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Principples of Event Management

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Principles of Event Management

Since the dawn of time, in one way or another, events have existed to mark an important occasion that is to happen. Celebrating the changing of seasons and phases of the moon are all events because it gathers people of a common interest to a specified place at a particular place. Although events have been around for many years, the 1990's saw the events industry emerge. The events industry saw the growth of events related education in colleges and universities. At present times, events have grown in popularity to such a scale, that it is now a global industry. There are different types of event, which include social life cycle events, sporting, cultural, business and fundraising. Events can be divided in terms of size and the impact they make on society economically and socially. These are called Hallmark, Mega and Major Events. A hallmark must earn its name. An event is considered to be so significant in the spirit or ethos of a city or region, that it helps form an identity for that city and region. It also gains widespread recognition. A classic example is the Carnival in Rio. It represents Latin vitality and the exuberance of the city. Social Cycle events include birthdays, anniversaries and funerals. This events occur in accordance to the calendar, for example a person's birthday can only be an event at a specified time of year. Sporting events are categorised into three types, which are Mega events, calendar events, one-off events and showcase events. Mega events are events that are so large that they affect whole economies and obtain media coverage globally. Examples are the Olympics and Fifa World Cup. It is difficult for many other events to be labelled a mega event. Getz (1997) defines a mega event: "those that yield extraordinary high levels of tourism, media coverage and prestige. Their volume should exceed 1 million visits, and their reputation of a 'must see' event". A smaller version of a mega event is called a Major Event. Major events are capable of attracting significant amount of visitors, media coverage and economic benefits. There are numerous major events particularly in the cultural sector. For example, major musicals such as Cats and Mama Mia receive huge amounts of tourism revenue for London's West End. Glastonbury Festival is a main contender to be categorised as a major event. Festivals itself can indeed be divided into sub sectors. These are festivals that celebrate a particular location, festivals that are art or music orientated and festivals that celebrate the achievements made by a community. The business sector, which includes conferences, exhibitions, corporate and hospitality travel, make up 25% of total tourism in the UK. This equates to an economic impact of Ј12 billion pounds and is expected to reach to Ј16 billion over the next decade, according to RS&M research. Around 20,000 journalists, exhibitors and technicians attended the Labour Party Conference held in Bournemouth International Centre in 1999. Conferences can be very diverse and is described as "An event used by any organisation to meet and exchange views and to open an debate. Although generally not limited in time, conferences are usually of short duration with specific objectives". Rogers (1998). Exhibitions are a rapidly growing part of the business sector. Research conducted by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, suggests that money spent on marketing for exhibitions has increased by 18% over the past ten years. Exhibitions bring suppliers and services together with buyers who are in a particular industry. A survey held by RS&M who interviewed 77 companies found that exhibitions are the most frequently held event (36%), followed by sporting (14%), corporate hospitality (11%), road and trade shows (9%) and lastly product launches (8%).

Having established the types of events and their impact on society society, it is now important to discuss the event management process. Whether an event involves 10 people or 10,000 the process remains identical to all events. There are 3 main steps that are part of the process: Planning, Implementation and Evaluation. Before an event can be planned a concept needs to be identified. With increased regulations and government involvement in events, the environment of which events are staged has become much more complicated. Stakeholders have to be identified and their needs and objectives to be met. A stakeholder is an individual or organisation who has an interest in an event. The chief stakeholder is the host organisation. This could be a local government staging an annual event. It also could be a corporate organisation that is staging an event to raise their profile or promote goods or services. The community participating is also vital. Event managers must understand the values and traditions of the community and their impact on the event and vice versa. Sponsors are another crucial stakeholder. Event managers need to cooperate with them effectively to create a successful outcome for both parties. Media coverage can make or break an event as the media reaches a wide sometimes global audience. The media influences people's perceptions of an event therefore the event organisers have to effectively work with this stakeholder to optimise coverage and the impact of the event. The last stakeholder who is equally important is the event participants. It is the event organisers' priority to ensure that they enjoy the event experience.

When developing the event concept essential questions need to be addressed. Goldblatt (1997) suggests the 'Five W's' are essential questions: Why is the event taking place? Who are the stakeholders? Where and when will the event take place? What is the event's purpose? This identification process is useful to our event as it will guide us through decisions and make clear what our objectives are. It will also keep the group focused

on the objectives.

The most important stage of the event is the planning. To achieve efficient planning, the event organisers need to establish their current position, and then determine what their desired position in the future will be. An organisation needs to figure out how they will successfully reach this desired position and this is done with planning. Thompson (1997) believed that planning "should concentrate on identifying and evaluating alternative courses of action, so that opportunities are created. Planning therefore increases awareness". Thompson (1997). This is a very relevant quote and should be considered greatly when event organise begin to plan an event. There are a number of benefits that can be gained from planning. Foremost it enables managers to recognize and solve problems



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