Topic #4: Financial and Human Resource Management

Reflect upon an event that you have recently conducted or attended.  Has the event considered all possible revenue generation and cost reduction methods? What could they have done to improve their bottom line financial profit or reduce their loss?

This past year I was part of a team traveling to Haiti for a mission trip and we had various events to plan for fund-raising before we made the trip.  One of the events we planned was a concert by a locally known Christian band.  We provided snacks and a few beverages for the people who attended the concert. To raise revenue and reduce costs, the band generously played for free with no staging, lighting, or production costs.  The only money they requested was that the team pay for their transportation costs to and from the event.  Since we were able to use a room on Ball State’s property, we didn’t have to pay for use of the venue.  We put numerous flyers up for the concert, made a Facebook event to invite people, and were able to get an article in the newspaper written about the event and our cause. While we were excited about the concert and expected a good turnout, not many people attended the event.  We were expecting around 100-150 people, and roughly 30 people showed up.  We did end up making a $15 profit though, so at least we didn’t end up in the negative!

Improvements we could have made to increase attendance and revenue: add a greater incentive to come such as a raffle, an auction, or a chance to win a prize with buying a ticket.

Develop a draft budget for a major event.

LOLLAPALOOZA BUDGET

QUESTIONS FROM READING

1. What are the limitations of running an event by the budget? Do many events such as the arts festivals always come in under budget? What can lead to drastic changes in the budget?

Some limitations involved in budgeting: loss of flexibility of changes close to the event, a small change in event plan can cause huge changes in the budget, and possibilities of more money needing to be spent on fixed costs such as security, venue, staff salaries when you want more money put into the entertainment, atmosphere or decoration.

Arts festivals do not always come in under budget, but seeing as they rely heavily on unreliable variables such as attendance and value of art performances, art pieces, etc, they have a higher possibility of coming in under budget.

Unexpected problems close to event can lead to drastic and sometimes detrimental changes in the budget. An example of an unexpected problem could be the catering company you’re using suddenly gets shut down for being under health code restrictions.  Because of this, you have to switch caterers and the only company that could adhere to your needs in time is the most expensive company in the city or state.

2. What are the financial benefits to the each of the event stakeholders?

Event stakeholders:

participants-revenue for event itself including concessions and merchandise, surrounding businesses and hotels, revenue for sponsors of the event

administrators-income made from running the event

employees of the event-salary and hourly wage income, revenue from concession purchases and merchandise

witnesses of the event- revenue for sponsors of the event

3. Identify the cost centres and revenue sources for:

a) a celebrity poetry reading for a charity

cost centres include staging and possibly travel, revenue sources include tickets bought by fans and supporters of the charity, publicity and press coverage of the event

b) a rural car auction with antique cars

cost centres include catering and staging of the event, revenue sources include sponsors of the cars, publicity, concessions, car fans

c) a corporate Christmas party

cost centres include entertainment and catering, revenue sources include participation in the event(possibly an entrance or cover fee for everyone coming)

d) a hot-air balloon festival

cost centres include staging, travel expenses, and revenue sources include ticket sales, concessions, sponsors

4. Why is cash flow of such importance to event management? Can an event be run on credit?

Cash flow is important because from a management perspective, you need to know exactly where all of the money is going to, at what time and how much. An event can be run on credit when money is paid up front to run the event and then all the revenue from the event pays for what was paid before the event took place.

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Topic #3: Event Planning: Conceptualism and Project Management

1.  Can the community support the size of the event I am planning?

Indianapolis is the 14th largest city in the United States, has a population of roughly 1 million, and is a magnet for football fans because of the success of its home team, the Indianapolis Colts. For these reasons, and many more, the city can definitely support the size of the Super Bowl.

2. What will be the economic impact of hosting the event?

Indianapolis will experience a huge economic impact both negatively and positively (but hopefully more the latter). The service industry of Indianapolis will be greatly affected by aspects such as hotels, transportation, restaurants, night life, etc. As well as gaining revenue from this monumentous event, the city will also spend a great deal to stage the event with costs such as security, construction of hotels, convention centers, temporary stages and sites for concerts, quality treatment for the teams and their administrations and much more.

3. Are there other events on at the same time?

While the Super Bowl is a huge event for the football fans of America and around the world, the game is not the only event going on at the time. Events, festivals and celebrations occur every day, somewhere in the world.

4. What cultural issues might affect interest in the event?

There are some who strongly disagree with the attention, time and money put into the NFL in the United States.  Cultural groups like these could certainly have an effect on some people’s interest in the event if they staged some sort of protest or march in the city at the time of the Super Bowl.

5. Who is my target market? What is it about this market that will ensure support for my event?

The target market for the Super Bowl is football fans, whether they be hardcore fans, or fair-weather fans, or fans simply of the Super Bowl celebration, they are the target market. The NFL has a huge year-round following in the U.S., with the Super Bowl being the main and biggest event, therefore support is inevitably ensured.

6. Do I have sufficient resources to professionally promote and operate my event?

The city of Indianapolis has fortunately held mega events before such as the NCAA Championships and the Gen Con Convention.  From past events and experience, the city has proved they can sufficiently host the event in a professional way.

7. Has a similar event been conducted before? If so, how did it go?

The Super Bowl has been held 43 previous times in various cities around the U.S. While all have hosted this event in different ways, in the end the event comes off well and with positive light (for the winning team at least).

8. Does the event traditionally attract interest?

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest annual nationwide events in the U.S. Interest is guaranteed.

9. What is the attitude to the event of the various levels of public sector agencies that I will be dealing with?

There will be varying degrees of positive attitude toward the event by agencies within the city. An environmental agency for example, might not be as positive about the event if they predict a negative environmental impact made during the event.  Religious agencies who disagree with the level of football obsesssion occuring in America might be negative toward the event as well.

10. Are the public sector agencies supportive of hosting events in their communities?

Most will be supportive because of the great impact this event will have on the city and its reputation. Since Indianapolis is “on the map” for hosting prestigious events, the agencies are definitely supportive of hosting events such as these in the Indianapolis community.

11. Are the participants, teams or entertainers that will constitute the event, available, affordable and willing to do so?

Yes, without a doubt, all of the above mentioned groups are willing and able to put the event on in the best manner possible.

12. What special events are currently available that my city or sporting organization could bid for? What lead time do these events have?

Traveling Shakespeare festivals occur every summer in the U.S. With many parks and facilities available in Indianapolis, the city would definitely be a wonderful bid for a Shakespeare festival.  Lead time for an event like this would probably be over a year’s time.

FIELD TRIP: LISMORE GREYHOUNDS

1. How/where does the Lismore track fit in the overall scheme?

The Lismore race is small in attendance, but a solid part of the overall picture of greyhound racing in New South Wales, being as it is televised and watched by many more than it is attended.

2. Would an event such as the Lismore greyhounds have an economic impact? Why? How?

Seeing as the event takes place every week, the economic impact of the race would not be very big, affecting the venue of the event itself and maybe a small impact on alcohol companies.

3. What other impacts would the Lismore greyhounds have? How?

Cultural impacts could include disrespect to dogs by dog lovers and animal rights groups. Political impacts could be whether or not a politician agrees or disagrees with the dog racing community.

IMPACTS OF EVENTS

4. What planning steps would be used to put together the Lismore greyhounds?

Steps such as finding a venue, hiring security, hiring personnel to run the event, making sure enough dogs are participating, correct marketing procedures and ensuring attendance would all be factors of the planning process.

5. What did you like most about the Lismore greyhounds?

I enjoyed the “first experience” feeling I had at the event.

6. What did you like least about the Lismore greyhounds?

I thought the pace of the races was too slow. I couldn’t help but thinking about the harsh treatment of the dogs instead of focusing on the race.  I thought the venue could have been cleaner as well.

7. How would YOU improve the event?

I would have reduced the time between races. I would have set up a better race watching area, instead of having more tables behind the complex.  I would have made some renovations to the venue.  I would have included some music to play in the stands between races.

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Topic #2: Event Impacts and Strategic Planning

1. Describe examples of events whose needs have been perceived to conflict with those of their host communities. As the event manager, how would you have resolved these conflicting needs?

Springfest, a music festival held in Muncie annually has seen conflicts with the community in the past.  The event manager and the other facilitators of the event experienced some miss-communication with the property owner about how long the event was planned to last.  The public was told it would last from Friday to Sunday night, but come Sunday morning, the property owner was demanding everyone to leave the premises, saying the event was over.  Another example is an event like Woodstock, where the community was not prepared, not big enough, and not sufficient to take care of a huge amount of people that participated in the event.  As the event manager, I would have been specifically clear with the property owners and communties on what was needed to make the event happen and have some sort of written contract to ensure that everything happened smoothly.

2. Identify an event that you know has been marred by social problems or bad crowd behavior. As the event manager, what would you have done to manage the situation and improve the outcomes of the event? In your answer, describe both the planning of the event and possible on-the-spot responses.

The Black Expo, held downtown Indianapolis every year is a celebration of black heritage and culture.  While it is supposed to be honoring the history of black people in the state, the event is notorious for fights, shooting, and gang altercations.  This year, there was a record 9 shootings in one night of the weekend long event.  As the event manager, I would have increased security by much more, especially since the event is known for this behavior.  The expo takes place in a small park downtown, where all participants are confined to a small area.  As the manager, I would have planned to spread the event out in a wider space to reduce possible tension and fights during the expo.  In terms of on-the-spot responses, I would have hired under cover policemen to monitor a situation and subdue a fight in this case.  I also would have a limit to how many shootings or violent fights break out, and shut the event down when it really got out of hand.

3. Describe an event that you believe was not sufficiently responsive to community attitudes and values.  What steps could the community take to improve the situation?

The Broad Ripple Brewfest is an all day beer festival held near my house in Indianapolis.  The area this event is held in, called Broad Ripple, is a village area about the size of Lennox’s village. It has restaurants, shops, parks, bars, etc.  During the summer weekends, a lot of families travel here to spend the day doing activities and such.  The Brewfest disrupts the family atmosphere that Broad Ripple has built for the day time of the weekends.  Many intoxicated people walk around the village, causing havoc and drunken scenes.  Many think it’s not appropriate for this event to occur where so many families and kids are trying to enjoy their day.  To fix this problem, the community could hold some sort of “family activity day” in one of the nearby parks, or recreation centers in an attempt to limit the amount of kids in the village that day.

4. Select a major event that has been held in your region and identify as many environmental impacts as you can.  Evaluate whether the overall ecological impact on the host community was positive or negative.  Recommend steps that could be taken to improve the balance.

The overall environmental impact of the Indy 500 is fairly large.  The race itself, and all of the preliminary races that lead up to the final race cause a big amount of pollution.  All the traffic of people attending the race causes pollution too.  The “infield” of the track is a big grassy area where lots of race fans camp, party, tailgate, etc, causing damage to the lawn.  There are also numerous fields surrounding the track that get destroyed by the parties occuring in the nights leading up to the race.  Steps that could be taken to improve this situation: instigate a more strict recycling policy, limit the amount of cars allowed in the infield, provide more public transportation to and from the event to reduce traffic.

5. Select an event that you have been involved in as a participant or close observer.  Identify as many impacts of the event as you can, both positive and negative.

Broad Ripple Art Fair happens every summer in Broad Ripple Village.  More than 25,000 people attend the weekend long event each year.  Positive impacts include recognition and profit for many local artists, shared experience for a huge variety of people attending the event, sense of pride for the Broad Ripple community, celebration of art in many forms such as sculpture, dance, music, painting, pottery, and the list goes on and on.  Negative impacts include traffic obstruction for the surrounding neighborhoods (including mine), parking in illegal areas causing altercations with policemen, damage to the baseball diamond and fields used for the event, and overall crowding of the village area for an entire weekend.

a) I believe the positive impacts do outweigh the negative because of the great atmosphere at the fair and the apprecation and celebration of so many local artists and art groups.

b) A lot of traffic regulators are hired for the weekend.  To maximize the positive, a lot of themed and fun marketing is done for the event to promote attendance.

c) As the event manager, I would have encouraged other means of transportation, such as bike riding to the village to reduce traffic problems.

6. List and describe what you consider to be the main reasons why governments support events.

  • to promote their communities, cities or states for tourism
  • to gain recognition for their state, city, etc
  • to put off a sense of participation, pride, and involvement for their governmental body
  • to help local businesses and markets succeed

7. Obtain three event reports that have been compiled to events in your area or state.  Compare and contrast these reports in terms of a) the methods used to compile them and b) how they have been used to communicate and promote the outcomes of the event.

  • Review of Lollapalooza Music Festival in Chicago. Methods used to compile them: the reviewer attended and participated in the event.  Because he was there, he was able to effectively assess what could be done to improve the festival, such as keeping the venue size, limiting capacity, and limiting the number of bands who play.

http://blogcritics.org/music/article/concert-review-lollapalooza-music-festival-2010/

CASE STUDY QUESTIONS

1. Why is it important for impacts of the Sydney 2000 Olympics Games to be measured?

The impacts need to be measured to ensure that they meet the costs put in to the games.

2. Who should measure the impacts of such mega-events?

The event committees need to be in charge of most of the impact measurements along with the local authorities of the location and its communities. I also believe the government should be involved somewhat in evaluation and improving the impacts made by such mega-events.

3. When and how can impacts best be measured?

Impacts can best be measured after the event is done and over, starting from about a month after the event has come to a close to a year or 2 years after the event is completely over.

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Topic #1: Event Context

Questions on Page 29:

1. Why are special events created? What purpose do they serve in society?

Special events are created in order for people to commemorate an occasion out of the norm of daily life, whether it be in their personal life, spiritual life, or on a broader scale in their community or nation.  Special events are created also when an aim for change on a political, social, or cultural level is at large. Special events can act as checkpoints, or turning points in an individual’s life and in society.  Special events can occur at many different levels of size and content, and for this reason, they tend to serve a variety of different purposes within society today.

2. Do special events mirror changes in society, or do they have a role in creating and changing values? Give examples to illustrate your answer.

Special events mirror changes in society. This characteristic is evident by the parallelism between changes in society and special events, especially occurring in the 1970’s here in Australia.  With the “new age” movement, growth of multiculturalism, and the community arts movement all causing changes in thoughts, beliefs and practices of the people, special events took on a different look with festivals and carnivals more commonly occurring.

3. Why have special events emerged so strongly in recent years in Australia?

With the growth of festivals and multicultural gatherings, such as the Aquarius Festival held in Nimbin in the 1970’s, special events have given themselves a larger presence in Australian life in recent years.  Australians enjoy their festivals and have begun to make festivals an integral part of their lives, using them as a means to celebrate whenever they get the chance.

4. What are the key political, cultural and social trends that determine the current climate of events in Australia? How would you expect these trends to influence the nature of events in coming years?

Key trends that are influencing the climate of events today in Australia include the progression of the sports industry, the rising tourism industry, and the overall rapid globalization of markets and communication in the world, evident here in Australia.  As the world moves to an era of making everything bigger and better, I believe the event industry will mimic the same pattern.  Because of globalization, the industry will grow and Australia will rise to the level of making events an epic part of society.

5. Identify an event in your city or region that has the capacity to be a hallmark event. Give your reasons for placing it in this category.

Growing up in Indianapolis, Indiana, I was exposed to a world class event pretty much from the time I was born. I am talking about the Indianapolis 500, the “greatest spectacle in racing.” The annual race attracts roughly 500,000 people to the event. There is no question that this event can be classified as a hallmark event.  Indianapolis is known across the country, and world as a racing capital.  The name of the event itself, “Indy 500,” as it is often called, indicates the location of the race, making the city synonymous with the event.

6. Examine the structure of the event industry in your area and identify local examples of the components outlined in this chapter.

Lake Ainsworth is an interesting venue because of its many sides to event hosting.  First of all, the centre hosts us, a group of American college students to stay on the property and use the facilities at our leisure.  As the centre is also a camp for kids, they host a variety of programs for kids in the community to be active and learn.  Not only do they host programs for kids, but Lake Ainsworth additionally hosts events like the VELO Rally that happened this past weekend.  Events like these are organized by an event management group on the grounds.  Venue management must also occur here at Lake Ainsworth, as the property is decent in size and requires a good amount of maintenance.

7. Do you agree with the attributes and knowledge areas required by event managers identified by the studies in this chapter? Create a list of your own attributes and skills based on these listings.

I find accordance with the studies done for the chapter on attributes and knowledge required of event managers.  The studies show that participants thought that legal issues were deemed less important than many other issues. This area is one I believe should be toward the top of the list, because if for some reason something the manager decides to do is against the law, then the whole operation could potentially be shut down.

Attributes and skills I have aquired over my experiences include:

  • positive attitude
  • adaptivity to changes and challenges
  • determination
  • organizational skills
  • leadership skills
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