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Emerging Models of the Eventful City

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Cities around the world are increasingly using events as a tool to generate a wide range of effects, including image enhancement, income generation, and social cohesion. However, the use of events as an urban policy tool is hampered by the fact that events themselves also have their own objectives, such as making a profit or advancing the agenda of national and international organizations. In some cases, the objectives of the events and the city may coincide, but in other cases, they may not. Therefore, for cities there is a growing challenge in coordinating their events program in order to maximize the benefits for the city as a whole, while also supporting individual events. Many cities have already developed specific events policies and support mechanisms, but these tend to treat events as individual occurrences, rather than as an integral part of the urban ecology. Richards and Palmer have argued that the "eventful city" needs to take a strategic, holistic view of its events portfolio in order to move from being a city full of events to developing "eventfulness." This article considers how some cities are developing more holistic approaches to event policy and eventfulness. In reviewing the events policies of cities worldwide, it identifies three emerging policy models: event-centric policy, sector-centric policy, and network-centric policy. The article further considers the implications of these different models for events and events policies in cities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Event Management, an International Journal, intends to meet the research and analytic needs of a rapidly growing profession focused on events. This field has developed in size and impact globally to become a major business with numerous dedicated facilities, and a large-scale generator of tourism. The field encompasses meetings, conventions, festivals, expositions, sport and other special events. Event management is also of considerable importance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations in a pursuit of a variety of goals, including fund-raising, the fostering of causes, and community development.
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