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Students learn why culture is good for business on #DMUglobal trip to Toronto

Master's students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) enjoyed a "thrilling opportunity" to learn how the creative and sports industries work in another country.

The group visited a host of leading organisations in Toronto, famed for its creative sector, with arts and culture contributing $11.3 billion annually to the Canadian city's GDP.

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Students and staff visit Exhibition Place

Visits to the National Hockey League (NHL), the Distillery District creative quarter, Interactive Ontario and more were on the itinerary for this academic-led #DMUglobal trip.

Glenn More, a Business Management in the Creative Industries MSc student, said: "Toronto is a very creative city where many TV shows, films and video games that I enjoy have been made and I wanted to see first-hand why the city had attracted these creative industries."

His highlights were "almost too many to choose from".

"The visit to the NHL headquarters was fantastic! It was fascinating to hear how they acquire partners, licence intellectual property and manage brands in a similar way to other media or products.

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Students in the Situation Room at the National Hockey League

"The different organisations we visited revealed many unique challenges that they face but also many similarities. Across sports, music and events a strong product, brand and value proposition is important but equally so is creating and maintaining strong client relationships to ensure repeat business and positive word of mouth.

"Understanding success comes from more than just a great product will help me immensely in my future work," added Glenn, from Nottingham, who has landed a job as an account manager at a web design agency before graduating from his Leicester Castle Business School (LCBS) course.

LCBS Global MBA student Ashique Kallingal has always wanted a career in creative sports and wanted to visit Toronto to pick up tips from industry experts.

Ashique, from India, said: "I'm planning to start an incubation centre in the Middle East and Toronto is the benchmark for anyone looking to start a venture in the creative sector.

"I had a great experience visiting the Exhibition Place, the largest of its kind in the country, with an incubation centre, stadium and convention centre spread over 192 acres."

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The students also had time to soak up the city's culture and experience must-see regional sites such as Niagara Falls and the CN Tower, while Rebecca Vials gained valuable insight for her dissertation.

"I thought it was a thrilling opportunity," said the Cultural Events Management MSc student.

"The proposed area of research for my master's dissertation is centred around neighbourhood regeneration, specifically the influence of artists and cultural activities on a city's creative identity.

"Toronto is a first-class example of a creative city with superb opportunities to examine these themes."

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Composer Janal Bechthold with students on the #DMUglobal trip

Leicester-based Rebecca thoroughly enjoyed the experience. She added: "I have truly enjoyed every moment but specific highlights, particularly related to my own area of study, were meeting leading academic Professor Richard Florida, discussing creative dynamics within the development of the city with PhD scholars at the University of Toronto and visiting the Distillery District.

"I have also made good contacts, who have welcomed me to get in touch with them in the future."

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Dressing up at the National Hockey League

The trip was developed and led by Jennie Jordan and Dr Heather Dichter, academics from LCBS.

Jennie said: "The aim of the trip was to enhance students' understanding of the global nature of the creative and sporting industries.

"We would like to thank the businesses, creatives and academics in Toronto who took the time to meet our students and answer their questions. It was a great opportunity to meet professionals and learn from them.

"We look forward to running the trip annually from now on."

Posted on Tuesday 31st October 2017

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