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Examining the relationship between event owners and host destinations

conference contribution
posted on 01.01.2008, 00:00 authored by Anne-Marie Hede, P Kellett
The event sector has often come under the scrutiny of the public. A cursory glance at print and electronic media highlights some of the many negative attitudes social commentators and residents of host destinations have of special events. While there are a number of stakeholders of events, two entities which play a pivotal role in whether, when, and how events are delivered are the event governing bodies (or owners) and the host destinations. This paper examines the relationship between these two stakeholders. Research questions guiding this study are: Do event owners vary in their interactions with event destinations? Should event destinations be more discerning in their selection of the events they host? Can event destinations be more discerning in their selection of the events that they bid for?

While considerable research has focused on the relationship between event owners and host destinations during the event bidding process, this study aimed to explore the relationship more generally to provide greater insights into the event planning process. Thus, the study aimed to address a gap in knowledge about event marketing and management to understand motives for destinations to engage with event owners, and ultimately to enhance the quality of the event experience (for both attendees and non-attendees). A qualitative research approach was employed for this study, with elite interviews being the main data collection method.

The findings indicate that the relationship between event owners and host destinations can be highly problematic. A number of factors were identified as contributing to this situation, including the varying objectives that event owners have for their events; the way in which these objectives are congruent (or not) with host destinations objectives for events in their community; and the way in which a potential match or mis-match of objectives impacts a host destination’s ability to leverage an event. Overall, the researchers concluded that when there is disparity between the culture of the event owners’ organisation, and the social culture of the host destination, this situation is exacerbated. When event owners demonstrated empathy and an understanding of the host destination’s culture, and an understanding of the host destination’s aim for delivering an event, greater levels of perceived success are evident.

In the past, the bid process has been highly competitive. Host destinations have been at the mercy of event owners. However, the authors of this study indicate that as a result of this research, host destinations should be more discerning with regard to which event owners they ‘lie in bed with’ to ensure that the outcomes of the events are beneficial for their myriad stakeholders. It is acknowledged that the event planning and execution process is set within a political market square, as per Larson and Wikstrom’s (2001) suggestion, and that this context provides a fertile ground for research on this topic.

History

Event

Council for Australian University Tourism and Hospitality Education. Conference proceedings (18th : 2008 : Surfers Paradise, Queensland)

Pagination

1 - 12

Publisher

Griffith University

Location

Surfers Paradise, Queensland

Place of publication

Gold Coast, Qld.

Start date

11/02/2008

End date

14/02/2008

ISBN-13

9781921291333

Language

eng

Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2008, CAUTHE

Editor/Contributor(s)

M Davidson

Title of proceedings

CAUTHE 2008 : Proceedings of the 18th Annual Council for Australian University Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE) conference. tourism and hospitality research, training and practice : Where the 'bloody hell' are we?

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