I am the Associate Head (Students) in the School of Strategy, Marketing and Innovation, where I have responsibility for the School’s overall student experience. I joined Portsmouth Business School in 2012 after a career in marketing derived from both the private and public sectors. I have a PhD in Economic Geography from the University of Southampton and an MSc with Distinction in Managing Contemporary Global Issues from the University of Winchester.

Recent publication: Rust, E. (2022). Unravelling the Complex Nature of Events-Focused Policy: A Framework to Aid Understanding. In: Smith, A., Osborn, G. and Quinn, B. (Eds.) Festivals and the City: The Contested Geographies of Urban Events. London: University of Westminster Press. Pp. 211–230. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: License: CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0


Before moving to academia, I gained a number of years’ industry experience in all aspects of marketing. Having worked for the private sector in B2B and consumer product marketing for some years, I moved to the public sector, focusing on tourism and event marketing and planning at Winchester City Council, where I was responsible for local and community event organisation and marketing, and Hampshire County Council, where I was responsible for a countywide cultural marketing programme.

I have taught a variety of UG and PG marketing modules since joining Portsmouth Business School.

I am a Postgraduate Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with IGB, Member of the British Academy of Management and hold the Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Research interests

My current research is concerned with approaches to events-focused policies in the context of small towns: A topic of contemporary relevance, given the lasting impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing global economic instability. I am also interested in how events contribute to place branding, co-creation and identity; the use of social media in building virtual communities prior to and post-event. I am currently exploring how event and festival mythmaking contributes to enhancing the experience of visitors via individual interpretations of authenticy.

I welcome enquiries from prospective doctoral students interested in any of the above research areas.

Media availability

I am happy to take calls and emails from the media on my research, and am aware of the need to respond to journalists in a timely manner. Please contact Elaine Rust on or 023 9284 8509.