Almost all companies undoubtedly admit that successful functioning of their business is impossible without establishing a positive image among consumers, suppliers, and the employees. Many marketing and PR agencies, as well as event management specialists, assist companies in creating a positive image. However, the most popular means in PR proved to be event management, which can easily and effectively embody the ideas generated by people as it helps to develop creative abilities to the highest level.
Nowadays, marketing plays a significant role in eliminating crisis phenomenon in different companies, as PR became one of the principal instruments in the commercial world. First, it can be explained by the fact that every reputable company aims at building productive and efficient relations with customers, dealers, suppliers, and people interested in the activities of the organization. Second, it is necessary to possess valuable information about customers' needs, demands, behavior, and preferences, and event managers who monitor the market and are aware of all minor changes provide companies with this information. The companies in their turn have to elaborate various meetings and projects for the successful development of their business. The basis for the success is careful planning and thorough preparation for every event. It can be achieved by taking systematic measures and avoiding common mistakes in this field. However, there exist certain factors that the company is not always able to predict such as economic, social, technological, media, cultural and environmental aspects that affect the industry.
According to Getz (2012), certain forces, for which he uses the acronym PEST - Population and Politics, Economy and Environment, Society and Technology, - predetermine the development of the event sector (p. 20). One may suggest that such forces are powerful and often interrelated. There also exist some tension between the forces that encourage growth and those that constrain it (Getz 2012).
Because world's population is rapidly growing, it often leads to the growth of the demands and needs regarding the planned events. Additionally, this fact presupposes "a constant pressure on all of the planet's resources, recently giving rise to fears about food and water shortages, and the end of cheap (fossil-fuel) energy" (Getz 2012). Other worries or limiting factors include global climate change, which provokes displacement of people that in its turn gives rise to economic crises across the globe. Thus, one may point out the factors that have a profound impact on the world in general and event business in particular.
Socio-demographic forces have a great impact on tourism and event sector. Such factors as life-stage responsibility, tastes, wealth and physical abilities significantly influence the determination of demand and celebration preferences (Tassiopoulos 2005). Several aspects in the context of event management, namely diaspora and multicultural society, tend to change the social and cultural environment by enriching the life of the country. For example, in South Africa event managers struggle to organize culturally inclusive events during which each member of racial or cultural group would feel that the organized holiday is suitable for them.
It is proved that a great number of people across the world prefer to live in cities that continue to become larger and more complex. On the one hand, urban life has a negative impact on the environment, which is caused by pollution, high crime rates, social conflicts and a declining sense of unity (Tassiopoulos 2005). On the other hand, urban population has more leisure, cultural and entertainment opportunities compared to rural inhabitants. Hence, most of the events and celebrations are organized to strengthen social connection within the community and to make people adhere to their authentic traditions and specific interests. Events that bring people together and provide an identity for personalities, groups, and places have taken on much greater significance. The above-mentioned reasons cause such trends as rising demand for events of all kinds, including events for urban and rural identity and social integration and events reflecting changes in demography, which can be observed in the event industry.
In general, there are always minor conflicts, terroristic acts and civic disturbances across the world, influencing the development of event tourism. The government of every country quickly reacts to such factors and tries to eliminate the number of public gatherings, as it might be a threat to civil order and citizens' lives. However, authorities in developed countries usually perceive the development and growth of events as a policy tool. If to take South Africa as an example, one can notice that the national government has provided financial assistance to the Cape Town 2004 Olympic Bid. According to Tassiopoulos (2005, p.22) sometimes political parties may support an event to encourage the economic growth of a depressed area with the aim of being reelected. Therefore, such trends as viewing events as instruments of public policy, foundation of civil society and the demand for regulations and professionalism in the events sector have recently emerged.
Economic recessions or crises decrease the demand for many events, but as it is not a constant state, the development and growth of travel and planned events still continue. Currently, the world's economies and cultures strive for connection and integration in terms of ever-growing globalization.
Since the commerce and travel became international, the communications became more convenient and easier, which resulted in the rapid growth of the events sector. One may notice competition between cities and nations, and see that corporations are pushing their brands, and that everything is for sale. Therefore, it is suggested that globalization processes may lead to an urgent issue, the global commodification. Because of such conditions it is common to consider events as instruments of corporate strategy, as businesses become more and more profitable and that is why event tourism is on the rise.
Everybody is now aware of global climate change and of the fact that this process is associated with many threats including the flood of many coastal territories, water, and food shortages, more severe weather and, of course, mass population displacements. These problems can lead to disastrous consequences for the planet, not to mention tourism and events. People hope that new technologies and especially renewable energy sources can diminish the consumption rate of natural resources, thus preventing the worst-case scenario for the world from happening. Nevertheless, the negative prospects of climate change have already become evident, although governments and industries are very slow to react to them (Getz 2012). The company organizing events should consider all these factors when predicting the future of planned events.
Several trends have evolved based on environment preservation including threats to leisure, prosperity and peace and the need to make events more green and sustainable. There exist the organizations such as A.S.T.M. that establish green meetings and events standards (Event marketing trends n.d.).
Values are constantly changing, which is reflected in consumer needs and political upheavals. Taking into consideration the issues concerning migration, changing demographics, and more pluralistic, well-educated and united societies, one can predict the further shifts in the values. According to Getz (2012), these changes result not only in a new integrated, healthy and talented society, but also in immediate public and political reactions to racial and religious mixing, the economic downturn, food or water shortages, and environmental problems (p. 24). The way government and society treat these problems, and the political and economic measures they take are difficult to predict, as everything can be country- and city-specific (Getz 2012). These conditions gave rise to diversity in event and cultural functions and social integration as a policy encouraging new events.
Nowadays, there exist more possibilities of solving many difficult problems through technological advancement in regard to health, safety, food and water supplies, and carbon storage. Media is currently one of the most important tools event managers and marketers can use to distribute the information about events, interact with possible participants and create year-round engagement with the target audience. Additionally, new apps and technological means have made it easier for event planners to "extend the limit of their meetings and even measure return on investment" (Event marketing trends n.d.). One can notice that nowadays media events are on the rise, affecting event design and demand, latest marketing technologies, and logistics.
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No event takes place in isolation, and every management task affects the others, so managers have to think and act systematically. For these reasons, some theoretical models covering the key issues of the event management have been developed. The organization and the event itself have to bring profits or to have economic and social outcomes. One should include possible outcomes as well as inputs into the model - all those things needed for the preparation for the event, such as money, equipment, and facilities, human resources, political support and information. (Getz 2005). The theoretical model shows the internal evaluation when the staff of the company ensures that all functions and programs work as efficient as possible. An external evaluation covers both the organization's relations with other agencies and stakeholders and the influence of their actions. The process of evaluating can help to find out how to improve the event or increase benefits, and it also helps to suggest ways of eliminating or avoiding negative consequences. The management system model is more than a theoretical framework since it is useful for the evaluation of the organization or event, and diagnosing specific problems.
Stakeholder and Collaboration Theories
Getz (2005) defines stakeholders as people or firms that can have an impact on the specific event or event organization. The degree to which the stakeholders are interested and supportive can determine the success of the event, so "stakeholder management" is a vital part of event management (Getz 2005). As event organizations are involved in external relations, they need collaboration, partnership, or some other form of alliance. Partnerships and collaborations often arise from funding initiatives in certain political institutions, because it is hard to get funds for individual events. According to the collaboration theory, the alliance exists only to the extent that collaborating parties can make it work. If the government wants an arts tourism plan, it has to involve all the key stakeholders. Individual members will contribute and stay involved only if they see real benefits for themselves and are sure that the benefits outweigh any costs (Getz 2005).
To illustrate the importance of a suitable strategy or theoretical model for event planning, one may take Melbourne as an excellent example of a destination that successfully implemented its approaches timely and created value on a national basis. The city succeeded not only in hosting events but also in attracting many professionals to live and work there.
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Melbourne's economy is thriving from the professional management of its event environment. The public and the private sector are working together for the benefits of all stakeholders. The city is one of only a few examples around the world where best practices for the attraction and hosting of events are established with all the benefits associated with it (Damm 2010). According to Damm (2010), every city or town in the world has the potential to host events (p. 20). As for the places that want to stimulate the growth of the event industry and remain continuously successful in it, it is necessary to handle their resources properly and to monitor the demands of the audience.
As the event industry is in a constant state of evolution and development, it should always take into consideration the changes in every sphere of social, cultural and political life. The changes in these fields have given a big boost to new trends in every industry including event management. One may observe the emergence of different tendencies in the sector of planned events such as extensive usage of social media and new tech tools, promotion of eco-friendly measures, and greater demands from event sponsors.
Thus, to ensure successful performance, the company organizing events has to monitor the consumers' needs and behavior, the impacts of the environment, and economic, demographic and political forces within the market. Moreover, it has to follow its own strategy or theoretical model to predict possible risks and to elaborate preventive measures.