Events have formed an important aspect of human civilization without the coining of the term. The social gatherings, traditional customs involving the gathering of people at a single place such as marriages and bar mitzvahs could be considered as examples of events. The evolution of different types of social gatherings for distinct purposes such as corporate events, product launch events and fundraisers indicates the requirements for complying with the marketing requisites adopted for a particular event (Preston, 2012). The following report clarifies the definition of special events and the relevant categories which are associated with varying purposes (Bowdin et al., 2011). The case study of Notting Hill carnival as a special event in the report enables a clear understanding of the scope and outcomes of marketing in events as well as the significance of marketing mix in strategies for event marketing. Furthermore, the report also illustrates a cognizable impression of essential concept such as planning and control in context of Notting Hill carnival.
Finding and Analysis
Definition and Classification of Special Events:
Special events also form a category of events and are defined as functions or social gatherings on specific occasions for the purposes of fundraising by communities or non-profit organizations involved in the event. The classification of special events into distinct categories also dictates a cohesive interpretation of special events and the varying levels of complexity associated with different special events. Special events also require the integrated application of marketing concepts which can obtain substantial attendance at the event alongside ensuring reasonable returns expected by the organizers (Chiu, 2014). The primary objectives of special events include accomplishment of publicity, financial returns, and awareness related to public issues, recognition of people, realization of cultural perspectives or creating reputation as a base for fundraising events in the future. The different types of special events include dinners, grand openings, fairs, functions and carnivals. These events are solely associated with distinct purposes such as functions which could include fundraising activities for support such as auctions. Grand openings also contribute to the awareness among people of a community (de Oliveira et al., 2013).
Scope and Impact of Marketing and Events:
The Notting Hill Carnival signifies a major cultural event in London and has been considered as an annual event by the local population since 1966. The carnival takes place in August on the bank holiday on Monday and the preceding Sunday. The event is organized by the London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust comprising of chairperson, arena directors, non executive directors, trustees and staff members. The scope for marketing in the Notting Hill Carnival can be verified from the analysis of vision and mission statement of the trust. The long term objective of the trust is vested in transforming the perception of international, local and national audience towards the carnival (Gilliland et al., 2013). The methodology applied by the trust in the carnival reflects the mission statement which aims at utilization of carnival art such as entertainment, education and artistic excellence in a coherent fashion for accomplishing desired objectives.
Figure: Notting Hill Carnival
Source: (Gerritsen & van, 2014)
The Sunday parade is the next event in the Carnival which showcases prolific stage performance and a vibrant display of children dressed in creative costumes. The Sunday parade is also characterized with dancing on the streets in the carnival. The final Monday parade event includes dancing by a wide range of groups dressed in assorted costumes and music performances live on stage (Gerritsen & van, 2014). The Monday parade also includes services of additional activities and food. The cultural significance associated with the event as well as the implications of the carnival on local community provide appropriate scope for marketing of the carnival.
Role of Marketing Mix in Event Marketing:
Marketing mix is defined as the cumulative integration and application of four distinct element related to an organization. It has been a crucial resource for accomplishment of the marketing objectives of an organization. Event marketing could also derive the required efficiency through implementation of marketing mix effectively in the special events. Product, price, placement and promotion are the four significant elements of marketing mix and are considered as major contributors to realization of organizational success (Getz & Page, 2016). Therefore moderated application of marketing mix in special events could also result in success of the event and accomplishment of objectives preferred by the organizers (Harmeling et al., 2015).
Figure: Marketing Mix
Source: (Harmeling et al., 2015)
Product of an event could be defined from the nature of event. For example, a grand opening is a special event in which the product is the new product or service being launched. Therefore the attendance of the event is based on the product. In case of Notting Hill carnival the products include music performance live on stage, chivalrous parades of people dressed in colored and flamboyant outfits as well as the excellent art depicted on the streets in the form of dance by different bands on the day of the final parade (Hatfield, 2016). The price of a product also determines the attractiveness of the product and in case of an event the price is a major determinant of success. People from the middle income level would feel restricted to attend events which are prized way above their capacities and it may go against their social philosophy. In Notting Hill Carnival, the events are free for everyone to attend and therefore the price aspect for marketing the carnival does not present any formidable obstacles (McKelvey & Longley, 2015). The promotion aspect of Notting Hill Carnival has to be addressed through online promotions and increasing awareness about the underlying initiatives of the event. Furthermore, the carnival could capitalize on public perception as it has been preferred as a sign of London culture. Finally, the place in marketing mix could be realized by expansion of the carnival’s footprint and improving the local community infrastructure for catering a wider attendee base (Mair & Whitford, 2013).
Planning and Control in Notting Hill Carnival:
The scope for realization of marketing concepts such as planning and control appears to be a mandatory inclusion in the requirements of marketing plan development. The planning aspect of Notting Hill carnival can be defined from the three distinct dimensions of competitive strategy, positioning and target markets. The competitive strategy which could be implemented in case of Notting Hill carnival refers to the delineation of government objectives in context of the event and thereby identifying the necessary resources, infrastructure, programs, policies and staffing. The target market for Notting Hill carnival is vested in the youth which could be attracted to the national steel bands and live onstage music performance by renowned bands as well as the glorious depiction of carnival arts (Pan, Snyder & Sun, 2015). The target audience could also include foreign individuals with a knack for the arts which provides substantial prospects for international promotion of the event. The positioning of the event is also a notable aspect required for success of the event. Notting Hill carnival’s positioning is dependent on the promotion activities which take the event to the people. The programs of the Notting Hill carnival trust for ensuring stewardship i.e. training of candidates for the carnival arts. These activities pose a considerable advantage for the carnival due to access to the desired market segment (Rogers & Davidson, 2015).
The concerns for control in the Notting Hill Carnival have to be realized through monitoring and evaluation alongside risk management. The organizers could take care of the control aspect of the carnival by monitoring the marketing activities on a recurrent basis prior to and throughout the carnival. Execution of necessary phases of the event and the implementation of planning stage precisely in the event are also reviewed by the organizers of the carnival i.e. Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust. Risk management is considered as an integral aspect of the marketing concepts associated with the marketing plan for the carnival (Tinnish & Mangal, 2012). Risk management is primarily required for limiting any sort of detrimental behavior from the public, safety arrangements and compliance to government regulations during the execution of the event. Furthermore, the risk management for the carnival must include checking of the food quality served in the carnival according to local community regulations and national standards for food certification (Rogers & Davidson, 2015).
The report essentially focused on the review of special events and relevant marketing practices which can be used to improve productivity of the events. The case study of Notting Hill carnival was assumed as an example of special event and the distinct aspects of marketing such as marketing mix and marketing planning were illustrated comprehensively in the report. The definitions provided in the report drew references from core literature on marketing in business management and event management for generating a comprehensive impression of marketing concept in event marketing. The perceived outcomes of marketing and the opportunities available for the organizers of special event could be understood from the report through the review of individual events in the Notting Hill carnival and the relevant marketing implications associated with them. Finally, the report concluded that application of marketing concepts in context of special events must be largely dependent on the specific market segments and scope for sustainability in order to facilitate the required success for a special event.
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