Event policy: From Theory to Strategy


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Slides from an invited research seminar that I delivered at Edinburgh Napier University on 29th April, 2011

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Event policy: From Theory to Strategy

  1. 1. Routledge Due date August 2010
  2. 2. COMMENT AND SHARE <ul><li>Blog: http://d gmcgillivray.posterous.com </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter username: @dgmcgillivray </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter conversation: #eventpolicy </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>T: 0141 8483220 </li></ul>
  3. 3. TODAY’S COVERAGE <ul><li>Why events? </li></ul><ul><li>Why events policy (now?) </li></ul><ul><li>Book structure </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogical features </li></ul><ul><li>C o nceptual clarity </li></ul><ul><li>Policy directions </li></ul><ul><li>Event dimensions </li></ul><ul><li>C o ncluding comments </li></ul><ul><li>Questions (and answers, please) </li></ul>
  4. 4. WHY EVENTS? <ul><li>Events are, indisputably, of local, national and international importance </li></ul>
  5. 5. WHY EVENTS? <ul><li>They are important signifiers of personal, community, national and globalised identity </li></ul>
  6. 6. WHY EVENTS? <ul><li>They represent opportunities for celebration and commiseration, for rejoicing and for resisting </li></ul>
  7. 7. WHY EVENTS? <ul><li>They are political and politicised, ritualistic and regenerative </li></ul>
  8. 8. WHY EVENTS? <ul><li>They come in commercial and charitable forms, contributing to the logic of capitalism whilst also acting as a vehicle for contesting it </li></ul>
  9. 9. WHY EVENTS? <ul><li>They are written into history and can be utilised to alter it </li></ul>
  10. 10. WHY EVENTS? <ul><li>They are planned and unplanned, small and large, sporting and cultural, hallmark and special </li></ul>
  11. 11. WHY EVENTS POLICY? <ul><li>Events touch us all one way or another, yet our understanding of their (planned) impacts and outcomes remains underdeveloped </li></ul><ul><li>We know how they can be organised more efficiently and effectively, how to market them, how to manage them safely and how to select appropriate venues for their delivery </li></ul><ul><li>We know less about how we might evaluate who ‘owns’ events; who should resource them; which of them should be resourced; which other public investments should be curtailed at their expense; how they can best be used to assuage social and economic problems, and so on … </li></ul><ul><li>These are questions of policy – of choices about how public funds should be allocated to address an identified problem, whether that be political, economic, social or environmental </li></ul>
  12. 12. BOOK STRUCTURE <ul><li>Introduction: Events policy: An emerging field of study </li></ul><ul><li>PART ONE: EVENT POLICY RATIONALES </li></ul><ul><li>2. Events and festivity: From ritual to regeneration </li></ul><ul><li>3. Trends in events and festivals: The policy panacea </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluating events: A crisis of legitimation? </li></ul><ul><li>PART TWO: EVENT POLICY FORMATIONS </li></ul><ul><li>5. Politics of events in an age of accumulation </li></ul><ul><li>6. Consuming events: From bread and circuses to brand </li></ul><ul><li>7. Events and social capital: Linking and empowering communities </li></ul><ul><li>8. Events and cultural capital: Animating the urban </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>PART THREE: EVENT POLICY IMPLEMENTATIONS </li></ul><ul><li>9. Glasgow 2014: Demonstrating capacity and c o mpetence </li></ul><ul><li>10. Destination Dubai: Events policy in an Arab state </li></ul><ul><li>11. Mardi Gras New Orleans: Policy intervention in an historical event </li></ul><ul><li>12. Singapore: A mixed economy of events </li></ul><ul><li>13. Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  13. 13. PEDAGOGICAL FEATURES <ul><li>Short, internationally focused illustrative box ‘cases’ embedded in chapter’s 2-8 to help ‘illustrate’ theoretical arguments </li></ul><ul><li>Critical review questions at the conclusion of each chapter as aids to help the reader apply theory to practice and to encourage reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Further reading recommendations located at the end of each chapter based on our judgement of the most pertinent literature sources that will help extend the reader’s knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>In order to further ensure that the reader is exposed to policy perspectives beyond the European context, chapter’s 9-12 are deliberately international in focus. They are derived from primary research conducted by the authors in several international locations </li></ul>
  14. 14. DIFFERENTIATION <ul><li>Specific focus on policy : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Texts often mention policy-related discussions but they are rarely about policy – yet recent dis-aggregation of what events ‘mean’ in an academic context as subject benchmarks require that students can, ‘utilise and understand the impact of, rationales, sources and assumptions embedded in policy’ (QAA, 2007) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Coherence: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Events field synonymous with an explosion of edited collections which lack conceptual coherence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Analytical depth: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. not a “how to do it” manual </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scope: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. places events in a global and local context beyond the narrow fields of hospitality or leisure management. The analyses contained in this text are also relevant to students in the US, Australia, Europe, Asia and the emerging Emirate states </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Locating definitively the phenomena of events and festivity within a theoretical and strategic framework and translating theoretical constructs into strategic actions </li></ul>
  15. 15. GUIDING RESEARCH QUESTIONS <ul><ul><li>What is the rationale for events and festivals being ‘used’ as a mechanism for the achievement of wider social outcomes, and how does this differ in different geographical territories? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Which ideologies/discourses underpin the rationale for, and subsequent formation of, policy in respect of events and festivity across alternative geographical territories? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What role do events play in new forms of urban governance and inter-urban competition and what effect does this have on local and central government strategies, across the world? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How are ideas of consumption, commerce and entrepreneurialism accommodated alongside notions of citizenship, community and culture in respect of the intention and outcomes of events policy? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What roles do stakeholders play in influencing policy decisions and what power relations are in operation that act to include and exclude some interests over others? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we know whether policy interventions in the realm of events are effective in achieving the desired outcomes? </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. EVENT POLICY: AN EMERGING FIELD OF STUDY <ul><li>Considers the development of the academic field of events </li></ul><ul><li>Genealogy (lineage or descent) of events analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Working from the belief that ‘ events have policy implications that cannot be ignored and they are not the sole domain of event producers and managers ’ (Getz, 2007: 3). </li></ul><ul><li>Concerned with the significance of events-led policy and strategy for local and central governments and other voluntary/private sector actors, approached with a theoretical preoccupation influenced by facets of event studies </li></ul>Stage Characteristics Events management (including production and design) Bowdin, Shone & Parry, Van de Wagen, Ritchie, Goldblatt, etc. Instrumental Practical experience Operational/logistical Creative/technological Micro-level concerns Abundant literature Events policy (Foley et al , 2009) Hall, Getz, Thomas, Veal, etc Macro-level contextualisation Policy angle evident Social, cultural and economic effects (or impacts) of events considered Paucity of specialised literature Events studies (Getz, 2007) Considers wider socio-historical context for events Macro-level concerns Informed by a range of academic disciplines Emerging literature
  17. 17. EVENT POLICY RATIONALES <ul><li>Shift in form and function of events, historically </li></ul><ul><li>Origins of events and festivals as ritualistic practices and markers tied closely to ideas of time, space, community and the locality – relatively free of external governance </li></ul><ul><li>20 th C - increasingly ‘planned’ and part of (economic) policy objectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generating beneficial ‘externalities’: ROI, sports participation, community cohesion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Events now conceived and exploited for regenerative imperatives which venerate the new, the transitory, the contrived to secure a plethora of social, political and economic externalities </li></ul><ul><li>But , as instrumental rationality invades the events realm this can create disaffection and apathy on behalf of citizens, further drawing attention to the notion of ‘who gains’ and ‘who pays’ for events </li></ul><ul><li>Problem if evaluation is bereft of meaningful participation or debate from ‘public’ stakeholders other than those from the realm of commerce and political elites: </li></ul><ul><li>As ‘who gains’ & ‘who pays’ becomes open to public dialogue legitimation issues arise </li></ul>
  18. 18. EVENT POLICY FORMATIONS <ul><li>The underpinning conceptual dimension of events policy and how these ‘knowledge claims’ influence the types of policy formation developed </li></ul><ul><li>Neo-liberal, urban entrepreneurial governance ‘framing’ event policy objectives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>events to be supported must align with destination brand and generate economic return (e.g. Glasgow: Scotland with Style) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Principal risks associated with events are borne by a highly active entrepreneurial (local) state, incentivising private sector involvement: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public-private growth coalitions (e.g. GCMB, bid committees, DMOs) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But social & cultural ‘capital’ debates draw attention to inequality, marginalisation and social polarity (Smith, 2002) - the ‘hard outcomes of neo-liberalism’: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overestimated benefits, underestimated costs (Whitson & Horne, 2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate and political elite beneficiaries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In the intense inter-urban competition to secure lucrative events, the power ratio between private capital, event owners (e.g. IOC, FIFA, UEFA) and the local state has shifted in favour of the former over the latter </li></ul>
  19. 19. EVENT POLICY IMPLEMENTATIONS <ul><li>G l asgow 2014: Planned & governed to secure externalities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nothing left to chance – Economic, social, cultural and environmental ‘legacies’ required in the name of accountability and transparency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restricted space for unplanned events and questionable ‘participation’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dubai – Planned but with professed ‘openness’ on the basis of inbound tourism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>S p ort event visibility the key strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ruling family patronage and absence of need for democratic consent provides competitive advantage in competition for global events (albeit popular uprisings recently could alter social contract </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Citizen involvement in policy formulation and implementation is minimal, part of a social contract that trades citizen rights for affluence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New Orleans Mardi Gras: Apparently ‘unplanned’ yet with desire (from authorities) for governance and planning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Caught between ‘freedom’ – a laissez faire governance - and ‘regulation’ - the desire for a more interventionist, micro management of the Mardi Gras celebrations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Planned externalities now crucial to revival post-Katrina but control difficult to exercise </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Singapore: Planned but with a focus on local ‘indigenous’ citizen involvement: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>R epresentative democracy exists (in name) but authoritarian approach to governance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local festivity promoted but then used for global positioning (e.g. Chingay & Thaipusam) </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. POLICY DIRECTIONS <ul><li>We have proposed that state intervention in events (sporting & cultural) takes a number of forms, ranging from almost no involvement to state-created and implemented celebrations </li></ul><ul><li>Events can be described, variously, as either ‘open’ and focused on ‘citizens’ (e.g. Mardi Gras New Orleans) or ‘planned’ and ‘governed’ (e.g. Glasgow’s 2014) </li></ul><ul><li>The direction of policy (globally) is towards much more governed events that seek to achieve planned externalities (e.g. economic impact, place promotion, social regeneration, national identity). </li></ul><ul><li>In order to minimize the risk of failing to secure these externalities, the policy pull is towards more explicit (and interventionist) governance of the events, albeit these arrangements involve a plethora of state, private and third sector stakeholders. </li></ul>
  21. 22. EVENT DIMENSIONS: A NEW POLICY CHALLENGE <ul><li>We argue that events can be delineated by those that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Happen to happen (1 st dimension) – events that appear unplanned although are often intentional (take Mardi Gras New Orleans as an example); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are made to happen (2 nd dimension), conceived, planned and managed to achieve clearly identified goals (take major sports events as exemplars) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Happen as a result of other happenings, such as resistance to made to happen events (think of alternative Olympic events) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There is movement between the dimensions, especially from 1 to 2 as more ‘organic’ events are de-contextualized and de-territorialized to secure externalities (e.g. Palio, Siena and the Pamplona Bull Run) </li></ul>
  22. 23. EVENT DIMENSIONS (1)
  23. 24. EVENT DIMENSIONS (2)
  24. 25. EVENT DIMENSIONS (3)
  25. 26. C O NCLUSIONS <ul><li>Events are now, undoubtedly, a public policy tool and not just in the liberal democracies of the west. </li></ul><ul><li>Events (especially peripatetic sporting ones) offer access to the planned externalities that neo-liberal policy makers are seeking </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘policy pull’ typology shows that available policy levers are being used in a substantive form to govern and plan events (and their outcomes) in a manner unheard of, even a decade ago. </li></ul><ul><li>Events (the circuses) represent a good news story in times of political, economic and social uncertainty, but to undermine the open, citizen-involved and fluid function of festivity threatens the very basis of the policy outcomes being sought. </li></ul><ul><li>This book is only the starting point on a journey towards creating a more critical engagement on the future of events as a credible policy vehicle – a debate that needs to take place in the Academy, in the industry and with event participants. </li></ul>
  26. 27. QUESTIONS? NO? OK - THANK YOU! @dgmcgillivray Twitter conversation: #eventpolicy Email: [email_address]