Event management is a complex, yet very interesting and rewarding profession. According to some, event management involves the organized planning of a particular event, as well as research and successful execution. Such an event may range from a simple social event, such as a birthday or wedding, and can include complex events, such as corporate meetings or product launch parties and concerts.
No matter what the event, however, a good event planner will follow certain steps to ensure that everything in his or her plan will go off without a hitch, so to speak. It is due to this reason that event managers are both highly creative and technical. There are many tips for how to successfully plan an event, such as having a clear marketing strategy, monitoring everything that happens and knowing what is happening at all times before, during and after the event to ensure ultimate satisfaction.
No matter what different tips state on the internet, however, the definition of event managing remains clear: the organizing of large [or small] events, such as conferences and concerts, [or] the organizing of a special event as part of a programme of marketing activities.
From this brief introduction, event management should become quite clear. For this reason, the rest of the paper will focus on three case studies and will answer questions relating to good and bad event management strategies.
The Townsville City Council
The first theme to be examined relates to the Townsville City Council and the creating of an events strategy for "Queensland's Biggest Regional City Council."
According to the case study presented in the book Festival and Special Event Management referenced throughout this particular section, Townsville is the city in Queensland and it merged with Thuringowa City in 2008. Such mergers are common since Queensland's State Government introduced local reforms that facilitate these unifications in order to produce more efficiently controlled regions throughout the state, according to the case study. Due to this merger, however, Townsville embarked upon new event management strategies for a much larger area. Pre-merger, the population of Townville was at 120,000. Post-amalgamation, however, Townville City Council's oversee swelled over a population of 180,000. Both cities, further, had different event management strategies, so it was a task to bridge the gaps.
The first question related to this case study asks about the roles that Townville City Council plays in the events set up by the newly merged event management team.
According to the new structure, the new set-up provides for a more focused delivery model and the team involved played a role in many aspects, including:
Advising applications funding for externally run events
Consulting with external event management groups
Scheduling and delivering events across the city
Developing region-wide relationships, including those fostering tourism, economic development and event industry identities
Further, one must mention that in relation to this question, a special Events and Protocol Unit
was formed as well and given further responsibilities, including:
Producing all events for the Council, which attracted over 500 people
Producing a balanced events program that took internal and external events into consideration
Developing and implementing the Events Strategy for the entire city
Setting up a management system for event delivery
Due to the fact that the city was in a particularly unique position in merging these teams, it is important and valuable to analyze the main outcomes of this merger, which is the fact on which the next question focuses. Firstly, one must point out that due to the budgetary pressures the city was experiencing, it was quite a challenge to merge all event programs. Certain events, such as Australia Day, New Year's Eve celebrations, Pioneer's Lunch and Carols by Candlelight, were easily merged. However, some events were not easily merged, or did not suit the city. These included, Anzac Day Services, Neighborhood Fun Days program, and three environmental festivals.
By amalgamating two city councils, cost savings were expected all around; however, the quality of events did not rise as costs diminished. Furthermore, it was more difficult than expected to develop relationships between the different cultures of the city, though not unachievable. The outcomes did, eventually, include high end management processes and successfully merged programs, and the city developed its reputation as a regional event-staging leader.
The difficulties presented above, especially relating to the festivals and programs that could not be implemented presented great challenges for the city. However, by focusing on those events which it could carry out and which linked the two cities successfully, the city was able to bridge the gaps and establish itself as a leader in event management. This was due to the fact that the transition was:
Responsive to community needs and expectations,
An example of best practice standards,
A culture promoter, and A responsible, budget conscious and delivery focused council.
Due to all the abovementioned reasons, the obstacles with which the newly merged city council was presented were successfully overcome.
Seven Deadly Sins Corporate Event
The next case study to be discussed is the Seven Deadly Sins Corporate Event in conjunction with Theme Traders, London. According to this cases study, Theme Traders is a London-based management "props and prop hire company operating worldwide."
This particular company's mission is to provide unparalleled service of the highest quality, from the concept of one's event, to its completion, and ensure the absolute satisfaction of the customer, whoever he or she may be. Theme Traders is thus present to wedding, bar mitzvahs, exhibitions, fashion shows, other public events, and claims to have even worked for the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
This particular case study, however, examines the company's invitation to pitch for a large event being held in the summer of 2007, which involved a large shipping and distribution company that was celebrating its bicentenary, and which wanted to host a large party to thank the staff for their hard work.
The first question to be analyzed here is the fact that Theme Traders had to produce similar events in six different locations, as the shipping company was quite large, and the challenge that this task presents. Firstly, Theme Traders decided that due to the fact that this was a monumental task, it would have to first appeal to all employees. Then, it had to take note of the theme that unified all locations, which was essential to all employees' enjoyment of the same experience and which included keywords such as "exciting, memorable, unique, amazing," etc.
In order to achieve all these requirements and exceed the client's expectations, the company first had a brainstorming session. This session was what enabled them to actually have positive outcomes, and the event staff came up with great ideas, such as choosing the six locations based on their proximity to transportation hubs and based also on the number of employee residency. Furthermore, they focused on the "seven deadly sins" theme to unify the locations, thereby overcoming the challenge of disparity that the hiring company had feared.
The second question focuses on how the theme was actually created. According to this case study, the themes were envy, gluttony, greed, pride, lust and sloth, and wrath. The creative department of Theme Traders first presented mood boards to communicate look or atmosphere of the event, and took the opportunity to present entertainment, so that the pitch would be as detailed and would make the employer as exciting as the event team. The first theme, envy, would include a 'green with envy' area, which would be complete with green-painted stilt walkers. The next area, gluttony, would hold giant buffets with huge ice-cream statues and chocolate fountains. For 'greed,' the creative team decided upon glamorous palm trees and casino tables. Pride, the fourth theme, would include giant trophies, medals and other winners' podiums. Lust and sloth, would hold double beds, which would of course be decorated, and would also include giant floor cushions and cherub statues. Lastly, 'wrath' would be "depicted over the dance floor, portrayed by moving lightening bolts and thunder sound effects."
These themes were important to the overall feel of the party, but theme traders also had to design the overall theme, or the link, which it decided would include the same entertainment, for example. Further, it also include a satellite link up which would ensure that the management could give a speech to his employers. The team also proposed, for cost saving purposes, the potential pre-recording of a speech instead of a satellite link-up. Furthermore, the team had to focus on other elements once it was chosen, including:
Lightning/sound and AV
Health and safety
This event provided for many elements, and the creative team had to work with all other teams in the company, as well as the customer, to ensure the success of the event, so the team was extremely proud when in the end, according to this cases study, the event went off "without a hitch."