Event Strategy

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CHAPTER

Event strategy

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INTRODUCTION
Events and festivals are an economic and social driver of many companies, cities, regions and countries. They need to be assessed for their benefits and placed in the development plans of the organisation. The only way to achieve this sensibly is to devise a framework for the development. This chapter describes how these frameworks or event strategies are created. It begins with the recognition of events as being part of a development portfolio and not isolated instances. A company or city has a range of events spread over the year. Each event is an asset and should be treated in the same way as other projects are developed and assessed. The returns on this asset assist the organisation to reach their objectives. The chapter has numerous real cases and concludes with a detailed example of a local authority.

1.1 STRATEGY CHECKLIST
A strategy is a long-term plan of action, encompassing all divisions of the organisation and designed to achieve organisation-wide goals. Once an organisation, such as a company or government department, reaches a certain level of complexity, it is necessary to have a common method and direction understood by all the divisions or departments. The strategy provides the common direction for all the subdivisions. It enables the various departments to work in their area of specialty and know they are helping the organisation as a whole. Generally large organisations have strategic plans with 3, 5 and 10-year cycles. Near the end of each cycle the past strategic plan is evaluated and the new strategic plan is developed. Despite insightful criticism of strategic planning by analysts such as Henry Mintzberg, organisations invariably use it. Understanding the strategy of an organisation is essential to understand the reason for their events and the feasibility of future events. The limitation of strategic planning is that the plan, once adopted, tends to have a life of its own, regardless of the changing conditions. The plan and the objectives filter down to all the divisions of the company. Each of the divisions formulates their own subobjectives referring to the company-wide objectives. All of this takes time and the delay in implementation should be taken into account with strategic policy. Once the objectives are formulated by the organisation’s departments, the strategic plan will push the organisation in a certain direction. Just like a large cruise liner, it is difficult to turn the company once its course is set. Over a period of 5 years, the basic assumptions and projections that formed the foundation of the strategic plan may no longer align with the real Events Feasibility and Development. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-7506-6640-4.10001-9 Copyright Ó 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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CHAPTER 1 Event strategy

world. Events can assist the company in these new conditions but they will not be supported as they do not fit in with the strategic plan. Given that one of the outcomes of events is to assist change and development in a company, the lack of support for the vehicle that can realign the company is a problem. Notwithstanding these issues, the strategic plan of the key stakeholders is a vital document in the feasibility and development of events. It provides the framework and the objectives of the future of the organisation and the events that fit into the strategic plan will be supported by the organisation. The strategic concerns of a key stakeholder are outlined in the example of the tourism event strategy checklist (Exhibit 1.1). It is a list of the requirements of an events strategy for a region. They are set out in heading format so that they can be dealt with in a systematic way and used as a template outline to develop the strategy.

EXHIBIT 1.1 A TOURISM EVENT STRATEGY CHECKLIST
1. Definitions a. Reflect the region’s tourism market strategy into an event strategy b. Extent of involvement of the event coordinator in hosting,...
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