Why do non-academic stakeholders attend knowledge exchange events?
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Knowledge Exchange (KE) events are a key component to many knowledge exchange strategies which seek to create societal impact from academic research: they are now a recognised fixture within contemporary academic practice. KE events are activities through which to disseminate academic research findings. They are social occasions where academics and non-academic stakeholders – including policymakers, practitioners, campaigners, and others – physically come together for a dedicated period of time to discuss academic research, its relevance to, and implications for, policy, practice, and wider society. They can take many different formats, including: conferences, debates, exhibitions, expert panel sessions, film screenings with Q&A sessions, lectures, meetings, seminars, and workshops. Participating in Knowledge Exchange (KE) events represents a substantial commitment in resources from stakeholders. Even a ‘free’ event requires time and money to attend such social occasions. If ‘accessing research findings’ was the sole purpose, then the goal could have been achieved quicker and cheaper by other means, such as reading a briefing paper. This raises the question: why do non-academic stakeholders go to KE events?