Events: Event Management Essay
Event in a single word means a “happening”. There are many in our lives. Many of them personal and many relating to a business. While traveling to work you might see or meet a celebrity. It is an event for you. At work you might get a promotion. It is an event. Your company merges with a multinational corporation. It is an event. On your way back from work you meet your former sweet heart and have coffee with him/her. It is an event. When you return home your spouse informs you that the neighbors’ daughter ran off with your cook. It is an event.
What is Management? Management is the ability of an individual or an organized group to achieve the result desired by the individual/group within the ambit of constraints imposed by the internal and external environment.
A working couple desire to own a house and a motorcar from their earnings. The internal environment is, what is their disposable income, what are their current savings, how much more can they save, what is the area of house they desire and which type of car. Can they adjust to the new situation of spending less without any internal disputes between them? Can they take on the added responsibilities of paying EMI’s for both the new assets? And many more questions & issues. The external environment is the presumption of no increase in taxes, stability of employment, availability of loans for both assets at reasonable rates of interest, cost of both the assets as envisaged and other related issues.
If both match substantially you have “managed” your personal objectives. However, if you find that the internal environment result in a mismatch of cash flow you may drop the idea of buying a car initially or you may decide to buy a smaller house or may decide to shift your residence to distant suburbs or may decide to postpone your decision of purchase to another period till the internal environment is more conducive. You have once again been “managed” by a change / alteration in personal objectives.
In business the situation is the same. You want to start your own business in events. Your internal environment is. Your ability to bring in capital. Your ability to raise loans. Your connections with the industry, your leadership, marketing, financial abilities, your vision, your objectives, your objectives, your place to do the business, your staffing capabilities , your ability to take risks and other related issues. The external environment will be: Competition in the industry, Stability of the macro economic factors, the spend on the event business/industry, availability of competent Staff at the right costs, availability of the right office, godown, workshop space to suit your budget, the willingness of contacts to network for your cause, availability of finance at right rates, legal aspects of event business and other related issues. If both your internal and external environment suits your situation you are in the “event business “or for that matter any business.
If the law bans “entertainment events” you may change your objectives and do only corporate/religious events. IF workshop space far exceeds your budget cost you may outsource parts of production to production – house; you have “managed”.
Event Management “Event Management means and includes strategically and competently managing an organized “happening” so that the goals/objectives/purpose of holding that event are substantially achieved by allocation of resources on hand so maximum advantage both economic and strategic is achieved.
An event is generally planned well in advance in a logical and coordinated manner as there are no retakes in an event. In many cases “Event Management” is synonymous with “Disaster Management”. In an event disaster is waiting to happen. A planned well coordinated event averts or at best mitigates a disaster.
Event Management essentially is part of a marketing exercise. We are aware that Marketing is categorized into Indirect Marketing and Direct Marketing. Indirect Marketing is essentially advertising and publicity. The message is addressed to the world at large which includes that segment of the market which is prospects and probable converts to the brand/product/service advertised and/or publicized. The reach of advertising/publicity is substantial and a variety of mediums are used to solicit custom of the world at large. It has proved substantially effective which is evidenced by huge spends on advertising more specifically by corporate and business.
As opposed to that, Direct Marketing is addressed to a specific audience or a target segment, be it in the form of Direct Mailers, Tele Marketing, P.R. Meets, Salesmanship, Emails and Events. In case of Direct Marketing the focus is clear and the audience/target is specific.
Event Management as Part of Direct Marketing: Designing and producing an event – whether it be a meeting, corporate event, fund-raising gala, conference, convention, incentive or other special event such as a wedding has been compared to directing a movie but is actually more like a live stage production. It is done in one take and there no dress rehearsals.
An event is the reflection of the corporate entity. It is part of the direct marketing the corporate has programmed. It gives direct access to the target market which it needs to address, be it a sales conference, a fund raiser, a religious sammellan, a road show or any other event. An event gives the corporate a focus on the right audience and keeps in making the audience aware of the policies, programs, the marketing of ideas to this target group. There is a direct exchange of information between the corporate and its target audience. It creates a bond between the management and the audience for whom the event has been organized. An event is that aspect of Direct Marketing where the communication it proposes to convey is not dissipated nor it is to the world at large. It is narrowed to that segment or group with whom the corporate/management needs to identify with.
Events are big business the world over and there are professional firms who organize the set up of such events. Events actually flow from the marketing or the corporate team in any large organization. It is these teams that decide whether an event will help in furtherance of the marketing plan and how and to whom the event needs to be addressed. Once the holding of an event is decided upon, the major part of organizing of an event is looked into. This will include the theme, the place and the logistics. And of course the budget.
In India the event industry is in a nascent stage. The industry is disorganized and every individual who organizes a birthday party classifies himself as an event manager. There are very few firms in the country who organize and set up events as professionals with a proper vision, infrastructure, systems and personnel. Correct figures are not available but it is estimated that corporate spends are around Five Thousand Million rupees in the organization of events annually and with globalization and influx of multinationals; the industry is expected to grow at a phenomenal 50% per year.
The first series of questions the corporate management/marketing team needs to ask are: 1. Should I hold an event? 2. Which target group needs to be addressed at the event? 3. What are the funds required to stage an event? 4. Can the company afford to set aside part of the marketing budget for organizing an event? 5. Is the purpose of the event important to justify the outlay? 6. What would be the benefits accruing to me both financially as well as strategically?
The same questions, in a different format, are applicable to non–corporate events. Take “Weddings” for example. Wedding is a social/personal event. To put it in the humorous text “it is a public display of a private intention”. It has a target audience of friends, relatives and business associates. It has a theme, strategy and budgetary constraints. It is a happening of a lifetime, which should be remembered not only by the bridal couple and their immediate families but also by all the invitees. Many times it is more complex in execution as compared to corporate events. It is estimated by India Today in one of its 2007 – 2008 issues, the Indian Wedding Industry to be worth about Rs 50,000 cores. This includes everything. From jewelry, to clothes, to food and beverage, venues, ceremonies of various events connect with the wedding.
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