The overall aim of this essay is to introduce the scope and scale of the events industry as well as looking at the pros and cons of an event.
The Business Visits & Events Partnership have written a recent report showing that £39.1 billion is contributed to the UK economy from the events industry. This has been a £3 billion increase from the past year. The events industry counts for 35% percent of the UK's visitor economy. The figures were announced in the recently published Events Are Great Britain report by the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP,2014).
The events industry is known as affluent and dynamic, which provides chances for exhibitors to showcase products and new technologies, this creates a stronger position on the market. In addition, the foundations of the events industry are built by attractive dynamics and are held together by the traders and buyers. A whole section of comprehensive media organizations selling strategy is simply holding events and the related conferences. Events play important roles, from establishing communities and city renewal, to cultural improvement and cultivating country identities. Classifying events is significant in the planning, managing, and assessing events, which is sorted based on a place attachment and event size.
As there are constant changing dynamics within the event industry, continuous alterations to keep up with such changes can be difficult. Globalization has been treated as the one trend that can cause the most significant influence on the events industry so there will be obstacles to face as the vast amount of businesses operating internationally grows. International competition will continue to increase through globalization, especially in emerging markets because demand will be generated from new types of clients. As businesses become more increasingly globalized, event attendees are coming from a multitude of countries. The events industry influences a constant interaction and communication between people, which enhances the demand for future events. Event organizers will have to learn the exact needs of the attendees and exhibitors. Expanding into new countries is in high priority for most organisations and as a result there are challenges in handling these unfamiliar markets. For example, the uncertainty in the economy.
Events are now getting rebranded as experiences across the industry. There is more focus by organisers towards increasing the value of their events by forging longer term relationships with their customers or delegates. With the increase of new digital technologies, events cannot be looked at as a onetime situation because in the era of technology it is easy to watch things online rather than attend a real event – so it is more cost effective to make them last longer. To enable this, events can now create a professional brand identity that runs through the whole life cycle of the event – from the initial registration or ticket buying, to maintaining an online community after the event has finished.
The marketing communications environment has seen a big transition in the last decade due to the increased popularity of using social media. Event management companies have reaped the benefits of being able to reach customers directly through social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and other social media giants. This has been advantageous for musical events having the capability to broadcast to the younger generation audience to raise the profile of these events by the continuous social media use of younger people. This therefore increases the amount tickets they make available and the number of attendees. However, the downside is that social media is not always a systematic way of measuring the possible engagement due to not having a way of guaranteeing who will attend, or whoever has seen the event will be engaged with it.
Generations have different expectations of most things, including learning, mentoring, membership and volunteering. For example, the vast array of generations in the workplace causes the event industry in these fields to adapt to the preferences of all. The younger generation should be reached and engaged with appropriately, the value of both attending and exhibiting at events can be shown through social media where they feel more at home. To keep older generations attending regularly, with the modernisation of shows, a more accessible approach should be taken because they may not understand digital upgrades so the event experience is adapted accordingly.
Wireless devices and mobile computing are king in the event technology space. The growth in communication and data storage technologies also discourage the use of paper by making it easier and more readily available on files on devices, which is cost effective. Adopting technology will affect how managers execute an event, how exhibitors and attendees network and how the event holster captures and analyses activities. Even though wireless devices offer many benefits, it also threatens to take away the essential one-to-one nature of meetings. This challenges planners to produce high quality sensations during their events.
The concept of big data as being identified as another trend, which is defined as the information that can be collected which is relevant to the customers, community and event. The data is then processed with a set of analytical tools to understand issues and trends that may not have been discovered without these tools. The result uncovers marketing and customer development opportunities that result in a ROI. After the big data is collected decisions are made by the show managers about how to integrate it - such as, pre-event marketing plans.
All year-round communities are another trend that is presently impacting the industry. The current structure of the exhibition and events industry is that a show or event usually only takes place once a year. However, with the current growth of public and social networks, tradeshow and events can participate in chats throughout the rest of the year. Therefore, allowing them to develop a squad of attendees and exhibitors before the event has even taken place. For this to happen, show organizers will need to understand content generation and curation.
Non-attendee engagement impact whilst they are not present at the event is important. It does not mean that they are not interested in what happens at the event. Instead of discarding them the event organisers consider how they can use social media and other technology to emulate the experience and engagement that happens live. A way to do this is through a hybrid event, so people can watch it online as well as attending. These groups can be used to test new exhibits and meeting approaches and the event managers will change these accordingly, it also may turn non-attendees into participants.
Visualization of an event is now trumping text. There is an opportunity for organisers to use video to show customers or delegates a taste of what is to be expected at forthcoming events. Footage from prior events can be altered to give an idea to those future delegates of what is on offer. Video can also be used to help to create an online community, for example, seminars and demonstrations can be uploaded so former attendees can view talks that they weren't able to attend. Whereas by using text, it is highly limited to print outs, there is a limitation of revisiting talks and not enough print out information being provided to really capture the event purpose or vibe etc.
There are many arguments for and against the different components of events. Here will be covered the economic, political, social, sustainable and environmental aspects of an event.
Political change and disruption is also a trend that impacts events in a negative or positive way. Politics is concerned with the relationship between power and authority. Events can be used as a medium for the communication of political discontent, disagreement, dissent and protest. Events can also be used to extend the goals of democracy, justice, human rights and environmental protection. Groups and organizations that now find themselves further away from power and influence will hold events to show their solidarity and resolve. Groups and organizations who have influences in the Government or more powerful positions will use events to mobilize and influence political events and themes. In 1976, there was a campaign set up as a response to the racial conflict of the white nationalists. The campaign involved pop, rock and reggae concerts with an antiracist point. Also, in the Spring of 1978, 100,000 people marched from Trafalgar Square to the East End of London for an open-air festival to counteract the racial attack occurring in the UK(Guardian,2008).
Sustainability is a term associated with the environment, although, its meaning is wide reaching, it can therefore refer to social and economic aspects of events too. To develop a sustainable event, a balance must be gained between these elements; sustainable events management is concerned with managing all aspects of the event - they must be planned and involve a legacy that lasts post-event. The environment in which the event is held is key to sustainability. There are many new rules and guidelines that exist surrounding the environmental impact of the events. The issues of sustainable development are also of the upmost importance to potential event sponsors, participants and visitors so if not considered can affect the quality of sponsorship/financial backing. Cautious considerations of environmental impacts are a pillar and Corporate Social Responsibility. Understanding environmental impacts can also help organizations reduce costs in the longer term.
There had been many criticisms on how the 2012 Olympic Games were going to be environmentally friendly, having to handle the influx of people in the capital therefore creating more waste and noise pollution. The host, London had made sure that they were going to be has environmentally green as possible - they embraced the “One Planet Living” concept and used this a building block throughout the planning and operations. To reduce the emissions by 50% they used a range of low carbon measures and efficient building designs using a concrete substitute. The delivery of half the construction materials were also made via a more sustainable transport. Aiming to deliver a “zero waste games” by using waste management effectively and minimisation, they reused and recycled 90% of material to build the Olympic Park from the demolition caused before. They diverted 90% of the construction waste from landfill through reuse, recycling and recovery.
The social impact of events changes people's behaviours, attitudes, perception and belief within the community. An example of this would be the 2012 London Olympic games. There were many positives of this event. It aided in building community pride and sharing experiences on social media like Facebook, Twitter etc. The opening ceremony showed the British culture worldwide. The legacy that has been left behind, being the flats built for the athletes in the Olympic village where the park and games were held. Assisting the community groups with free tickets for children. There are also negative impacts such as security concerns with the amount of people going to see the athletes during the event as well as the traffic that it creates and the noise and air pollution associated with this traffic. Limited tickets being for sale decreases morale in some people and the increase in taxes for residents impacted negatively.
The desire is powerful when you attend a live event you can't help but benefit from those around you (digitalttitude,2016). The desire here is people wanting to be at an event – possibly a natural disaster - to help, it involves everyone as it brings people from diverse backgrounds together that otherwise would never integrate, creating a social impact. An example of this is in a small town in Merrill, Lincoln County in the United States. Severe tornados occurred where many houses had been destroyed. Minutes after the horrific tornados; residents, emergency personnel, law enforcement and neighbours were searching through the debris trying to find and aid the injured. Others arrived in comfort of those who suffered from the traumatic effects of the storms and to help them recover what little of their property or possessions that could still be found.
Problems can occur in events due to economic impact although they one of the main economic drivers in the experience economy. Until recently, economic impact has been the focus of both academics and event organizers. The impact on the economy can be a major determinant in the decision to proceed with a bid or development of an event and this can be broken down into three areas – direct, indirect and induced impact. Measuring economic impact can be problematic – benefits are often overstated and costs understated.
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