The purpose of this report is to develop a plan for a high-profile Variety Show and Auction for Cancer Research UK. The first part of this report will focus on analyzing the current state of the industry, including the definitions of the main terms and types of events. The second part will present the details pertaining to the event planning, such as a Gant Chart, venue selection, risk management strategies, and evaluation of outcomes.
Industry Environment Analysis
In terms of size, different events are classified as mega, hallmark, major, and local or community. Mega-events are the biggest and most significant in this category, and they encompass mass occasions that have an impact on an entire country. According to Raz et al. (2017), an event can be classified as “mega” if the number of attendees surpasses 500,000. Due to this requirement, only well-known international events, such as the Olympics, which are held annually, are classified as “mega.” A notion of a hallmark event is linked to the importance that this occasion has for the local community, where the occasion takes place (Raz et al., 2017). Thus, hallmark events are strongly linked to the local community and allow the introduction of a city or town as a tourist destination through a fair, sporting competition, or an exposition (Raz et al., 2017). Next, major events are those that can generate substantial attention from the attendees and the media. In contrast, local events are special events that are typically smaller in scale, organized locally, and categorized depending on their purpose, such as sports, tourism, corporate, or others.
When reviewing the content of events, one can define four distinct categories. For instance, leisure events are directed at creating experiences involving sports, recreation, or other forms of entertainment (Bowdin, 2010). Cultural events are usually linked to a historic occasion or a tradition and often are hosted in partnership with the local governments (Bowdin, 2010). Personal events are all the occasions and celebrations pertaining to an individual, such as a birthday or a baby shower (Bowdin, 2010). Organizational events are linked to celebrations or team activities that a business or non-profit orders to celebrate a milestone or show appreciation for their employees (Bowdin, 2010).
Public, private, and voluntary sectors all organize events. For example, the voluntary sector needs to raise awareness about an issue, such as a need to raise money to find a remedy for a disease and to provide the attendees with an opportunity to donate. Private sector events are organized by companies, for example, to launch a new product or to celebrate a remarkable date for a company (Raz et al., 2017). Public sector events are organized by the government and are linked to significant cultural or social occasions. For example, a national sports competition may be organized to support the athletes and allow them to compete and showcase their capabilities. Hence, all three types of events for different sectors differ in nature and purpose.
Any event has an impact on the community that resides in the area where it takes place. Major event impacts in terms of economics include the ability to raise money for a good cause, which is typically the result of charity or auction events. Alternatively, the local businesses can benefit from events if tourists attend them because they stay in local hotels and shop within the area. The visitors are impacted as they get to explore a new area or a new cultural site. A hallmark event can have a substantial contribution to the local community because it will attract tourists to the area and allow local businesses to make money since people who visit the event will also stay in the area, shop, and attend local businesses. From a political perspective, important mega-events, such as the Olympics, help establish connections with other nations and show the state’s alliance with the global community. From a social perspective, people attending an event get to network and interact with others (The social impact of events, no date). Similarly, the social impact of events should not be underestimated because they typically help bring attention to a certain cultural or social occurrence.
In summary, all events can be classified depending on the person initiating the celebration and the purpose of it. The industry differentiates between events that are held by the government, individuals, organizations, and the events that are held for volunteering purposes. Moreover, the size of the events differs as well, from high-impact mega-events to small special or hallmark events organized by a community. Each type and size have a different underlying purpose and impact on the attendees and locals.
Introduction of the Event Concept
The following sections of this paper will detail the concept of a high-profile Variety Show and Auction for Cancer Research UK at the Birmingham Botanic Garden. In general, variety shows are designed to entertain the visitors and may feature musical performances, comedy, or other forms of entertainment and a host (Raz et al., 2017). The auction part of the event means that the guests will be able to bet on objects offered by the event manager, and the proceeds from this will be transferred to a charity. In this case, the objects for an auction will be works of art created by local artists that depict the theme of the event, which is fighting cancer. The entertainment will be facilitated through music performances of well-known bands and performers.
Since the theme of the event is a cancer research and the goal is to collect donations that will help this cause, the date should be linked to a timeframe recognized as a cancer awareness month. In the United Kingdom, October is the month of breast cancer awareness, where major government agencies and for-profit organizations use their resources to encourage women to get screened (Breast cancer awareness month 2021, 2021). Hence, this event will take place on October 1st, which is the beginning of the awareness month. The time of the event will be the evening starting at 7 p.m. This charity event will take place at the Birmingham Botanic Garden, and the selection criteria will be discussed more in detail in the subsequent parts of this report. The product experience should be based on providing the attendees with some form of musical entertainment, after which they will attend an auction where local artists will sell their paintings, and the proceeds will be donated to cancer research.
The theory of creating a vision statement for an event can be explained as the communication of the goals and objectives to the potential attendees (How to create a powerful mission statement for your event planning business, 2019). Ideally, a mission statement should communicate what goals the event managers have set for themselves. This event’s vision is to accumulate money for cancer research within a selected scientific organization. With this, the event will contribute to the advancement of cancer treatments and help a plethora of cancer patients in the UK and globally.
Similar to the vision statements, mission statements are important because they highlight the objectives that the organizers of an event followed when developing a plan for it. However, mission statements are created primarily for the personnel and the sponsors to communicate to them the nature of what they will be doing (How to create a powerful mission statement for your event planning business, 2019). Hence, this statement is the definition of the cause for a particular event. For this event, the mission is to raise awareness about breast cancer and collect donations through action for this cause.
The main reason why setting objectives is essential is that this is the only way to evaluate the outcomes of events, whether the organization process was successful and if the event contributed to what was stated in the mission and vision. With this charity event, the central goal is to raise 100,000 that will be donated to the Cancer Research Center. Another objective will be to sell five paintings provided by local artists. In terms of event size, the goal is to gather at least 500 people.
Since this is a charity event, the theme selection should be related to the promotion of health and wellness. Moreover, cancer is a broad spectrum of diseases and variations, and selecting a specific one would be more appropriate in terms of explaining the purpose and objectives to the visitors. Breast cancer is one of the common forms of this condition that affects women predominantly and is common. Hence, many international and national organizations developed campaigns such as breast cancer awareness months to raise public awareness, and this event is one of them. The entertainment program elements options are limited since this event is linked to a serious health condition. Due to this, comedic programs and performances are inappropriate, and the best choice is to invite several musicians and performers for a concert. Apart from the concert that will last for approximately an hour, there will be an auction, with five paintings donated by local artists.
With events management, the common organizational structures are the entrepreneurial structure, functional structure, and matrix structure. In the first case, the different aspects of organizing an event are divided between individuals or contractors, and the organizer of the event only oversees the process of completion (Understanding organizational structures, no date). Next, with the entrepreneurial structure, the organizer is responsible for all aspects of completing the event, and they set tasks and ensure that those are completed. With a matric structure, which is the most complex and implies having several individuals responsible for different elements of an event. This event requires several distinctive features such as performances and an auction, as well as standard elements of any event, for example, catering, which makes it complex. Considering this, the best approach is to select a matrix structure, where each individual would be responsible for their part of the work, mainly performances, auctions, and venue preparation.
The screening process refers to the marketing, operational and financial screenings. In event management, screening refers to the steps done to assess the need and the required outcome. For example, marketing screening should begin with identifying the objectives, such as attracting the attention of the potential attendees. Next, the specific advertisement strategies should be selected in partnership with an advertising agency. Financial screening should be done to determine the cost of tickets for the event, the potential pricing for the auction in comparison to the expenses needed to organize the occasion. Operations screening allows determining the required tools and resources the event manager will use in the process of managing the preparation.
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and Gantt Chart
Appendix A has the WBS for the areas of planning responsibility, and Appendix B contains a Gantt Chart for the event. First and foremost, event planning should begin with the manager creating a WBS, which will outline the structure for all activities and preparations needed to hold this event (Bridges, 2019). In essence, WBS shows each step of the process that has to be completed before an event launch, which helps the team have a structure in their work instead of working sporadically and chaotically on each separate task. Gantt chart is another tool used in the management of events, which allows seeing the overall structure of tasks and overlap between different assignments (Event planning template & checklist, no date). Since Gantt charts feature a set a date for each task, it allows for tracking whether the event preparation is moving forward according to the plan.
Financial planning in event management is important because of the constraints that a certain budget places on the ability to choose a venue, entertainment, food, and facilitate other activities for guests. Naturally, without an adequate financial plan, the management of an event may run out of funds needed to deliver the experience that was promised to the visitors. Finally, financial management allows to compare the costs or organizing everything with the potential profits from tickets, merch sales, and other sources to determine the costs and benefit.
The simplest way to fund an event is to have a sponsor who will provide all the necessary financials. However, this is often a challenging approach because events such as auctions and performances are typically costly. Alternatively, the event can be funded through a bank loan, which puts several restrictions, such as interest rates and barriers, when justifying the need for a loan (Entrepreneurship, 2019). Next, the term “angel investor” refers to a funding source that provides financials to risky events, which a sponsor would typically avoid. Selling a space at the exhibition, if an event implies having one, can cover some of the costs. Alternatively, selling tickets in advance can help locate the needed funds.
The venue selection theory implies that a manager defines key characteristics of the venue based on which the selection is made. For example, with this event, the venue should accommodate at least 500 guests and have a stage suitable for music performances and an auction. Additionally, the venue’s appearance should align with the type of the event as well. Other factors to consider are logistics and the ability to supply the necessary items to the location, as well as insurance requirements and booking policies. In addition to the theory, the COVID-19 pandemic brings a new set of restrictions and issues to consider when selecting a venue and ensuring that the attendees will be safe. For this reason, the Birmingham Botanical Garden was chosen because it allows both indoor and outdoor activities, and the latter is preferable during the pandemic because it minimizes the risk of infection transmission between the guests (Birmingham botanical gardens, no date; Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, 2021). Appendix C contains the weighted criteria selection chart used to find an appropriate venue for this event.
The marketing for this event should focus on the purpose, which is to raise money and awareness of the individuals attending cancer research and donate to the research centers. Hence, the marketing should be consistent with that of the breast cancer awareness month, as featured in Appendix D. The standard elements that allow one to recognize the breast cancer awareness promotion campaigns are pink colors and a ribbon, which will be used to market this event as well. Since this event will encourage the participants to purchase art as a way of helping a charitable cause, the target market should be individuals with an above-average income. Hence, individuals over the age of 35 who are either business owners or executives will be the primary audience for this event. Although in the modern world, the best marketing tool is social media advertisement, considering the target audience, it is best to engage the traditional TV and radio advertisements as well. The purpose of the marketing campaign should be to show the vision for this event, which is helping cancer research in the UK.
Risk assessment allows the event manager to prepare for the potential problems with this event and develop a contingency plan, if necessary. In this way, if a problem arises, the event manager will have a prepared solution and will not have to spend time and resources trying to fix the problem. The theory of risk management implies the use of five steps. According to Montgomery (2020, para. 1), these steps are “identification, assessment, mitigation, monitoring, and reporting.” First, it is necessary to create a set of potential risks or examples. With this event, the attendees can be infected with COVID-19 and endanger others, as shown in the Appendix.
Upon identifying risk, the manager should assess if the probability of it is high and the potential effect of it. For example, having no safety policies regarding COVID-19 will damage the reputation of this event and will subject the visitors to unnecessary risks. Hence, one should develop a plan for mitigating this issue. For instance, all individuals must have a test result that provides that they are immune to the disease. Additionally, the event should take place in an outdoor venue, following the government’s recommendations. Finally, through monitoring and reporting, the event manager can ensure that this risk is addressed.
Event evaluation is an important process for examining whether the event planning was done effectively and what improvements should be made in the future. In essence, this allows the event manager to reflect on the issues and ways of addressing them to avoid encountering the same problems in the future (Event evaluation and reporting, 2021). There are many ways to evaluate events, for example, setting SMART goals, comparing this event to those of competitors, or monitoring the processes and reflecting on outcomes (Nielsen, 2019). Alternatively, one can ask for feedback from guests or monitor media responses. For this event, monitoring media response is the best approach since this event should have a substantial societal impact.
In summary, this report is a combination of a theoretical review of the core concepts and theories of event management and a practical application of them. Event planning and management is a complex process, which can be simplified when using tools such as Gantt Charts or WBS. With the Variety Show and Auction for Cancer Research UK, the event should take place on October 1st at the Birmingham Botanic Garden.
Birmingham botanical gardens (no date). Web.
Breast cancer awareness month 2021 (2021). Web.
Bridges, J. (2019) How to plan an event. Web.
Cancer research UK (no date) Web.
Bowdin, G. (2010) Events management. London: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (2021) Coronavirus (COVID-19): Organised events guidance for local authorities. Web.
Entrepreneurship (2019) 8 ways to finance events. Web.
Event evaluation and reporting (2021) Web.
Event planning template & checklist (no date). Web.
How to create a powerful mission statement for your event planning business (2019) Web.
Nielsen, F. (2019) Guide to evaluating events: 10 steps to measure your success. Web.
Montgomery, P. (2020) 5 steps of the risk management process. Web.
Raz, R., Walters, P. and Rashid, T. (2017). Events management; principles and practice. Los Angeles: SAGE.
The social impact of events (no date) Web.
Understanding organizational structures (no date) Web.
Table 1. Weighted Selection Criteria (created by the author).
|Criteria||Weighting||Venue A (Botanic garden)||Venue B|
|Can accommodate 500 guests||3||3||2|
|Has a stage for musical performances||2||2||2|
|It is an outdoor venue||5||5||0|
Examples of Marketing Materials
Table 2. Risk Assessment (created by the author).
|Event name:||Date: October 1st||Venue: Birmingham Botanic Garden|
|Activity/Area of Concern||Identification of Hazards||Persons at Risk||Current Risk Factor||Actions to Minimize the Risk||New Risk Factor|
|Heath of attendees||A guest infected with COVDI-19 attends||Attendees; employees||High||Request vaccination or test results testimonials||Low|