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The challenge and opportunities for an event organiser during an economic recession

Adrian Devine (Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ulster Business School, University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK)
Frances Devine (Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ulster Business School, University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Article publication date: 1 June 2012

5627

Abstract

Purpose

The economic recession, which began in late 2007 has, and will continue to have, repercussions for the events industry. Unemployment and inflation coupled with shrinking public and private sector budgets have made the operating environment difficult. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how the recession and the austerity measures that followed have affected UK events – and will continue to do so.

Design/methodology/approach

Some previous research has argued that a downturn in the economy can stimulate creativity and innovation. This paper lends some support to this argument as it examines how the recession has forced the organising committee of one of Europe's most prestigious international youth football (soccer) tournaments to “think beyond the football” and start to look at innovative ways to off‐set the cuts in its funding. The paper focuses on the Northern Ireland Milk Cup Youth Football Tournament, which is regarded as one of the most prestigious youth football tournaments in Europe.

Findings

Based on data gathered from various stakeholders via interviews and focus groups the paper discusses how the tournament can generate extra revenue from gate receipts, corporate hospitality, merchandising, programming, sponsorship and marketing.

Practical implications

Event organisers can learn two important lessons from this study: first, the current economic climate is challenging but they should try and think “outside the box” as challenges can present opportunities; and second, consult and collaborate with event stakeholders, as their insight and ideas may prove invaluable in these challenging times.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need to study the impact of the recession on the events industry.

Keywords

Citation

Devine, A. and Devine, F. (2012), "The challenge and opportunities for an event organiser during an economic recession", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 122-136. https://doi.org/10.1108/17582951211229681

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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