Leisure & Events Research

Leisure plays a key role in our society, economically but also socially, by promoting community building and social inclusion, among other things. Leisure is important in shaping who we are. The way we spend our leisure time has become increasingly important for our well-being and quality of life.

Our students, lecturers and researchers develop academic knowledge, and devise new concepts for this relatively young business sector, focusing on two main themes: leisure experiences, and events & placemaking.

In the first theme, we help our leisure industry partners to design experiences that enrich people’s lives, using innovative tools such as storytelling and imagineering. Our Experience Lab boasts innovative (behavioural and neuroscientific) tools to measure experiences as well as to enable the evaluation and optimisation of experiences. We also study how leisure experiences can be managed and marketed. We actively develop academic knowledge and provide our industry with tools to improve their experience offerings.

The second theme is all about analysing the use of leisure to create physical locations and events, and the role of leisure attractions and events in the development of leisure practices and experiences. There is a specific focus on the role of leisure in processes of regional and urban development and the formation and maintenance of communities. We combine insights from academic research and professional practice to provide tools for cities, regions, attractions and events to develop engaging experiences and to improve the quality of life.

Featured Projects

JOIN

Identifying how different groups of young people experience a wide variety of cultural activities.

JOIN

Van Gogh Storysperience

This project investigates how the use of storytelling techniques in videos about Vincent van Gogh’s life leads to emotions and memories.

Van Gogh Storysperience

Run for Health

The aim of the study is to show how running events can be used as a mean to promote health-enhancing physical activity.

Run for Health

Crossroads

In view of the 75th commemoration of the liberation of World War II, Visit Brabant wanted to connect the main heritage locations in the province through storytelling in order to attract more visitors.

Crossroads

Measuring emotions & experiences

As a leisure or tourism organisation you want the experience you are offering to be remembered, so visitors share the experience with friends or want to relive it once again.

Measuring emotions & experiences

Strategic collaboration processes

Through what social processes are new communities created around events? And how are these communities sustained?

Strategic collaboration processes

Community building through events

Through what social processes are new communities created around events? And how are these communities sustained?

Community building through events

Experiencing a VR roller coaster

A study of how Virtual Reality headsets can improve the experiencing of existing roller coasters by boosting emotions.

Experiencing a VR roller coaster

Storytelling Hanzesteden

This project applies storytelling to enhance the branding and the visitor experience of the 9 Hanze cities in the Netherlands.

Storytelling Hanzesteden

STEPup

Modernising existing social entrepreneurship practices and promoting innovation in Thai & Burmese higher education institutions.

STEPup

Innovat

This project enhances innovation in teaching and learning approaches fostering modernisation in Higher Education Institutions in Chile and Peru.

Innovat

culturwb

Strengthening Capacities for Tourism Changes

culturwb