Event Management 18(1) Abstracts

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Event Management, Vol. 18, pp. 5–14
1525-9951/14 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/152599514X13883555341724
E-ISSN 1943-4308
Copyright © 2014 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Educating the 21st Century Event Management Graduate: Pedagogy, Practice, Professionalism, and Professionalization

Charles Bladen and James Kennell

University of Greenwich, Business School, Greenwich, UK

This article discusses whether event management can yet be classified as a bona fide profession, how staff working in the industry can be effectively professionalized, and how professional university education programs can be better designed to achieve this end. The article discusses the findings and limitations of some of the existing literature concerning professionalism within event management, and whether event management can yet be wholly described as “a profession” according to conventional definitions. The event management profession and event management education are discussed in terms of improving pedagogy in relation to the requirements of event industry practice. Finally the work concludes that the challenges of educating future event professionals require a rethink of events education so as to develop more reflective practice.

Key words: Event management; Education; Professionalism; Pedagogy; Professionalization; Events industry; Reflective practice

Address correspondence to James Kennell, University of Greenwich, Business School, Park Row, Greenwich, London SE10 9LS, UK. Tel: 0208 331 8000; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Event Management, Vol. 18, pp. 15–24
1525-9951/14 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/152599514X13883555341760
E-ISSN 1943-4308
Copyright © 2014 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Emerging Professionalism in the Event Industry: A Practitioner’s Perspective

Steve Brown

Tourism Department, School of Humanities and the Creative Arts, Flinders University of South Australia

Since the 1980s the event industry has seen unprecedented growth in the number of festivals and events that are staged. Parallel to this growth has been a rapid growth and development in the number of researchers and practitioners investigating and writing about festivals and events. This article is an exploration (and an Australian practitioner’s perspective) of the dynamics of the contemporary event industry as it strives to be recognized as a profession and the influences, impacts. and barriers that face the event practitioner seeking to professionalize. These influences, impacts and barriers include: the shift from an event management-predominant to an event design-predominant paradigm; the increasing priority for economic event outcomes; the advent of an overarching risk assessment and management regime; and the role of the practitioner academic.

Key words: Festivals; Events; Event design; Event management; Professionalism; Practitioner academics

Address correspondence to Associate Professor Steve Brown, Head of Tourism, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001, Australia. Tel: +61 8 8201 5905; Fax: +61 8 8201 3635; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Event Management, Vol. 18, pp. 25–37
1525-9951/14 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/152599514X13883555341814
E-ISSN 1943-4308
Copyright © 2014 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Event Management Education and Professionalism: The View From the Trenches

Jeff Jiang* and Steven Wood Schmader†1

*Department of Recreation, Hospitality, and Parks Management Department, California State University, Chico, CA, USA
†International Festivals & Events Association, Boise, ID, USA

Little research effort has examined the perspective of those who work in the complex and rapidly growing field of event management on whether they perceive their own field as a profession, and what role event management education should play in the professionalization of the field. The purpose of this article is twofold: 1) it examines whether event management can be indeed considered as a profession based upon existing literature and the attributes of professionalism as defined by those in the events industry; and 2) it provides a unique perspective from the viewpoint of current industry leaders on whether event management is a profession, what characteristics constitute event management professionalism, and the role of event management education (academic vs. professional) in affecting the professionalization of event management. Seventeen event management industry leaders, from five continents and seven countries, provided responses to an electronic survey. The results indicate that while noticeable efforts for event management to become a fully recognized profession have been made, additional work is still needed. Namely, a joint effort is required by both industry and academia to identify commonalities and design the event management education system to better address the industry’s rapidly increasing professional development needs.

Key words: Education; Event; Management; Profession; Professionalism; Professionalization

1CFEE (Certified Festival and Event Executive).
Address correspondence to Jeff Jiang, Department of Recreation, Hospitality, and Parks Management Department, California State University, Chico, CA 95929-0560, USA. Tel: 1-530-898-5527; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Event Management, Vol. 18, pp. 39–52
1525-9951/14 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/152599514X13883555341841
E-ISSN 1943-4308
Copyright © 2014 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

The Professionalization of Festival Organizations: A Relational Approach to Knowledge Management

Raphaela Stadler, Simone Fullagar, and Sacha Reid

Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia

In this article we examine the emergence of knowledge management (KM) within the professionalization of festivals and events. The growing complexity of festival management places pressure on organizations to effectively manage “knowledge” in order to succeed. Knowledge is commonly conceptualized as information that can be stored or itemized through checklists. We offer an alternative conceptualization of KM as a relational construction shaped by the organizational culture and structure. We develop this relational approach through a case study of the Queensland Music Festival (QMF) to examine the construction of KM roles and responsibilities. Our ethnographic research and qualitative analysis identifies how QMF implicitly utilizes chief knowledge officer, knowledge broker, and knowledge worker roles. These roles were successfully performed over a short duration and yet they were not defined or explicitly stated. We discuss how the culture and spatial organization of work teams contributed to a collective understanding of the value of sharing and creating knowledge. With growing professionalization we argue that festival organizations will increasingly develop a more self-conscious awareness of the significance of KM language and practice. The findings will enable festival managers to better understand how KM processes are embedded within an organizational culture and contribute to organizational learning.

Key words: Knowledge management; Festival organizations; Professionalization; Organizational culture; POD structure

Address correspondence to corresponding Raphaela Stadler, Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, Griffith University, 170 Kessels Rd, Nathan, Australia. Tel: +61 7 3735 5491; Fax: +61 7 3735 6743; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Event Management, Vol. 18, pp. 53–64
1525-9951/14 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/152599514X13883555341887
E-ISSN 1943-4308
Copyright © 2014 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Business Events and Friendship: Leveraging the Sociable Legacies

Carmel Foley, Deborah Edwards, and Katie Schlenker

University of Technology, Sydney, Lindfield, NSW, Australia

Business events are celebrated for their contributions to community and industry. They are understood to be shared social contexts in which people meet to advance knowledge, sell products, and network. Less celebrated and, arguably, less understood is that business events provide a context for the development of friendships. In 2011 an online survey was conducted with the delegates of five international business events held in Sydney, Australia in the period 2009–2011. The survey was designed to investigate business legacies of the events (such as investment opportunities, research collaborations) rather than sociable legacies. However, a surprising number of references to friendship were made in the “additional comments” sections of the questionnaire. Reflecting on this finding, this article argues that friendships forged at business events contribute to, respectively: the well-being of delegates, association membership levels, conference attendance, retention of personnel in the profession, successful research and professional collaborations, and creativity and innovation in the sector. Business event planners can maximize opportunities for sociable outcomes among delegates by designing warm and inviting event spaces that facilitate interaction, and by providing social space for the development of relationships, optimal conditions for sociability, and opportunities for play to stimulate creativity and build community.

Key words: Business events; Legacies; Friendship; Sociability; Play; Venue design

Address correspondence to Dr. Carmel Foley, University of Technology, Sydney, PO Box 222, Lindfield, NSW 2070, Australia. Tel: 02 9514 5102; Fax: 02 9514 5195; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Event Management, Vol. 18, pp. 65–74
1525-9951/14 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/152599514X13883555341931
E-ISSN 1943-4308
Copyright © 2014 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

The Motives of Ambassadors in Bidding for International Association Meetings and Events

Leonie Lockstone-Binney,* Paul Whitelaw,* Martin Robertson,* Olga Junek,* and Ian Michael†

*College of Business, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
†College of Business, Zayed University, Dubai, UAE

As destinations contest the rights to host international association-based meetings and events, competitive points of difference in the bidding process can mean the success or loss of a bid. One of these points of difference has been the growth of ambassador programs worldwide. These programs consist of influential, high-profile individuals, representing their particular industry body or association. Ambassadors work together with destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and meetings/conference professionals in putting forward bids to their association for future events. To understand the motivations of ambassadors in bidding for international meetings and events, an exploratory study employing an online survey was conducted with ambassadors from three programs, one based in Australia, one based in Southeast Asia, and one in the Middle East. The results provide a demographic profile of ambassadors and highlight their motives for actively bidding for international meetings and events. The study adds to knowledge on a topic for which limited research has been undertaken—that of the bidding process for business events—and expands understanding of how ambassador programs, together with DMOs, can contribute to a professional bidding process for globally roaming international association meetings and events.

Key words: Ambassador programs; Bidding; Business events; Destination marketing organizations (DMOs)

Address correspondence to Leonie Lockstone-Binney, College of Business, Victoria University, Footscray Campus, Melbourne, Victoria 8001, Australia. Tel: +61 3 9919 5361; Fax: +61 3 9919 4931; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Event Management, Vol. 18, pp. 75–88
1525-9951/14 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/152599514X13883555341977
E-ISSN 1943-4308
Copyright © 2014 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

The Gran Fondo and Sportive Experience: An Exploratory Look at Cyclists’ Experiences and Professional Event Staging

Graham Berridge

University of Surrey, London, UK

There has recently been a significant upsurge in popularity in cycling with not only increased participation evident but also new participants taking up cycling, especially in the UK, parts of Europe, US, and Australia. The branch of cycling that has witnessed the largest growth, in both numbers of events and participants, is the “gran fondo” or “sportive” cycle event. However, very little is known about either the organization of these events or the cultural experiences of cyclists participating in them. The focus of this article is to provide an exploratory narrative of the characteristics of a gran fondo or sportive, explored via a participant observation approach and interpreted through the use of experience theory. Drawing upon the exploratory stage of a larger “experiential ethnography” of cyclists at these types of events, the article presents observation findings from 12 event days to identify key characteristics of these events as experienced by participants. These are understood and contextualized within a discussion around the nature and concept of event experiences and related to the need for professional event organizers to identify experience components by applying models of experience within a management framework.

Key words: Gran fondo; Sportive; Cycle events; Event experience; Event management

Address correspondence to Graham Berridge, Senior Tutor, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK (as of April 1, 2014). E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it