Sustainable Event Management

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Individual Essay

1.0 Sustainable events are only possible when they are small and localised. Discuss, using examples.

Sustainable events are described as those which meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (IISD 2012). When developing sustainable events, planners need to view the event as a whole and how each part interacts and affects another and also need to take into consideration the effects that the event may have on the environment. Sustainable events are not limited to being only small and localised; in some instances it may be easier to focus on the sustainability of a smaller event as it can be easier to take a holistic approach to a smaller scale event, however as is often the case, larger scale events generally have better knowledge and resources in order to become more sustainable, and many small events can be relatively unsustainable simply because there is a lack of pressure on these events to be mindful of the external environment.

There are a number of components which need to be taken into account when developing a sustainable event. These components will form the basis of the reasons why larger scale events can also be sustainable and how smaller events can sometimes be unsustainable by means of comparison of two appropriate events.

The London 2012 Olympics were held from July 27 – August 12 2012 and comprised 204 competing countries with over 10,000 athletes competing (Clark and Heseltine 2012). The Summer Olympics are arguably the best known events series internationally, being held every four years with successful host countries being chosen several years prior to the games themselves. With a successful committee of event developers known as the International Olympics Committee (IOC), planning for the event begins some ten years before the commencement of the games in which extensive research of the best possible location and use of resources is undergone in order to reach the best outcome from many perspectives. The 2012 London Olympics had a particular focus on sustainability. Motorvation is an annual motor event which is held at the Perth Motorplex and comprises a series of car-related events such as burnout competitions, horsepower competitions and sound-off competitions for local car lovers to show off what they are most proud of. The event is held over three days and attracts around 10,000 people from the local area within this time. Planning for the event is minimal as in most cases the same structure is used each year with the major difference being the cars involved and the line-up of these events (Motorvation 2012). The comparison of these two events aims to outline how each event has performed – or not performed – sustainability practices by identifying key components of sustainable events.

1.1 Pollution
In terms of pollution, the London Olympics took a very serious approach to this issue. The London 2012 committee formed a partnership with BioRegional and WWF in order to develop sustainable practices overall and held a strong focus on pollution levels. A labelling system for recycling was produced which indicated to spectators within the games arena which type of waste product they were using and how to dispose of it correctly in order to keep waste levels at an all-time low. The IOC worked closely with Transport of London to ensure that train services were consistently running so that people could get to the games efficiently and with less harm to the environment by not driving their own vehicles. Motorvation is a car event which is fuelled by the excitement of smoke and burning rubber – both of which are extremely harmful to the environment. Whilst the event has a number of disposal bins around the venue, these are rarely utilised by spectators and this is possibly the only environmentally friendly aspect of the event itself.

1.2 Community Involvement
The host community of the London Olympics...
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