Event Management Research Paper Starter

Event Management

This paper will take a comprehensive look at the field of event management, creating a profile of the growth of the event management industry as well as the outlook. It will also review some of the wide range of event types such as meetings, seminars, receptions and conventions. In the process, it will present an illustration of the strategies employed in the development of these types of events.

Keywords: Citywide; Convention; Event Planner; Meetings; Networking; Reception; Seminar

Overview

In 1969, four young men decided to invest one of the men's wealth into the creation of a recording studio and musician's retreat in upstate New York. Over time, that idea evolved into presenting a concert whose ticket proceeds would generate money for their institution. The notion was originally for a venue for about 50,000. While the idea seemed reasonable on the surface, the event quickly spiraled out of control. The towns in which the organizers sought to hold the event declined (and even banned) the concert planners the opportunity to host it within their town limits. The organizers had constant issues with vendors and other aspects of the event. Furthermore, the 50,000 expected attendees quickly spiraled into nearly 500,000. The concert festival went on, and at the end, the organizers were faced with 70 lawsuits and over a million dollars in debt. Yet, the Woodstock music festival became etched in American history (Rosenberg, 2009).

A look at Woodstock provides a glimpse into the complex and challenging industry known as event management. The creation, organization and implementation of any major event are an intricate undertaking, requiring the interconnection of a myriad of moving parts. In the modern 21st century business marketplace, however, it is also a vital component to a company's ability to project itself among its clients, employees and the general public.

This paper will take a comprehensive look at the field of event management, creating a profile of the growth of the event management industry as well as the outlook. It will also review some of the wide range of event types such as meetings, seminars, receptions and conventions. In the process, it will present an illustration of the strategies employed in the development of these types of events.

Planning Business Events

The development of such events as meetings, conventions, receptions and similar events requires a great deal of strategic planning. At the very base of the process is a simple question: In what way does the organization wish to convey a message or make an impression? Companies and corporations have certain goals as well as codes of professional behavior that project a certain image. Meeting planners will need to converse with the group to understand the manner in which the company wishes to present the program (as well as the budget used to meet this framework). Doing so assists the planner in proceeding according to a set of general guidelines.

This foundation helps the event planner choose the appropriate venue and build the program. At the next level, the event planner will locate the proper site for the event to take place. The venue may be a hotel, reception room, convention hall, conference room, or private room at a restaurant or a similar location. Understanding the event parameters will also enable the planner to determine the type of facilities that will be necessary for the event to proceed successfully; such as booth space, audio/visual technologies, computer capabilities and transportation resources.

The next phase in the planning of the event is the communications step. The planner will coordinate a public relations outreach about the event, in order to entice attendee participation. Although formal, paper invitations are also sent out to potential participants, e-mail invitations often represent an optimal vehicle for quick information distribution to a wide audience. This important step may also help the planner gauge the number of participants that plan to attend. As a result, the event planning process, including the date of the reception or meeting as well as the venue, may be altered to account for any change in numbers.

Concurrent with the communications are the logistical planning elements. In this arena, the planner will determine the application of relevant technology and lighting, room setup, staffing and labor, food and/or cocktail menus, vendors, check-in tables and booth configuration. The event planner will, at this stage, work consistently as a communications hub for the client and the venue staff to ensure that each detail is given attention and, where necessary, altered to meet the needs of the client. The planner will also work with the client to ensure that contracts are developed and signed so that there are no disruptions in the event's development phases.

Finally, the event itself demands careful management. The planner and the client will work to ensure that there are no last-minute issues with vendors or food, that the equipment is operating properly and all audio-visual presentation materials are prepared for the program, that signs and decorations are appropriately posted, that attendees are seated in the proper seats and that transportation to and from the event for guests is operating smoothly. The execution of the event is often just as complex as the event planning stages. In fact, given the heightened atmosphere and the fact that there is no more time to revise the program, it is arguably the most intense and emotionally draining stage of the event management process.

As demonstrated above, the field of event management requires that those who work within it manifest a number of important personal and professional qualifications. For example, an event manager must be able to handle multiple tasks in often intense environments. He or she must also demonstrate exceptional diplomatic skills, which are called into service when dealing with higher-level clients during both the development and implementation phases. Event managers must also be able to quickly comprehend the client's corporate philosophy, since the event will be a reflection of that ideology.

In light of the nature of the work performed in the field of event management, it is useful to next analyze the industry itself and how it operates.

Further Insights

The Event Management Industry

Event management spans across a broad range of industries and therefore, each manifestation is distinct. In many cases, the event management aspect of a company's activities is handled internally, either by an on-site event manager or by personnel who handle other tasks in addition to organizing such meetings. Then again, the event management industry continues to thrive in industrialized nations around the world.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 51,000 event planners in the United States in 2006. 39 percent of those jobs were held by those who worked in corporate and convention planning companies, while 27 worked in civic, religious or professional organizations. The BLS forecasts a 20 percent increase in the workforce in this industry over a 10-year period, a significant growth in comparison to other...

(The entire section is 3196 words.)