Since the beginning of time, human beings had the need of having special events. First, they were made for cultural and celebration purposes, but their area increased continuously. Today, the events vary from personal celebrations to mega-events, from voluntary events to private musical events, from cultural to sporting events.
Shone and parry classify special events by purpose and these are: leisure events (sport, recreation, and leisure), personal events (weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays), cultural events (Sacred, ceremonial, folklore, art, and heritage) and organizational events (commercial, political, charitable, sales). According to their size and scale, events are categorized in the following way, from the smallest to the biggest: local/community events, hallmark events, major events and mega-events. As Bowdin says further in his book, because of the complexity and volume of events industry today, a large range of event suppliers had been developed, which may work only for this industry, like catering, staging, lighting, fireworks, entertainment, but as Tassiopoulos states, few suppliers are dedicated exclusively to the events, they just interfere with them as transportation, communication and security do.
Events are organized by professionals working in a specific organizational structure, according to the size and complexity of the event. This could be simple, functional or a network one or a matrix type if the event is held at various venues. The network type consists in having an event manager or a small team as organizer(s) and hiring suppliers for what the event needs. So even if the organising team is not big enough to produce all the resources for an event, it can hire other organizations that supplies them with what else they need for materializing the event concept.
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This process is called by Bowdin as creating “virtual organisations” that lasts during the event then they disintegrate and each party can find other such organisations to join for future events. This kind of structure has the advantage of quick decision making, because the people who are making decisions are few in numbers, or only the event manager, others just being hired to do specific services. The activities of the events are usually categorised into distribution, production, venues and ancillary services. Shone and Parry offer a list of organisations categorised by the type of services they are offering. The organisations who are working in the production area are: event management companies, party planners, production companies, event catering companies, exhibition and theatrical contractors and designers, technical services companies or individuals, professional party/conference oganisers, multimedia support companies voluntary bodies and education and training. ) Distribution organisations could be individual events and venues, event and conference agencies, trade media, hotel booking agencies.
Visitor and convention bureau, incentive travel agencies, exhibition organisers, ticketing agencies, trade exhibitions and national and local tourist bodies. Some organisations that could supply the events with venues or services for venues are event room/hall/grounds hire, catering and kitchen facilities, accommodation, food and drink suppliers, business support services, medical and creche services, information and customer services, technical support, waste disposal and grounds clearance, toilets washrooms and public facilities, parking security and set designers.
Also, still according to shone and parry, the organisations who offer ancillary services are: accommodation providers, photographers and video makers Transport and guiding services, music and entertainment providers, travel companies, costume hire service, marquee hire services, printer, floral contractor, database support service, fireworks display operator, professional and trade bodies, national and local government services. Event management companies, according to Bowdin, are organisations that are offering to organize events, usually large, for potential clients on a contract basis. The gigantic corporations existing nowadays often contact these companies and usually generate long relationships with them, states Bowdin. Production companies are very similar to the event management ones, but they are restricted to the production, while the others may offer additional services without hiring external organisations. Party planners and professional event organisers do the same work as the event production companies, but they are individuals, instead of teams or functional organisations. PCO, professional conference organisers, can organise conference and meetings for small groups or big conferences such as a political party meeting. Some venues serve their own food and beverage, but when an event is held at a venue without such services or in natural spaces, and the organisers want to provide to the customers, they will need to hire event catering companies, if they don’t have the resources themselves.
These companies offer food and beverages from the simplest to very sophisticated types for events. The modern clients of events acquired taste and desire for quality and innovative dishes, so the catering services adapted their needs. These suppliers may have their own kitchen, the venue may provide them with one or the organisers will have to improvise a place where the food will be prepared. The organisers will have to consider other important factors when hiring these companies, such as waste management, asking the guests their preferences if it is a controlled event or researching the potential customers if it is an uncontrolled one, informing the catering company about the theme and the key moments of the event, such as speeches or surprise shows and assuring they will have enough food and beverages for the customers.
Hotel booking agencies, incentive travel agencies, national, local tourist bodies, travel companies and accommodation companies play an important role in events if the customers are tourists or if they are coming from other localities and have to stay overnight. These organisations could provide some events with customers and offer them additional services such as accommodation and guiding. The event organisers could make contracts with these companies or buy their services for the customers in order to obtain them cheaper, instead of letting the clients buying by themselves.
Ticketing agencies could be contacted to advertise the event, if the organisers are not specialised or don’t have time for this. If an event is theme-based, then theme designers, costume hire services, floral contractors and other such companies can be hired to set a professional theme, buying the right supplies from retailers or producers of decoration or themed products for events. Photographers and video makers offer professional recording of events and they should be hired especially at cultural and personal events because people like to memorise them over the years.
Music and entertainment providers supply the events with the main component for the customer for the leisure events or they could just help for the ambiance at events that have other principal purposes. There are many available venues today that can and even ask to be hired for organising events. Many venue owners organise events by themselves, but also allows other professionals to hold events in their venues on a contract basis. The event manager should know how to negotiate with these venue owners and how to establish relationships. Government bodies also play an important role in events, because of the laws for preparation and sale of beverages, food, waste management and removal. External regulatory bodies As noted, contemporary events take place in an increasingly regulated and complex environment. A series of local government and statutory bodies are responsible for overseeing the conduct and safe staging of events, and these bodies have an integral relationship with the industry.
Councils often oversee the application of laws governing the preparation and sale of food, street closures, waste management and removal. In addition, events organizers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace and to obey all laws and statutes relating to employment, contracts, taxation and so on. The professional event manager needs to be familiar with the regulations governing events and to maintain contact with the public authorities that have a vested interest in the industry. Events are held in many different locations from established venues to open spaces. The nature of your event will help dictate the type of venue you select. The event site or venue should be an effective space that suits the type of event being staged . Ultimately, the venue MUST be able to meet the needs of the event and its audience. “The number of new venues, and types of venues, opening their doors to conference delegates appears to be escalating, and there are increasing signs that demand for these facilities is not increasing at the same rate. Venues are not only changing in quantity but also in their quality. ”
Top 5 Most Important Factors When Choosing a Venue as Identified by a Number of American Event Organisers
- Size of the venue
- Potential audience draw
- Number of meeting rooms
- Mike Lyon, Director, Write Style Communications,
- The National Venue Show
The choice of a venue is a crucial decision that will ultimately determine many of the elements of staging. Figure 13. 2 lists the major factors in the choice of a venue.
The venue may be an obvious part of the theme of the event. A corporate party that takes place in a zoo is using the venue as part of the event experience. However, many events take place within ‘four walls and a roof’, the venue being chosen for other factors. It can be regarded an empty canvas on which the event is painted. Events can be staged in a range of unusual spaces, from unused factories, parkland, car parks or shopping centres, to floating stages on water or using flat-back trailers from articulated lorries in a supermarket car park.
The event manager can exploit the surroundings and characteristics of the venue to enhance the event experience. In these situations, the traditional roles of stage manager and event manager become blurred. When the audience and the performers mix together and where they and the venue become the entertainment package, the delineation between stage and auditorium is no longer appropriate. An event that uses a purpose-built venue, for example, an arena or exhibition centre, will find that much of the infrastructure will be in place.
For music events, HSE (1999) suggest that main considerations for the site visit are available space for the audience, temporary structures, backstage facilities, parking, camping and rendezvous points, together with some idea of proposed capacity, concept for the entertainment and rough calculations of space requirements. For conference events, Shone (1998) identifies that location will be the key consideration, with the venue needing to be close to a main motorway and within an hour’s travelling time of a major city and airport (if international delegates are expected).
Further, Owen and Holliday (1993) recommend that the event manager makes a preliminary unannounced visit to the venue to check the ambience and courtesy of staff before making arrangements. Lyon (2004, p. 2) notes that a site inspection or familiarization (Fam) trip provides you with the opportunity to sample the destination or potential venue, with the aim of you being able to sell this back to your organization and recapture the experience for your delegates. He provides a useful handbook to assist this process.
Rogers (1998) suggests that there are a number of points to consider when shortlisting conference venues. These include: . the type of venue (hotel, conference centre, university, football stadia or stately homes) . the conference rooms and facilities available (including combination of room sizes and style of seating for the requirements of the event) . accommodation and leisure options (depending on residential requirements and opportunities for social activities) . an identifiable point of contact. As with many aspects of supplier selection, the Internet has had a significant effect on venue choice.
Using a search engine is often the first action in the investigation of a suitable venue. Some websites display a choice of venues once certain information (such as size of audience, approximate location and type of event) has been entered. The major hotels, conventions and exhibition centres, universities and purpose-built venues have websites to enable the matching of event requirements to venue characteristics. However, this method has the same limitations as those of using photos and brochures to assess a venue. The websites are a tool for selling the venue, not a technical description.
In addition, many suitable venues may not have an Internet presence. An Internet search will show only venues that expect to host events. If the event is truly special, the event venue may be part of that theme. A car park or a rainforest, for example, will not appear in a search for event venues. The final consideration when choosing an event is whether it requires a physical location at all. With the ongoing development of videoconferencing, and the extensive developments in the Internet, events can take place in ‘cyberspace’. With some events, e. g. usic concerts, the event takes place live in venue in the traditional manner, however, with the introduction of webcasting, a worldwide audience can view or experience the event simultaneously. In this instance, access to technological support and facilities, for example, a large bandwidth telephone line, will be a consideration. In other areas, for example, exhibitions and conferences, technology has been deployed in such a way that it may support the live event experience, through the website hosting supporting materials for visitors to view and in some cases interact with.
Relatively recent advances in Internet technology, together with faster telecommunication infrastructure, have enabled conferences to take place solely on Staging events 389 line, with delegates interacting, either visually through videoconferencing or through text with instant messaging. Exhibitions can take place in virtual exhibition venues, which can either be modelled on the live exhibition venue as a means of supporting the event experience or can take place solely in the virtual world without the boundaries of traditional venues and limited only by imagination and the available technology.
The value of such developments is only just beginning to be realized, with some commentators predicting the death of live events, whilst other, more enlightened observers view these developments as a further medium to support or enhance the live event experience. The venue contract will have specialist clauses, including indemnifying the venue against damages, personnel requirements and provision of security staff.
The contract can also contain the following elements:
- Security deposit: an amount, generally a percentage of the hiring fee, to be used for any additional work such as cleaning and repairs that result from the event.
- Cancellation: outlining the penalty for cancellation of the event and whether the hirer will receive a refund if the venue is rehired at that time.Access: including the timing of the opening and closing of the doors, and actual use of the entrances with controls to ensure only access to authorized areas.
- Late conclusion: the penalty for the event going overtime.
- House seats: These is the reserved free tickets for the venue management. Additions or alterations: the event may require some changes to the internal structures of the venue.
- Signage: this covers the signs of any sponsors and other advertising. Venue management approval may be required for all promotional material.
When hiring a venue, it is important to ascertain exactly what is included in the fee. For example, just because there were chairs and tables in the photo of the venue does not mean that they are included in the hiring cost.
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