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EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES IN THE BIG SOCIETY VOLUNTARISM AND EVENT MANAGEMENT ISSUES AT THE CHEETHAM HILL CROSS-CULTURAL FESTIVAL

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This paper advances the authors' earlier work on the theme of contemporary religious and crosscultural festivals by examining management issues associated with mounting such events. Several UK cities are encouraging events based upon the religions and cultures of the diverse communities within their boundaries, aiming to develop further as visitor destinations but also to address social cohesion issues in areas which have experienced racial tension. However, while such events may indeed assist destination product development and act as instruments of social policy Stone & Millan, 2010, their success is usually heavily dependent upon voluntary effort, volunteers being drawn from the various faith communities involved. Based upon primary research conducted at the 2010 Cheetham Festival in Manchester, UK, this paper examines event management issues associated with voluntarism. Volunteers often lack events management training and experience and, inevitably, their attentions are usually focused on the day job elsewhere. Volunteer enthusiasm often wanes after events, meaning that monitoring and evaluation may not be undertaken Getz, 2005. The paper examines volunteer burn out, and makes reference to proposed strategies to improve volunteer satisfaction and retention Gaskin, 2003; Downward & Ralston, 2005; Garner & Garner, 2010. Public sector bodies working for economic development and social welfare are generally very supportive of such events, but their priorities for resource allocation frequently lie elsewhere. Appropriate levels of resourcing, and volunteer management strategies, are essential to optimize the contribution of these innovative events to the new British government's Big Society agenda of empowering communities to take action on locally-identified issues.
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Keywords: Cross-cultural; Event Management; Faith; Tourism; Voluntarism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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  • The International Journal of Management Cases (IJMC) developed in 2002 from its predecessor The Journal of Management Cases, and present case studies across a broad range of management disciplines. The IJMC is the official journal of the CIRCLE Research Centre. CIRCLE (Centre for International Research Consumers, Locations and their Environments) is a virtual research group spreading over 70 universities.
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