SERVSIG seeks proposals to host the 14th SERVSIG conference in 2026. SERVSIG Co-Chairs Kristina Heinonen and Sertan Kabadayi interviewed professor Matthew Alexander, the conference chair of the 12th SERVSIG conference arranged in Glasgow in 2022.

As past conference chair what do you think are the main benefits of arranging the SERVSIG conference? 

Firstly, hosting SERVSIG is the most amazing opportunity to network with some amazing academics. As host you will be in contact with keynote speakers, former conference hosts, SERVSIG chairs alongside all the track chair and reviewer teams. Having the interact personally with such a wide range of academics does not come around very often and gives you the opportunity doors to form personal relationships that can help your career in the future as well as forging new friendships.

Secondly, running a conference does give you the chance to develop a range of organizational skills. As a conference chair you will be responsible for the budget, programme, managing abstract submission and registration as well as the events management role during the conference itself. These are all valuable skills that can aid your career development in academia.

Finally, as conference host you have the opportunity to somewhat control the agenda of the conference. You get to pitch the theme, decide on keynote speakers, and lead discussions on what tracks will be offered.

What unique perspectives or insights does the SERVSIG conference offer that aren’t readily available at other conferences?

It’s easy to say that one conference is very much like another, but you soon realise that the SERVSIG community is an amazing family of scholars, a community open to new ideas and one who respects a diverse range of approaches to research. It’s also a conference that always attracts delegates with a wide range of experiences, from PhD students to some of the founders of our discipline. As a result, it’s a great opportunity for junior scholars to learn from and interact with some of the biggest names in our discipline – who are always happy to give of their time and expertise.

Can you share a fun or memorable moment from the conference arranged in Glasgow in 2022 that highlights its impact or value?

We ended our first full day with powerful plenary session chaired by Professor Ray Fisk looking at the crucial work of Servcollab and, specifically, their vital work around refugees. Our panel included representatives from UK charities who support refugees and  Mjed Kouri who shared his own experiences as a refugee. It was a great way to learn about the vital transformative work and agenda being driven by service scholars.

What is your key message to scholars who are considering to bid for the 2026 conference?

Hosting an AMA SERVSIG is hard work but a truly rewarding experience, and a privilege to host such an amazing family of scholars – we are part of the most amazing discipline. I look forward to hearing about the next venue for 2026 – get your bids ready!

Interested to arrange the 14th SERVSIG conference in 2026?

 Possible conference hosts should contact SERVSIG Co-Chairs Sertan Kabadayi ( and Kristina Heinonen ( with their questions and inquiries to indicate their interest to host the 2026 conference.

All conference host proposals must be submitted by March 31, 2024. The decision on the 2026 SERVSIG conference host will be made May 15, 2024.

More information: