Louise Todd

Louise Todd

Dr Louise Todd BA (Hons), MPhil, PhD, PGCE, FRAI, FRSA, FHEA

Associate Professor


Dr Louise Todd is an Associate Professor in Festival and Event Management in the Tourism and Languages Subject Group at Edinburgh Napier University, UK. She is Public Engagement Lead for the Business School and works across the school to support researchers in their PE initiatives. Louise is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), Royal Society of Arts (RSA), Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI). She is a member of Visual Arts Scotland (VAS) and the Leisure Studies Association (LSA). In 2020 Louise completed the Engaged Researchers' Academy CPD Programme with the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement. She is Lead of the Visual Methods & Ethnography (VM&E) in Interdisciplinary Research Group.

Louise’s research interests lie in arts and cultural tourism, festivals and events; and in these settings specifically, stakeholder and community engagement, visual culture, visual research methods, visual art, and design. Louise is particularly interested in the critical potential of festivals to engage different groups of stakeholders through the senses. She has published her research in journal articles, book chapters, and presented at international conferences.

Louise was the PI and academic project lead for the cross-university UKRI funded Seven Kingdoms of Wester Hailes project, which Edinburgh Napier’s Public Engagement Forum is leading, working with a series of community partners (2020-2021). She is also Principal Investigator for a collaborative multi-themed research project which is concerned with the visual culture of Edinburgh as a festival city and tourism destination. At present she is working on research outputs drawn from strands of this project. She has previously been involved in research projects as a Co-investigator and has experience of managing a large scale international project in her earlier role as the Research Assistant attached to the externally funded 'Generation Y in Asia' project (from 2011-2012).

Louise has experience in designing and delivering research dissemination and public engagement events and activities on a national and international basis. She has designed and delivered public engagement with research initiatives around the idea of festival cities at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Edinburgh International Science Festival and Explorathon: European Researchers Festival. Louise has also been involved in the design and development of Knowledge Exchange and CPD activities, including an externally funded Executive Programme she co-delivered in Singapore to members of the Tourism industry. The content of this was informed by her co-authored published research.

In terms of teaching activity and Programme Leadership, Louise was responsible for the MSc International Festival and Event Management programme, from 2015 until 2021. In this role Louise was responsible for managing the programme. She has developed two research-informed Postgraduate modules at PG level: Experience Design and Management for Tourism, Hospitality and Events and Contemporary Issues in Festivals and Events. Louise also leads the Tourism, Society and Visual Culture module at Postgraduate level. She has also designed and currently leads a research-informed Undergraduate module: Festival and Event Design and Delivery, amongst other modules.

As a research supervisor, Louise is an experienced supervisor of PhD and DBA projects; and she has previously been responsible for the coordination of MSc dissertations in the Tourism subject area. She also contributes regularly to PGT and PGR modules, with her own research and expertise in research philosophy and methods.

Before working in Higher Education, Louise’s background was in visual art, media, and festivals. She worked in marketing and communications management roles and was responsible for the design, management and marketing of arts, festivals, media, entertainment and educational events, within organisational and festival contexts.
Louise is a practising visual artist. Having studied visual art at Undergraduate and Art and Design at Postgraduate level at Glasgow School of Art, she continues to use her drawing and painting practice to inform her research, and her research interests inform her art practice. She exhibits her work regularly.

Research Interests:

Arts festivals and events; cultural tourism; hallmark event tourism; festival cities;
Visual art; visual culture and methods including semiotics, and photo-elicitation; arts-based methods;
Stakeholder and community engagement; public engagement; place-making; walking methodologies;
Tourism and event brand image; brand relationships; experience design; design and aesthetics;

Teaching and Learning:

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
Programme Leader: MSc International Festival and Event Management
Personal Development Tutor: MSc International Festival and Event Management
Postgraduate Research Student Training: Delivery of specialist research sessions in Advanced Qualitative Research Methods (Semiotics and Visual Methods - Photo elicitation); Research Philosophies (Social Constructivism)
Module Leader: Experience Design and Management for Tourism, Hospitality and Events (PG)
Module Leader: Festival and Event Design and Delivery (UG)
Module Leader: Tourism, Society and Visual Culture (PG)
Coordinator: MSc Dissertations in Tourism subjects (PG)
Industry Project Supervisor: Live Project supervision directing students' work with Industry to undertake research projects, including Edinburgh International Film Festival, Historic Environment Scotland, and Charity organisations
Work Based Learning: Supervisor of students undertaking industry work placements

Research Groups

Research Areas




Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • EventScotland Grant Awarding Panel: National Events Programme. Invited member of EventScotland, Grant Awarding Panel for its National Events Programme.


Conference Organising Activity

  • Project and thematic lead: Visual Methods and Ethnography in Interdisciplinary Research Seminar series 2
  • Conference Chair and Organising Committee member for Council for Hospitality Management and Education (CHME) International Conference, 2022 (to take place at Edinburgh Napier University's Business School in May 2022).
  • Co-organiser: Visual Methods and Ethnography in Interdisciplinary Research Seminar series 1
  • Panel Chair for Royal Anthropological Institute’s (RAI). Annual Conference: Art, Materiality and Representation. Panel P106: Tourist Art and Commodification
  • Visual Methods and Ethnography Workshop. Principal Organiser of Visual Methods and Ethnography Workshop, Business School, Craiglockhart Campus, Edinburgh Napier University. Invited six external keynote academic speakers and attended by 35 internal and external researchers (May 2015).


Editorial Activity

  • Associate Editor, Event Management: An International Journal
  • Member of Editorial Board, Event Management: An international Journal


External Examining/Validations

  • External Examiner for MA International Events Management Programme, Department of Marketing, Events and Tourism, Faculty of Business, University of Greenwich
  • External Examiner for BA (Hons) Event Management and Music Event Management, Undergraduate Programmes, Faculty of Design, Media and Management, Buckinghamshire New University


Fellowships and Awards

  • Recipient of British Council and Newton Fund 'Researcher Links' Award to fund attendance at Inclusive Innovation for Enhanced Local Experience in Tourism conference, Phuket Graceland Resort & Spa, Phuket, Thailand (28th – 31th August 2018)
  • National EventIt e-awards. ‘Winner’ of the Student Event/Festival Excellence Award for Universities of Scotland Events Conference, 2017 (USEC2017) (March 2018).
  • Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
  • Scottish Event Awards: Best Student Event ‘Winner’, awarded to Edinburgh Napier University Undergraduate Students for Event Management module event: ‘Laugh Your Way Out’ (October 2015).
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Best Conference Presentation Award for presentation of: Leask, A., Barron, P. & Todd, L. (2012) ‘Engaging with Gen Y at museum events’, International Conference on Tourism and Events: Opportunities, Impacts and Change, Ulster Business School, University of Ulster, Belfast, Northern Ireland (June 2012).


Grant Funding Panel Member

  • EventScotland Grant Awarding Panel: National Events Programme. Invited member of EventScotland, Grant Awarding Panel for its National Events Programme.


Invited Speaker

  • Invited Speaker on theme of Marketing and Audience Development. The International Festivals Academy is funded by the British Council and Festivals Edinburgh. This event was attended by 30 international delegates who are festival industry managers and professionals (April 2018).
  • Edinburgh the ‘festival city’ and hallmark event tourism. Invited research lecture and seminar, delivered to more than 100 students and staff as part of the 'Leisure Talks' series at the School of Environment, Education and Development - Manchester Institute of Education, the University of Manchester
  • Sustainable Place Management through Experience Engineering: Executive Development Programme. Invited speaker at three-day executive programme (co-delivered with J. Ali-Knight and K. Wardrop) Delivered by Edinburgh Napier University [ENU], with the Association of Singapore Attractions [ASA], for the Workforce Development Agency [WDA], Singapore (July 2015).
  • Invited Keynote Speaker: Best Practice in Event Teaching and Research: Dissemination Event. Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ulster Business School University of Ulster, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Attended by 30 managers from Northern Ireland’s Tourism and Events industry. (November 2013)
  • Generation Y in Asia: Generational consumer behaviour and impacts upon tourism in visitor attractions and hotels in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore’ (co-presented with P. Barron and A. Leask): School of Hotel and Tourism Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. This event and seminar was attended by approximately 50 HKPU Faculty members and researchers (December 2012).
  • Generation Y in Asia: Generational consumer behaviour and impacts upon tourism in visitor attractions and hotels in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore (co-presented with P. Barron and A. Leask): The Hong Kong Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (HKAAPA), Ocean Park, Hong Kong. This event was attended by approximately 50 members of the HKAAPA (December 2012).
  • Generation Y in Asia: Generational consumer behaviour and impacts upon tourism in visitor attractions and hotels in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore (co-presented with A Leask and P Barron): The Association of Singapore Attractions (ASA), Orchard Hotel, Singapore . This event was attended by more than 150 members of Singapore’s tourism and visitor attraction industry and was featured on Channel News Asia, Singapore (December 2012).


Membership of Professional Body

  • Member of Visual Arts Scotland (VAS)
  • Member of the Leisure Studies Association (LSA)


Non-executive Directorship

  • Edinburgh Printmakers: Elected to the Board of Trustees of Edinburgh Printmakers centre for printmaking and the visual arts


Public/Community Engagement

  • Festival Soundings of Edinburgh
  • Summer in the city 2020: Edinburgh: the festival(less) city?
  • Dinner Party Debates: The Case for a Deaf Festival in the Festival City
  • An Edinburgh Festival City Map for Wester Hailes
  • Festival Frontiers: The Festival City
  • Public Engagement Lead, The Business School
  • The Fringe - my BFF



  • Journal of Destination Marketing & Management
  • Cengage Learning: Book proposal and manuscript reviewer
  • International Journal of Tourism Cities
  • Journal of Place Management and Development
  • Tourism Management
  • Routledge Books: Book proposal and manuscript reviewer
  • Hospitality & Society
  • Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • CHME Research Conference


Visiting Positions

  • Visiting Scholar, Academy for Leisure, Breda University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands.
  • Visiting Researcher: Markedshøyskolen, Campus Kristiania, Oslo School of Management, Oslo, Norway



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