Sustainable Event Management
| Individual Essay 1. 0 Sustainable events are only possible when they are small and localised. Discuss, using examples. Sustainable events are described as those which meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (IISD 2012). When developing sustainable events, planners need to view the event as a whole and how each part interacts and affects another and also need to take into consideration the effects that the event may have on the environment.
Sustainable events are not limited to being only small and localised; in some instances it may be easier to focus on the sustainability of a smaller event as it can be easier to take a holistic approach to a smaller scale event, however as is often the case, larger scale events generally have better knowledge and resources in order to become more sustainable, and many small events can be relatively unsustainable simply because there is a lack of pressure on these events to be mindful of the external environment.
There are a number of components which need to be taken into account when developing a sustainable event. These components will form the basis of the reasons why larger scale events can also be sustainable and how smaller events can sometimes be unsustainable by means of comparison of two appropriate events. The London 2012 Olympics were held from July 27 – August 12 2012 and comprised 204 competing countries with over 10,000 athletes competing (Clark and Heseltine 2012).
The Summer Olympics are arguably the best known events series internationally, being held every four years with successful host countries being chosen several years prior to the games themselves. With a successful committee of event developers known as the International Olympics Committee (IOC), planning for the event begins some ten years before the commencement of the games in which extensive research of the best possible location and use of resources is undergone in order to reach the best outcome from many perspectives. The 2012 London Olympics had a particular focus on sustainability.
Motorvation is an annual motor event which is held at the Perth Motorplex and comprises a series of car-related events such as burnout competitions, horsepower competitions and sound-off competitions for local car lovers to show off what they are most proud of. The event is held over three days and attracts around 10,000 people from the local area within this time. Planning for the event is minimal as in most cases the same structure is used each year with the major difference being the cars involved and the line-up of these events (Motorvation 2012).
The comparison of these two events aims to outline how each event has performed – or not performed – sustainability practices by identifying key components of sustainable events. 1. 1 Pollution In terms of pollution, the London Olympics took a very serious approach to this issue. The London 2012 committee formed a partnership with BioRegional and WWF in order to develop sustainable practices overall and held a strong focus on pollution levels.
A labelling system for recycling was produced which indicated to spectators within the games arena which type of waste product they were using and how to dispose of it correctly in order to keep waste levels at an all-time low. The IOC worked closely with Transport of London to ensure that train services were consistently running so that people could get to the games efficiently and with less harm to the environment by not driving their own vehicles. Motorvation is a car event which is fuelled by the excitement of smoke and burning rubber – both of which are extremely harmful to the environment.
Whilst the event has a number of disposal bins around the venue, these are rarely utilised by spectators and this is possibly the only environmentally friendly aspect of the event itself. 1. 2 Community Involvement The host community of the London Olympics is obviously the locals living within central London. The IOC developed many programs for people living within the area to get involved in leading up to the games such as the Newham Volunteers program which aimed to enrich the lives of locals (Hughes 012) and the Changing Places Program which is also a volunteer program for the youth within the area to create artwork and suchlike to transform the city for the games (London Olympic Games 2012). These community initiatives got the host community as a whole involved and created a sense of positivity among locals which acts on sustainability due to the fact that people living in the area will have a better quality of life in the long term and will have a greater sense of pride in the area they live in. The surrounding community of Motorvation is Perth’s Southern suburbs including Rockingham and Mandurah.
Whilst there are a number of volunteer opportunities for these people to get involved in on the day of the event, there are no long-lasting community initiatives related to the event and the market segment that the event attracts is often not too enthusiastic on the idea of volunteering as opposed to watching the event. Whilst the event does generate recognition of Perth’s Southern suburbs, this recognition is often of negative value to the wider Perth community and is unlikely to enrich the lives of people living within the area. 1. Tourism Generation Tourism in London during the 2012 games did suffer from some aspects such as the hotel industry reporting a mere 82 percent occupancy rate over the period (Various authors 2012) however the influx of people from other parts of the UK was tremendous and these day-trippers brought a huge economic boom to many other areas such as shopping locations and food outlets. Being a small localised event, Motorvation does not attract a large number of tourists from other regions with the exception of a minority of obsessive car lovers.
Unsurprisingly, the area surrounding the event does not experience any influx of people or income during the time of Motorvation. 1. 4 Job Creation London 2012 generated a number of new jobs within the Olympics itself and in outer London, with over 100000 people being paid to work at the games during the time as well as thousands of volunteers working at the event and various maintenance personnel employed to work on the game during and after the Olympics was held in order to maintain the Olympic stadium and to begin the transformation process of a smaller stadium to use post-games (London
Olympic Games 2012). Motorvation has a number of volunteer opportunities as mentioned earlier however these positions are very short lived and there is no real job generation as a result of the event. People may choose to volunteer over this time however this does not contribute in any great way to the labour sector and the positions will not be overly enriching to the lives of the people who take them. With the evidence outlined above, it is clear that small, localised events are not the only events which can be sustainable.
Larger events often have greater resources which can be used in order to introduce sustainable practices. The London 2012 Olympics has practiced sustainability successfully in the form of pollution, community involvement, tourism generation and job creation where as Motorvation has contributed very little to sustainability measures in the way the event is conducted. With greater planning, research and development, events can become more sustainable and it is these key components which determine how well an event is conducted in terms of sustainability, not the size of the event.
Sustainable event development is the key and with a greater amount of skills, knowledge and resources events can become more sustainable no matter the size or locality. Reference List Clarke, Greg and Michael Heseltine. 2012. “London is the world’s greatest city: now the rest of the country must emulate its success” The Telegraph, August 30. Hughes, Michael. 2012. “Lecture 11: Event Legacies. ” PowerPoint Lecture Notes. https://lms. curtin. edu. au/webapps/portal/frameset. jsp Iisd: What is sustainability? 2012. IISD. http://www. isd. org/sd/ London Olympic Games: Local Community Work. 2012. London 2012. http://www. london2012. com/about-us/sustainability/local-community-work/ London Olympic Games: Jobs. 2012. London 2012. http://www. london2012. com/about-us/jobs/ Motorvation: About. 2012. Perth Motorplex. http://www. motorplex. com. au/motorvation Various authors. 2012. “Did London 2012 Pass the Olympics Test? ” The Independent, August 13. http://www. independent. co. uk/sport/olympics/news/so-did-london-2012-pass-the-olympic-test-8037290. html