The Growth of the Events Industry

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“Until relatively recently, events have been seen as part of hospitality, tourism, leisure and recreation industries, or as a support service to businesses. However, the environment is changing and the events industry is emerging in its own right.” (Bowdin et al., 2011, pp. xxvii-xxviii) This essay will discuss the growth of the events management sector and will evaluate the nature of the event industry. The categorisation of events will be discussed, regarding their typologies and their classification. Also,1 the author will analyse the different industry sectors and will highlight the importance of stakeholders.

In the last two decades, the events industry have grown enormously and it is now “supported by an increasing body of knowledge, education, research and industry professionals.” (Bowdin et al., 2011, pp. xxvii-xxix). Events are hugely diverse and have tremendous different fragments and due to its complexity, it is very hard to define.

A definition of events is given by Shone and Parry (2004, p.3): “Special events are that phenomenon arising from those non-routine occasions which have leisure, cultural, personal or organisational objectives set apart from the normal activity of daily life, whose purpose is to enlighten, celebrate, entertain or challenge the experience of a group of people.” However Bowdin et al. (2001, pp. 15-16) explains that “ it seems at times that special events are everywhere; they have become a growth industry. The field of special events is now so vast that it is impossible to provide a definition that includes al varieties and shade of events.”

The industry is sometimes described as “special events” (Bowdin et al. 2011, p.17), but to understand the nature and the complexity of events, the categories, typologies, the characteristics and the classification can be explored as well. Allen et al. (2005) specify that events can be characterised as being local events, major events, hallmark events or mega events depending on their size. Whilst Bowdin et al. (2001) classify events - depending on their form and content - as being cultural, sporting and organisational. Because of the many different type of classification and the diversity of the industry overlapping between two definition is inevitable rather than exceptional.

Firstly, local events are mainly targeted at the local audiences and they tend to create a feeling of belonging. Their primary object is to entertain people and these events give the locals an opportunity to mix, to socialise. Local events celebrate traditions, religious rituals, carnivals, heritage but can be used to describe personal and political occasions. Janiskee (1996, p.404) cited in Bowdin et al. (2011, p.19) define local events as:

“Family-fun events that are considered ‘owned’ by a community because they use volunteer services from the host community, employ public venues such as streets, parks, and schools and are produced at the direction of local government agencies or non-government organisations (NGO’s) such as service clubs, public safety organisations or business associations”

An example of this is the local ‘Tomato Fight Festival’ held in Spain (Valencia Trader, 2011). These annual festivals can shortly become major events, the next categorisation by size.

Secondly, those events that are capable to attract media attention and create economical benefits to the host community are called major events. A great example of a major event is the Nemzeti Vagta (translated from Hungarian:National Cavalry and Gallop Day), which is a unique event celebrating the Hungarian tradition of horse racing on a large scale. (Youtube, 2011). UK Sport (1999a, p. 4) cited in Bowdin et al. (2011, p. 20) consider that three elements are required for a major event: it must involve a competition between teams, also, it must attract significant public interest and it must be of international significance to the sport concerned.

Another type of event regarding the...
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