ENU Student Wins AEME’s First-Ever UK Event Management Student of the Year Award

Cameron Hughes standing in front of a stage at a festival's venue

Edinburgh Napier student – Cameron Hughes – is among the first four recipients of the UK Undergraduate Event Management Student of the Year award from the Association for Events Management Education (AEME).

AEME is an international organisation that aims to support and raise the profile of the events discipline through the sharing of education and best practice. 2021 marked the first year that AEME has presented Student of the Year awards. Cameron was nominated by ENU Lecturer and Programme Leader of the BA (Hons) International Festival & Event Management suite of courses, David Jarman.

Cameron studies International Festival and Event Management with Marketing as a joint Honours degree at Edinburgh Napier. He has an excellent academic record, having achieved first-class grades for over 90% of his modules and his recently completed dissertation. His work ethic paired with his passion for event management and highly proactive personality made him an absolute standout during his years at ENU.

Early in his second year at the university, Cameron founded the Edinburgh Napier Events Society (ENES), which produces events of their own creation that are professionally marketed and managed, and they also collaborate with external organisations on existing events. Thanks to Cameron’s dedication and professionalism, the society has survived and continued to grow, despite the challenges and difficulties that Covid has created for festivals and events around the world.

Parallel to his studies, Cameron serves as an Army Reservist. He played a key role in establishing and co-leading the Edinburgh Napier Armed Forces Network. In support of the university’s commitment to the Armed Forces Community – for which it has achieved a Gold Award as part of the Armed Forces Covenant – Cameron has been involved with the implementation of university-wide policy changes. According to Mr Jarman, “the Craiglockhart Campus has an important connection to the Armed Forces through its former use as an officers’ hospital. Cameron has helped the University to develop this aspect of its heritage and identity by establishing the Network”.

In the final year of his studies, Cameron decided to dedicate his dissertation research to improving event accessibility for people living with young onset dementia – under 65s who are affected by the syndrome. He met his aim with the study and created a list of practical recommendations for the industry that can enhance inclusivity at future festivals and events. There is considerable potential for his findings to be applied to the broader spectrum of disabilities and he intends to share his recommendations with event professionals via an upcoming online event.

In the words of his dissertation supervisor, Dr Gary Kerr: “Cameron produced a first-class dissertation. With his research participants, he co-created practical recommendations for Event Managers on how to enhance accessibility for the young onset dementia community. Cameron is an exceptionally talented student with a very bright future ahead of him”.

Cameron is currently freelancing as a Festival, Event and Brand Activation Manager and seeking new opportunities in the festivals and live events industry. He is extremely grateful to have won the award and expressed his thanks to AEME as well as staff and peers at The Business School.

To find out more about studying Festival and Event Management and the various joint degrees available at Edinburgh Napier University, please click here.

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