). Tokyo’s Olympic legacy: Will hosting the Games have benefitted local communities? The Conversation.

Duignan, M.B., and Talbot, A. (2021). Tokyo Olympics: how hosting the Games disrupts local lives and livelihoods. The Conversation.

Duignan, M.B. (2021). Tokyo Olympics: no spectators is bad for business, but hosting could still bring long-term benefits. The Conversation.

Duignan, M.B. (2020). Walking methods in Olympic cities (3-part video series). Funded by Economic and Social Research Council, National Centre for Research Methods.

Martin, L., and Duignan, M.B. (2020). Fostering an Entrepreneurship Legacy for the Olympic Games. Report to the International Olympic Committee.

Duignan, M.B (2019). Examining and Tackling Over-Tourism – Challenges and Strategies: Cambridge, UK. United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

Duignan, M.B (2018). Enforcement Balance at Sporting Events. Journal of Trading Standards (UK Government publication).

Walsh, L., and Duignan, M.B (2017). Regulatory Informality and the Power of Discretion at Mega-Sporting Events. Journal of Trading Standards (UK Government publication).

Duignan, M.B., and Ivanescu, Y (2017). Rio’s Olympic Legacy: How Has the City Fared? The Conversation, UK.

Duignan, M.B. (2016). Why Rio 2016 May Not Bring the Tourism Brazil Hopes. The Conversation.

Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray, D (2016). How Rio 2016 Satisfied the Sponsors While Leaving Room for the People. The Conversation, UK.

Duignan, M.B (2016). Glastonbury’s Festival Economics Signals Hope for Entrepreneurial Spirit. The Conversation, UK.