By Greg Richards and Robert Palmer, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 2010, 516 pp., ISBN 978-0-7506-6987-0
The book Eventful cities - Cultural Management and Urban Revitalisation discusses the subject of events, starting from motives for event development to event organisation, management and global trends in the urban event market. It is organised in twelve chapters.
Chapter 1 starts with the motives for organizing events, referring to events as means of creating benefits in social, cultural, economic and other aspects. Such benefits finally result in making the cities or regions more attractive and liveable. The following chapters address the event organisation. The author suggests that the events should reflect and further strengthen the city's or region's identity and in that sense the local history, space and local talents are regarded as a source for first ideas and concepts. Once the vision of the event is clear, the event should be given a structure in a form of an event programme. The event programme design is analysed in details with various examples putting in relation different types of publics, events, resources, themes and so on.
In the planning phase of the event, the authors suggest to analyse all possible outcomes and impacts of the event, because these benefits will in the end motivate the stakeholders to participate in the event. The book also gives a number of methods how to objectively assess the outcomes and impacts of an event once the event is finished. Special attention is given to the organizational structure of the event - the event leadership and the stakeholders – analysing the different competences the leadership should have in order to successfully manage the event. Just some of the competences should be in the field of politics, economy, finance, social programmes, education, business, environment, etc. Besides management of individual events, the focus is placed on the strategic management needed to assemble the event programme as a whole. The book also gives a list of possible event stakeholders, stressing the importance of local residents as stakeholders. In order to make the even successful, not only does the event need to capture the imagination and attention of the public, professionals and the media, but it needs to create certain benefits and/or advantages for the local residents.
One of the key issues – the event funding – is analysed in chapter 6 addressing the possible resources in money and in kind, starting from private sector sponsorships to public sector funding. Once a budget has been established, effective financial management needs to be applied to ensure that planned budgets are not exceeded. After securing the finances, the event needs to be marketed, which is the subject of chapter 7. This chapter examines the marketing, promotion and communication activities of event programmes, particularly in the context of their wider role in creating an image for a city or region. Chapter 8 gives special attention to all types of audiences and publics as it is crucial to adapt the event programme to the potential public. Identifying target group for events is one task, but reaching and convincing a specific public to attend a particular event presents significant challenges. The final chapters are focused on the event programme sustainability, they discuss keys to success as well as trends which might be important for the eventful city in future.
All topics are analysed using a number of examples, both from European cities and from other parts of the world. This volume intends to provide guidance for those involved in designing, running, funding, evaluating and studying cities and their events, for those who are interested in the board process both of cultural management and urban revitalisation, as these relate to events in cities.
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