Guest article by Jonas Holmqvist, Conference Chair for SERVSIG 2024.

We are thrilled to announce that the SERVSIG 2024 conference will be organized here at Kedge Business School in beautiful Bordeaux, in the south of France, in June 2024. The call for paper with all official dates will be published this spring, but we wanted to provide you with a small introduction already.

Why should you attend SERVSIG 2024?

Three main reasons. 
1. First and foremost, attending one of the main service conferences with hundreds of leading service researchers from around the world. The conference theme will be Service for Humanity and we look forward to novel, interesting service research and discussions.
2. The convivial conference atmosphere. The service community is open and welcoming, and there will be plenty of opportunities for networking, research discussions, and social events with fellow researchers.
3. Last but not least, a wonderful location. Known throughout the world as the capital of wine, Bordeaux also frequently ranks as the city with the best quality of life in all of France. 

Could you develop the conference theme a bit more?
Gladly! We believe that service research and practices can offer a positive contribution to many challenges the world is facing. Climate change is a burning issue that affecting us all. At Kedge, we have an entire research center dedicated to sustainability. We know that this engagement is shared by the Service research community, and SERVSIG 2024 will reflect this through a strong focus on sustainable services, as well as on insights into how services can increase engagement in sustainable practices.

With ‘Service for humanity’, we also wish to bring attention to the human level of service. While recognizing the importance of service robots and service digitization in recent years, we would like SERVSIG 2024 to also allow us to take a step back and reflect on the human touch, and the importance of human interaction in service contexts. We also wish to highlight ‘invisible service employees’: all the crucial services that customers rarely see but which are so important for the successful service outcome.

Conferences are also about networking, so what social events will there be?

We are planning three main social events for all delegates, in addition to optional events before and after the conference if you want to stay longer.

1. The Welcome Reception will take place in Grand Théâtre, the National Opera of Bordeaux. This historical building is situated right in the center of Bordeaux and features a majestic salon to welcome all SERVSIG delegates. The Grand Théâtre, inaugurated in 1780, is one of the most famous venues for ballet in all of France; its classic interior served as inspiration for the National Opera in Paris. We look forward to officially opening SERVSIG 2024 in this historical setting.

2. The Gala Dinner will be held at Château Lafitte Yvrac. This gorgeous French wine château is located just 10 kilometers from the city center, yet provides a genuine French countryside setting surrounded by the vineyards and palm trees. The Château features a large banquet hall for the dinner and awards ceremony, with panoramic views over the château’s wine cellar. Outside, there is a huge castle garden for a convivial cocktail prior to the dinner. After the dinner, the château also features a large dance floor to round off the evening.

3. For the final night Networking Event, and an engaging service experience, we invite you to Cité du Vin. Opened in 2016, this gigantic modern museum and visitor center is dedicated to the world of wine, forming an important part of our heritage in Bordeaux.  The 3000 m² permanent exhibition of Cité du Vin consists of more than twenty digital spaces for a journey into the heart of the history of wine immersed in an interactive universe. The entire museum experience is alcohol-free, to welcome visitors of all faiths and diets. For all visitors who want to try the wines as well, the visit is completed by a wine tasting at the rooftop bar of Cité du Vin, offering views of all of Bordeaux. 

Ok, sounds great! So what’s next?

The submission platform will open in the fall of 2023. Already before that, we will keep you updated as tracks, track chairs, and key note speakers are announced, and of course when the official call for papers is published. If you already have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Jonas Holmqvist
Associate Professor of Marketing
Kedge Business School