What Is a Mega Event

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This essay will delve into what Mega Events are described to be and how they are identified by academics. This essay shall portray the difference in different types of Mega Events, what all Mega Events have in common using real life examples and primarily the key elements. Bladen et al (2012) states that there are many different examples of what an Event is depending on the viewpoint, it describes the general characteristics of an Event to be temporary, gatherings of people, often ritual displays and are usually unique; however Mega Events are described as being events that are on a global scale; leaving behind long terms effects on the place in which it took place and also for the people that attended. Mega Events are usually every few years, for example the winter and summer Olympic games are every four years. Mega Events can be recognised for not only the economic impacts but also the social impacts as well as the audience scale the Event gains during it. The audience of a Mega Event is not only the number of attendees but also the number of people that watched the Event via other means of media, for example when the 2012 Olympics in London were running, not only could people watch it on television but also the internet, even some radio stations had commentary on was happening during the 2012 games. In 2006 the FIFA World Cup held in Germany was live on television, although 3.4 million people watched the game in the stadium; the cumulative television audience was 26.3 billion. (FIFA 2007). Bowdin et al (2001) explained that Mega Events will affect whole economies and in result they are circulated widely in the global media. ‘Mega-events’ are large-scale cultural (including commercial and sporting) events which have a dramatic character, mass popular appeal and international significance’ Roche, M. (2000). Mega- events and Modernity: Olympics, Expos and the Growth of Global Culture. Abington. Routledge. Horne and Manzenreiter (2006) extended this quote by stating that Mega Events should attract media representatives and viewers from numerous nations across the world. Getz (2007) also emphasises Bowdin’s statement by adding that Mega Events also involve tourism, media coverage and also economic impacts. “Mega-events, by way of their size or significance, are those that yield extraordinarily high levels of tourism, media coverage, prestige, or economic impact for the host community or destination” (Getz 1997, p.6). Getz (1997) described Mega Events to have a measureable length and not to be permanently settled in place. Mega Events have many key characteristics such as size, global audience and the bidding process in common. Bladen et al (2012) states Mega Events can be divided into three main divisions; cultural, political and sporting Mega Events. The publicity and expansion of both regional and national culture is the main importance of cultural Mega Events, cultural events are based on history and tradition and usually run over a number of days. Political Mega Events are held to discuss strategies on global trade, the environment and security. Sporting Mega Events are Events based on sport, they are the most studied type of event and they continue to grow significantly. Cultural Mega Events open a city to the world which usually runs over a number of days. World’s Fair or World Expo’s are the most recognised cultural Mega Event. The World Expo’s are considered to be the third largest event in the world in terms of economic and cultural impact, after the World Cup and the Olympic Games. Expos were traditionally developed to showcase new inventions and to facilitate cultural exchange between nations, they are also used to promote participating countries. For example, Expo ’92 in Seville was used by Spain to promote itself as a modern and democratic country. Cultural Mega Events focus on the development and promotion of different countries. Since the 1970s Political Mega Events have increased in size with the...
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