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Generally the number and range of events in all countries including those in Australia are growing, and events are increasingly viewed as entertainment and big business (Hillary, 1997:2). Events of the future are more and more seen as a way to compete for the public's leisure time among other things, and a way for event sponsors and organizers to reach target markets through enjoyable activities (Hillary, 1997:3).
Generally current and future trends center on preparation that includes a 'feasibility' check which assesses among other things (1) whether the event is a good idea, (2) whether the event managers and marketing agents have the right marketing skills available to do the job, (3) whether the marketing and publicity is targeted in the right communities, (4) whether adequate knowledge of the community is available and (5) how media support and funds will be acquired (Hillary, 1997:4).
Current trends also include sufficient planning for time, including a creation of a timetable of actions that will need to be taken before, during and after an event (Hillary, 1997:4). Among the things a marketing a publicist will examine with regard to this is other events that will be occurring around the same time as the event as well as potential advertising conflicts.
Key players that work directly with marketing and publicist managers during the event management process include financial agents who help determine sources of revenue and expenditure levels, operational managers who will help guide the overall operation and functioning of the event including assisting with management of technology and legal managers who may help negotiate any contracts that need to be arranged with regard to marketing, publicizing and holding an event (Hillary, 1997:4).
These members often work directly with modern day event marketing and publicizing agents in an organizing committee.
The future of marketing and publicizing event management will likely continue to demand increased utilization of technology to get the word out about events and to reach target audiences. In times of old publicists may have relied more on local communities and service organizations to get the word out. Though the current trend is still to rely heavily on these resources, now event planners have the capability of reaching a global target audience with regard to events. The internet is the most commonly used form of technology that event managers are using to market and publicize events. This is happening in response to trends that show that more and more consumers are turning to the internet for information and resources regarding specific functions and events.
It is likely that as technology is utilized more frequently as part of the natural landscape of marketing and publicizing, event managers will have to adjust their budgets to include the increased costs sometimes associated with utilization of technologically advanced marketing methods (Hillary, 1997:9). That said, as technology in the world of publicizing and marketing becomes more commonplace, the expense will likely subside with time. It is important however that event planners consider the possibility of obtaining sponsorship as a potential source of revenues.
Publicity campaigns of the future will also include several core components and key elements of marketing and advertising today, which include sampling opportunities, signage, distribution of promotional material (whether through the internet or otherwise), displays and staff involvement (Hillary, 1997:10).
Marketing and publicizing an event can be a challenging process, but also enjoyable and engaging for the event manager that has taken into consideration the current trends in event marketing and management. Technology will likely play an ever increasing role in the publicizing and marketing of events in the future, thus it would benefit event managers to improve their technological savvy if they wish to succeed in the future world of event planning and management.
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