There are many types of events organized for achieving specific social, cultural or corporate goals as told by many authors (Allen et al, 2005). Over the last decades, there has been an enormous growth in the number of events held in many regions. The main aim of the event is to satisfy the community and stakeholders. To organise any event and to be successful, the event organiser should design, theme an appropriate event properly to attract the attention of reporters to distribute its interest among the public. What is it that makes a normal event different from special? An appropriate event can attract the attention of media and public if the right creativeness is involved that makes it different from a normal one. Special events represent a variety of cultural, religious, organizational, and leisure occasionally (Ronald S., 2005, pp. 86-7). Hence, the organiser must know what he wants to portrait in which way and how effective it would be. "There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from." - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Swiss-American Psychiatrist & author (Cook J., Deger S., Gibson L., 2007). Just as the saying goes, an event is very important in a human's life. Special events are "special" as they target not just the internal environment of an organization but also the external world for a cause.
"To customer or visitor a special event is a chance for a leisure social or cultural experience outside the normal range of choices or beyond every day experience" (Getz D., 1997).
Effect of Events on Economy
As the number of events grows and as communities are familiar with their economic involvement, organisers start to view these events from a tourism perspective (Chacko and Schaffer, the evolution of a festival: creole Christmas in new orleans1993, pp.475-482... volume 14, issue 6, December 1993...). This in turn increases the revenue and wealth of the host region.
It is comprehensible that special events are an important part of the attraction feature of destination marketing. Some potential financial benefits of special events include.
- Target marketing
- Tax benefits to organisations
- Greater than before employment opportunities
- Profits and investments by private and public sectors
- Social, cultural and financial support
- Achievement in attracting tourists
It is learned that in deciding the right venue and destination to conduct an event is important to ensure more number of visitors. These events held must be unique and welcoming. For ex- if it is the Beijing Olympics, a large number of visitors are definitely expected if a wonderful performance of excitement and entertainment is provided. Security is of great concern too to the public. Organizers are becoming increasingly competitive to make an impression. (Address correspondence to Dr. Julie E. Whitfield, School of Services Management, University, of Bournemouth, Dorset House, Talbot Campus, Poole, Dorset, BH12 5BB, UK.)
Key features that make an event successful
Uniqueness of the venue
Events can be the same but attention should be given to the fact that they are not entirely repeated making it look the same each time in turn making it boring to the visitiors. They are non-routine and unique though they might have some features in common. The event should not be repeated more than once a year, as the excitement and anxiety the person awaits would not be the same as in the first encounter. There are five socio-psychological motivational domains as to why people go for these events. They are cultural exploration, novelty, recover equilibrium, known group socialisation and external interactions. Therefore, event managers need to respond to their requirements. The importance of a special event can only be understood when it gives a meaning, value, aspiration and provides a sense of personal and community expression. Finally, the uniqueness that attracts people may also create issues of diminishing returns as the original event would have reduced the uniqueness of the venue. Hence, it is advised that venues continually improve its facilities to gain repeat visitation. The below diagram shows characteristics of special events.
(Source: Shone A. & Parry B., 2004, Successful Event Management: A Practical Handbook, 2nd ed., Published by Cengage Learning EMEA, p. 13)
Conference and event facilities make sure things are carried out definitely from a visitor's perspective also as ultimately they are the main audience to any event. The best way to start is to make sure the venue chosen to display the event as a whole is competitive and would impress delegates and the visitors. For this, the main thing to be kept in mind is the theme of the event. There is no point if the theme of the event and what is being displayed does not go hand in hand. This also includes the focus of the event, the type of interaction experienced at the event, timing, and the place where the event is staged. The visitors are not the same always. Some look for mere entertainment only whereas others look for entertainment along with knowledge or as a means of escapism from their daily routine, social experiences, family, previous experiences and recommendations (Edwards, Loomis, Fusco, & McDermott, 1990; Falk & Dierking, 1992; Hooper-Greenhill, 1994; Kotler & Kotler, 1998; Lord & Lord, 1999; Packer & Ballantyne, 2002).
There are certain setbacks that disfigure such vlienues when an event is held. They can be listed as licence and use restrictions, such as limited evening entertainment with no amplified music. These normally take place if the event is conducted in venues such as a museum. There are other issues associated such as time. Depending on the venue, there would be restrictions on the duration of the event. In some instances, the venue needs to be transformed, tables set, kitchens set up, moving in and out the equipments required and audio-visual equipment wired up and balanced in less time (Gosling, 1998; Sewell, 2007; Shallcross, 1998). Parking facilities is a must check as to a large event, many visitors would be expected. The venues infrastructure would come to play. This also can be an issue. Lifts msut be large depending on the size of equipments if they need to be carried over several floors. Technical facilities must be checked for all latest facilities depending on the type of event (ConferenceVenuesUK, 2007; Spain, 2007). Accomodation might be required by delegates. The distance and accessibility to the venue ust be easy for them.
Chacko, Harsha E. and Jeffrey d. Schaffer (1993), The Evolution of a festival - Creole Christmas in New Orleans, "Tourism Management", December,pp.475-482.