Sample Paper on Contemporary Issues: Event impacts and legacies

Events have environmental, economic, political, and social cultural impacts. Social cultural impacts brought about by events include solidarity within the community, social reconciliation, and social pride. Allen et.al 2011, illustrates how the citizens of Geelong gained a sense of pride after their team won the AFL premiership. Also, when an event is hosted within a community, the particular community prides in having the even within their border. Events are used to bring together warring groups when the groups participate in fun activities that promote peace.   For example, a soccer match brings about plyers and funs from different parts of the world. Soccer is a global game that everyone identifies with and any cultural and political differences are set aside in the spirit of solidarity during a game. On the negative, large social gatherings might lead to crime such as theft due to overcrowding. Thus, it is crucial for the hosting community to have in place measures for crowd control to reduce incidences of crime. It is important to note the bigger the event, the higher the risk of crime and other negative impacts such as accidents.

Politically, the events are a means of attracting large crowds for political courses and messaging. According to Allen et.al most events usually receive media coverage and politicians use them to communicate their agenda even to the non-attendees of the events. Politicians use the events to build their profiles especially if there is an upcoming political event such as elections. Some events are international attracting different nationalities. Governments use such platforms to build positive international relations with countries that would impact their economy and diplomacy positively.  For example, the cohosting of the soccer world cup in 2002 by Japan and Korea promoted cooperation between the two nations and opened doors for further engagements in different sectors of the economy. However, because events attract people of different political views, it is very easy to invoke anger and negative feelings among the crowd, which may have severe consequences such as stampedes, fighting, and racism. Therefore political figures should focus on passing positive messages during large social events for the good of the country.

Events are a brilliant way of showcasing the host community’s environmental heritage such as beaches, exotic trees, and unique scenery such as waterfalls. The environmental heritages are communicated about during a large event to attract tourism which leads to economic development through paid tours. There are other forms of environmental impacts such as noise pollution, environmental degradation, and littering. According to Allen et.al it is crucial for the local authorities of where an event is to be hosted to assess the event to determine the possible impacts it could have on the environment. They should have in place measures to control noise pollution, and to manage waste. However, if the risks to the environment are greater than the benefits, then the local authorities should cancel the event or invest in infrastructure that will protect the environment as well as the host community.

Although an event is costly to plan for and to host, it equally brings profits that can be reinvested back into the host community’s economy. Governments use such opportunities to promote foreign investment and to showcase business opportunities. For example, during the Olympics held in Sydney, 60 international business conferences were held in the city with over 500 world business leaders attended business promotional meetings as well.

The Auckland Arts Festival is an event that takes place every year and brings together participants from all over New Zealand. The festival includes Spanning theatre, dance, music, cabaret, circus, family shows and visual art. The festival has social-cultural impacts as a result of the diversity during the festivals. Different communities in New Zealand present their pieces of art which are celebrated by everyone. The festivals also plays a role of distracting people from their day to day schedules. According to the eventfinda article, when one attends the festivals they are transported out of the ordinary into parallel worlds created by globally significant artists working in fresh and thrilling ways (Eventfinda, Auckland Arts Festival 2019, 2019).

Waiheke Jazz, Art & Music Festival, is a music festival that takes place every April in Auckland. The festival attracts a crowd of all ages and diversity and thus promotes social cohesion. According to eventfinda, people have to pay up to $60 to attend the festival. Also, different food vendors are allowed to sell their food during the event  (Eventfinda, 2019). Therefore, the festivals has economic impacts in the city because it involves different stakeholders who end up gaining financially to reinvest back into the economy.

 

Question two: Why Cities Need to be Eventful

Many historical cities were built as a result of festivals such as Greek agora and Roman Forum. From the book eventful cities, Eventful Cities: Cultural Management and Urban Revitalization, cities have to be eventful for different crucial reasons. Historical cities such as Rome and Greece, embraced festivities throughout the year as a way of celebrating the people’s heritage and culture. These events gave the people a sense of identity. Cities find pride in being identified as cities of festivities. Cities use these festivals to build a cultural economy and to revitalize. For example, Milwaukee and Sacramento are two American cities, along with some 30 others, where being ‘cities of festivals’ has become a prime element of their destination marketing throughout the year. Also, the second largest city in Mexico, Guadalajara, has similarly positioned itself as both national and festival centre. These festivals push urban development through trading activities. In history, urbanization is said to be pushed by factors such as trade, transport, and agriculture. Festivals attract crowds from all over the globe to celebrate a people’s culture. While celebrating, the guests will rent accommodation rooms, buy and consume the local food, use the local transport, and even tour the city’s tourist sites. All those activities translate to a wholesome impact in the city’s economy. Also, festival activities have led to the establishment of museums and cultural centers which are visited regularly by both locals and foreigners.

City life can be overwhelming given the busy life and the high cost of living. Therefore events in cities play the role of distracting the people from their busy lives. Once in a while it is important to forget about the day’s struggles and just be happy.  During the industrial period, life had become so busy with new industries such as the textile, and steel industries creating mass employment in the cities. However, during such moments the church and the historical royalties used the events to support their positions of power and to defend the existing social order.

Auckland’s Major Events Strategy 2018–2025, was launched in 2018, to direct the development of Auckland’s visitor economy. Auckland’s strategy is similar to Richard’s and Palmer’s eventful cities in that it sought to promote economic growth, tourism, social cohesion, and regional identity through events (Auckland, Tourism, Events, and Economic Development, 2018).  The strategy projects that during major events, visitors will be compelled to visit other tourist attraction centers and thus increase the industry’s revenue. Richard and Palmer 2010, identified cities that have been in established as festival cities and the benefits brought about by that branding. Similarly, Auckland’s strategy, foresees events play a key role in promoting the Auckland narrative and showing visitors what makes Auckland unique.it is this uniqueness that creates regional identity. Today, it is easier to promote the culture of Auckland given the advanced communications systems which include media coverage, and social media. Such communication strategies will play a key role in attracting relevant crowds to the city and establishing the events in people’s minds. People appreciate consistency and once these events occur regularly a regional identity will be fostered and their cultural heritage will be strengthened.

Palmer and Robert talk of people using events to distract themselves from busy working schedules especially during the industrial era. Auckland’s strategy defines it as live ability. The ability of people to come together during an event to socialize and to have fun. The strategy goes ahead to include monitoring measures to ensure that every attendee is satisfied and happy. The strategy suggests to use measures such as attendee numbers, attendee general satisfaction, and attendee direct opinions to determine the impact of the events on their social life. Auckland’s strategy further projects to host events that leave legacies once they are over. Such legacies include lasting infrastructure such as renovated sports stadium. Palmer and Robert talked of museums that were established as a result of festivals.

Auckland’s strategy has also considered the changing world of diverse careers and thus proposes that events should encourage volunteering of young professionals. Events present numerous opportunities for various careers in sports, event planning and management, catering, communication, and engineering among others.  As a result events will play a role in having a skilled workforce that will drive the future economy. Just like Robert and Palmer, the strategy recognizes that events play a significant role in urban development and sustainability. The strategy proposes that Major events must not just be a priority of the events agency but of the broader region, with co-operation between the Council group, local boards, transport agencies, venues and all other relevant partners • Major events are part of the region’s wider event landscape • Wherever possible events should be planned to complement one another.

 

Question three: Accessibility, Inclusion, and Diversity in Critical Event Studies

In this book, Rebecca Finkel et.al 2018, analyze different types of events ranging from political, sports, cultural, and conferencing events to show the importance of accessibility, and inclusion. Of the four parts in their book, this paper will compare and contrast two chapters concerning sports and conferencing. In sports events, Finkel et.al focus on the Rio Paralympic event in 2016. Paralympics are sports by athletes who are physically challenged and they hold similar magnitude as the Olympics. Paralympics started after World War II when Dr. Ludwig Guttman recognized the role of physiotherapy in motivating the soldiers who were disabled during the war. The first international Paralympic event happened in 1960 in Rome and ever since it has been conducted every four years just like the Olympic games.  In 2016, the Paralympics were hosted in Rio Brazil from 7th to 18th June 2016. It was the first time the event to be hosted in a South American country.

The Paralympic event promoted inclusion through hosting it in a newly industrialized country like Brazil, and among a minority population of South Americans. However, the country faced financial constraints while hosting the event due to the poor sale of tickets. It is important to note that events are successful when all the impacts are balanced. Whereas the Rio Paralympics attained success in inclusion, it failed badly in economic impacts. The government ended up investing in the event using a debt and reducing the money that would be used on volunteers. The event attracted international attention, promoted the Latino identity, and promoted tourism, but left the city swimming in debts. Events are supposed to boost a city’s economy and to leave it with long lasting legacies.

On the other hand, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games engaged volunteers to offer their services during the entire event. Just like the Auckland strategy that proposes to engage volunteers in the spirit of career development, so did the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games that used volunteers to a large extent to measure the volunteer’s and the attendees’ satisfaction levels in participating in the event. The findings showed that people’s confidence levels, wellbeing, and optimism increased as a result of volunteering in such a big event. Event literature strongly advocates for the significance of legacy impact of events. Therefore, involving volunteers in events could have longer lasting social impacts and legacies.

A different chapter in this book talks about measuring accessibility in MICE events. Finkel argues that accessibility to any conference is linked to the accessibility to conference venue, the equipment and services within it. In planning for a conference event there are measures in place to ensure total accessibility for all potential users of the conference facilities. Accessibility measures not only include accessibility on the day of the conference but also during planning. While planning, it is paramount to consider the physical needs, communication and apprehension needs, as well as the expectations of potential users. Physical considerations include the location of the conference building, the characteristics of the building, and the directions to the venue. During planning, the planners should ensure that they communicate this information with the participants. Also, the physical building should accommodate the needs of all participants including the physically disabled individuals. This will ensure accessibility to all is achieved.   Another form of accessibility is communication. The planners should communicate about the event in internationally accepted standards and through communication channels that accommodate everyone such as brochures, posters, on official website, and through social media. Total accessibility also includes social inclusion. During the entire value chain of conferencing, people of different social standings and cultural backgrounds should be engaged to ensure inclusion. For example, if the planners plan to promote volunteering during planning, they should ensure that the workforce is diverse. Diversity fosters a feeling of ownership of the event and influences the aftermath of the event. Total accessibility includes what happens after the conference ends which includes feedback mechanisms that all participants can access to give their opinions. It also includes sharing the conference’s deliverables with the participants and keeping up the conversation around the topic of discussion to drive for another engagement.

From the three events discussed in the above sections, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Diversity in Critical Events includes physical accessibility, social inclusion, and balanced impacts. It is critical to ensure that while being successful in accessibility and inclusion, other impacts of events do not suffer. Lastly, Volunteering plays a major role in promoting inclusion and diversity.

 

 

References

Allen, J. OToole W, Harris R & McDonnell I, 2011, Festival & Special Event Management. Australia: John Wiley & Sons.

Auckland, Tourism, Events, and Economic Development. (2018). Auckland’s Major Events Strategy 2018-2025. Retrieved from Auckland : https://www.aucklandnz.com/sites/build_auckland/files/media-library/documents/Auckland-Major-Events-Strategy-October-2018.pdf

Eventfinda. (2019, March). Auckland Arts Festival 2019. Retrieved from Eventfinda: https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/tour/2018/auckland-arts-festival

Eventfinda. (2019, April). Waiheke Jazz, Art & Music Festival – Grand Finale. Retrieved from Eventfinda: https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2019/waiheke-jazz-art-music-festival-grand-finale/auckland/waiheke-island

Finkel, R., Sharp, B., & Sweeney, M. (Eds.). (2018). Accessibility, inclusion, and diversity in critical event studies. Taylor & Francis.

Richards, G., & Palmer, R. (2010). Eventful Cities. Cultural Management and Urban Revitalisation, Elsevier, Oxford.