Events. Events are significant occurrences that serve specific purposes. Different events are held for various reasons. There lie different objectives upon holding and sponsoring or hosting these organized occasions. Events come in diverse form or structures – there are sports events, cultural gatherings or festivals, meetings or summits, conferences, parties, campaigns, pageants – from the extravagant events, sometimes referred to as the “mega-events” down to the simple ones or the “micro-events” the fact remains that these gatherings serve different purposes.
Hosting events of whatever category is another thing.
The host could be a local community, an organization, a politician, a famous personality or in some cases, more usually for mega-events, host county. There are cases when several parties are willing to host or to sponsor functions or gatherings. Andrew Murray from the Office of the Legislative Analyst in San Francisco mentioned about the things taken into considerations in choosing and deciding which city or country will have the opportunity in hosting a specific event.
The factors include the capacity of the willing host to hold the event in terms of location, budget, type of activities to be undertaken during the event, risks and potential benefits for the stakeholders. Why host events? Why are communities or countries eager to have an event conducted or held in their locations? What benefits do these events provide the host party? Looking at the nature of events, may they be micro or mega; they do offer promising rewards to the host.
Events are seen in one way or another as an opportunity for the host to gain benefits in different aspects – economically, culturally, socially, politically, and physically.
Economic Benefits Events serve as avenues for improving an economy of the host city or country. Effects can be categorized to be short-term or long term depending on the impact to the host. One of the more evident advantages is the tourist attraction. Specific events appeal to the interest of the guests, usually coming from other communities or other countries for that matter.
The increase in the number of spectators for a particular gathering boosts the host party’s tourism sector. These will be the same people who will book in hotels, purchase local products, and visit other tourist attractions in the community or country thus increasing the income of the host city. Just like hitting two birds with one stone, the event itself becomes an attraction while promoting other tourist spots or destination, and endorsing other local products and activities. Another equally significant reward is the creation and provision of job opportunity for the community people.
Mega events require tremendous preparations – construction of conference halls or sports arena, complete restoration or renovation of the venue, these offer employment to the locals who may also enjoy the educational and training programs that come with the job itself. Hosting events, specially the international ones, also unlock possibilities of building partnerships and business ventures. Leaders of different communities and nations develop the spirit of camaraderie which more often leads to strong and lasting economic partnerships.
With special mention to hosting summits, conferences, and economic meetings, these results to provision of more employments, willingness to invest, granting of loans, and fiscal partnerships all in favor of the host country. The host country is given grants and other privileges that will be of valuable economic importance. The creation of world-class facilities might also pave the way for other possible event hosting in the future which then again will benefit the host city with the above-mentioned.
Cultural Benefits. Cultural tourism may include several events and activities that showcase tradition of beliefs of the host. These are performing arts, festivals visits to historic sites and monument, education tours, museums, natural heritage sites and religious festivals. The rise of different festivals, local and international has made significant contributions in the promotion of the host’s culture. Festivities are unique in their own way for providing an enjoyable and entertaining atmosphere while creating a sense of appreciation and recognition for the event.
Sharing of different cultures among the participants in events is another cultural advantage. The atmosphere of understanding and positive reception of differences or cultural exchange leads to a peaceful and harmonious relationships among different cultures. The funds generated from cultural events could be used for development and preservation of other cultural and historical heritage. Social Benefits When an event is held in a specific location, the people of that community cannot avoid taking pride in this undertaking.
This feeling of being proud motivates them to participate and support the sponsored events. The budget allotted for the construction of venues are indeed falling under economic importance but such economic benefit gives way for an increased local government social services including security, public health, transportation and public works. The local and international media exposures the host city get is another advantage. Not only the event can be showcased or highlight but there are also great possibilities of highlighting the host in general.
This is an opportunity for promoting people, products, culture, and services. Political Benefits Edith P. Mayo’s article entitled Party Politics: The Political Impact of the First Ladies’ Social Role, she indirectly presented the political gains which could be attributed to hosting events – from the micro events like state dinners or cocktail parties up to the extravagant mega events. She highlighted how the first lady can help in furthering the political career of the President through hosting state dinners.
Politically, the leaders of the host city or country have the advantage of presenting their political agenda, general plans of action and establishing or creating an image of how they run or administer the government. These are all reflected in the event, along with the activities that go with it – the infrastructures, venue, security, facilities, and manpower. Leaders from different participating nations develop a stable interpersonal tie that will be advantageous for their political agenda.
The national and international recognition are given not only to the city or state but more so to the government itself. Physical Benefits When a city or state hosts events like the Olympics, international beauty pageants, worldwide meetings and summits (especially if done for the first time), large sums of money from the approved budget would be spent for the construction of world-class infrastructures may it be roads, buildings, museums, conference halls, convention centers, hotels, sports arena and it must be ensured that the facilities are equally world-class.
Some researchers believe that the host community should take advantage of this since the first class infrastructures will remain for a long time and can still serve more purposes even after the event. These improvements can still be useful for other events and may even call for re-hosting for preciously sponsored ones. Disadvantages While the host city or country gains from hosting an event, the fact that there are also drawbacks brought by the act of hosting cannot be discounted.
Generally the downside occurs when the targets are not met, when the set measures of success are not reached. But what about the negative impacts to the host community in particular? In a research published by Calvin Jones of Welsh Economy Research Unit, Cardiff Business School in UK, he enumerated some of the unconstructive outcomes brought about by hosting mega events. The number of tourists crowding out to witness an event does not surely guarantee increase in tourism income.
Jones’s research revealed that some tourists would hate congestion and intentionally miss out the chance of actually being part of the event. This instance affects the quality of the guests’ experience. A worse case is when the prospective guests already have assumptions that the said event will lead to increase in the charges of hotel accommodations, local products, and transportation expenses. Some investors and businessmen intentionally take advantage of the situation without realizing that these realities sometime turn off the potential visitors.
Other depressing issues brought by hosting events, according to the same research, are the problems of displacement and evictions. For the sake of impressing the guests and projecting a positive image to the visitors and others since everything would be covered by the mass media, families residing near or along the venue are dislodged without even providing resettlement areas. This case has been proven to exist especially in developing, third world countries. Squatters are displaced without proper notice just to create a fine-looking view for the visitors.
In some developing nations that host economic summits, even the detention center for prisons was moved to a remote place for the same reasons mentioned above. Yes, it could be a security measure but things got worse when few of the prisoners escaped due to inadequate security measures in the relocation prison. Social and economic drawbacks also include heavy traffic, degradation of the environment, collapse of small businesses, abuse, crimes and the interference or interruption to the local community members’ routine.
Another sad reality in hosting events concerns the financial aspect. Large amounts are allocated for hosting events – one disadvantage here is the tendency of few or some of the organizers to take advantage and eventually resort to corruption of the funds. Summing Up With the impacts hosting an event can bring, it cannot be denied that hosting events do provide numerous positive impacts as enumerated above but in the process, the organizers must also be careful from the planning stage so as not to sacrifice welfare of other resources.
Risks definitely cannot be avoided, those are part of any endeavor but effective planning if not eliminate can lessen the possible threats and danger the local community might encounter in the course of the events. It should also be clear to the host that economically speaking, the event will not actually guarantee a return of investment. The success of hosting events will owe much to the effective planning which considers all the possible stakeholders. The rise of disadvantages cannot be avoided as there are no perfect events or hosts.
If a willing host is capable of holding an event, then such has the right to enjoy the benefits and gains, but in cases of willing but incapable hosts, the organizers should think twice or even more if they will push through with the hosting. Potential host should learn from previous events hosted and then take it from there. The intention and the expectations as well should all be clear to the organizers so that they can be confident with a possible win-win situation before, during and after the event.
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