Event Planning Theory
Event planning is defined as the planning process consisting of establishing where an organization is at present, where it is best advised to go in the future, and the strategies or tactics needed to achieve that position. This means that event planning is concerned with end results and the means to achieve those results Bowdin et al, 2006).
The event planning theory that will be adapted in the planning for the IFLA World Library and Information Congress is that of Getz (1997) and Getz (2005). Popular theories of event management focus on the importance of event planning process for organizers of events. Theories from Allen et al. (2002), Bowden, et al. (2001), Getz (1997), Catherwood &Van Kirk (1992), Goldblatt (2002) Shone and Parry (2001), Torkildsen (1999), and Watt (1998) assert that the event planning is a staged process. These theories and models generally accept that event organizations should strategically plan for the long term including there being a responsibility for the ongoing and long-term management of the financial and physical legacies of major events (Masterman, 2004). The event planning process presented by Getz (2005), generally has the following stages:
1. Development of event concept or intent to bid
2. Feasibility study
3. Decision whether to (a) proceed with bid; (b) proceed with new event; (c) cease
4. Preparation and submission of bid document
5. Establishment of organizational structure
6. Creating a strategic plan
7. Implementation of strategic plan
Welcome to Guangzhou
Guangzhou is in the heart of the Pearl River Delta in South China. Guangzhou is located in one of the two most prosperous regions in China. It is the main manufacturing center of the Pearl River Delta. Guangzhou is well connected with Hong Kong through different means whether by train, coach and ferry. Through the influence of Hong Kong, Guangzhou developed one of the best business practices and hospitality and retailing service in China. Guangzhou is a melting pot of different cultures with a large immigrant population. Guangzhou offers various sites and attractions. Guangzhou is also holds various festivals and events (www.lifeofguangzhou.com).
Guangzhou is fast becoming a major tourist and business destination with business development projects on the line up to make the city more attractive. The city’s tourist spots are also being developed as well as the city’s social and cultural landscapes. Among the tourists attractions of Guangzhou are Guangdong Museum of Folk Handcrfat, Shamian Island, Guangdong Provincial Museum, Museum of the Tomb of the King of Southern Yue in Western Han Dynasty, Temple of Six Banyan Trees, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Temple of Bright Filial Piety, Chime-Long Paradise, Museum of the Western Han Dynasty Mausoleum of the Nanyue King and Huaisheng Mosque.
Today Baiyun New Town, where Guangzhou Baiyun International Convention Center is located is a prime location where culture, transportation, attractions, and economy is rapidly developing.
IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) is a leading international body representing the interests of library and information service and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession and has approximately 1,700 members (associations, institutions and individuals) in 150 countries, representing over 100,000 libraries and close to 1,000,000 library professionals worldwide. The IFLA World Library and Information Congress has been widely known as IFLA Conference for more than 75 years.
Profile of Attendance
We express our utmost interest in the Annual IFLA Conference. We sincerely invite you to convene in Guangzhou Baiyun, China. We offer the Guangzhou Baiyun International Convention Center as a venue for the said event. As you know, China is a fast-rising business and conference destination. China has hosted many important conferences with great success in the past. We are confident that this important and prestigious conference can be held in Guangzhou Baiyun, which is becoming a prime destination for events such as business conventions and conferences. Baiyun is dubbed as the transportation hub and gateway of Guangzhou; therefore you can be assured that you have quick access to transportation. Guangzhou is has a growing economy and has excellent facilities to accommodate your needs.
The IFLA Conference is an event with tremendous significant to international library and information community. The event brings together delegates, experts and suppliers from different parts of the world to exchange information, share knowledge, familiarize with new technologies and innovations and to participate in the development of libraries and information centers around the world. The event takes place in different parts of the world and is attended by over 4,000 delegates.
The conference will be held in August 10-14, 2008 in Guangzhou, China. The following dates are held tentatively at the fourth building exhibition hall of Guangzhou Baiyun International Convention Center.
Conference Venues and Facilities
Guangzhou Baiyun International Convention Center is considered as the biggest and most advanced international convention center in South China. The convention center boasts of the most excellent facilities and technologies. Integrated in the venue are five-star standard hotel, convention center, exhibition center and theatre center. Guangzhou Baiyun International Convention Center is under the management of DongFang Hotel Group, which is considered as the most historical five-star hotel management group in China. The convention center is located at the heart of Baiyun New District – an emerging business, social, cultural and ecological commercial center in Guangzhou. Guangzhou Baiyun International Convention Center is only a distance from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and China Import and Export Trade Fair.
Guangzhou Baiyun International Convention Center offers all facilities and services that will cater to the needs of the delegates attending the convention with all-round services, flexible spaces and state-of-the art technology. The convention center is also served by public transportation.
There are five equally suitable venues to host the IFLA Conference:
· Century Great Conference Hall
· Yuexiu Grand Hall
· Level 1 Exhibition Hall
· Level 2 Exhibition Hall
· Quingyuan Room
A conference schedule is proposed as follows:
· Opening Session
· Question and Answer Session
· Newcomers Session
· UNESCO Session
· 2 Keynote Speakers
· Tea and Coffee Break
· 3 Parallel Sessions
· Exhibition Opening
· Cultural Evening
· Plenary Sessions
· Keynote Speakers
· Workshops and Symposia Sessions
· Workshops and Symposia
· IFLA Press Conference
· Keynote Speakers
· Workshops and Symposia
· Officers training Session
· Plenary Session
· Art Libraries
· Preservation and Conservation
· Keynote Speakers
· President-Elect’s Brainstorm Session
· Poster Sessions
· Plenary Sessions
· Panel Discussion
· Workshops and Symposia
· Poster Sessions
· Keynote Speakers
· Plenary Session
· Workshops and Symposia
· Keynote Speakers
· Council Meeting
· Closing Session
There are numerous first-class accommodation infrastructures in Guangzhou. In the last five years there has been a significant increase in the number of hotle beds available in the city. As well as established, high quality local operators, most of the major international hotel chains are now present in China. Business and luxury hotels are increasing in number in Guangzhou which is connected to the business and economic hub of Asia – Hong Kong.
The Budget structure will be based upon experience from previous years and associations guidelines. According to the attendance figures achieved by previous IFLA conferences, we conservatively estimate that between 4,000 – 4,300 delegates will come to Guangzhou to attend the IFLA Conference in 2013 and we can cater for substantially more than that number if necessary.
The funding goal for this conference is to provide a quality programme and information at a reasonable cost to delegates. The main source of funding will be the Registration Fee. We expect this will be in US,000 to US,500 range per delegate – with reduced rate for students and delegates from developing countries. Delegate registration includes:
· A delegate pack and programme information
· Participation in all conference sessions
· Tea and coffee breaks
· A ticket to the cultural night
· Full access to facilities within the convention center
· Transport to and from the cultural night
In addition to the registration income, we expect to secure significant levels of commercial sponsorship for this prestigious international event. A number of organizations such as OCLC, ProQuest, Elsevier, Infor, Gale Cengage Learning, and Springer have already indicated their interest in supporting the conference.
Exhibitions and Sponsorship
A commercial exhibition will be held in conjunction with the Congress. It will be open from the afternoon of August 10 until afternoon of August 14. The exhibition will be held in the first and second exhibition halls in the fourth building of Guangzhou Baiyun International Conventional Center. The World Library and Information Congress 2013 will provide sponsors and exhibitors with exposure and access to delegates who have the capacity to influence the selection of products and services with their organizations. The Congress also provide sponsors and exhibitors with the opportunity to demonstrate their support and commitment internationally to the fields of libraries and library services. Participating in the sponsorship programme will extend their visibility beyond the exhibition hall to achieve maximum exposure at the Congress. It is the express intention of the Congress organizing committee to ensure that participating companies receive the highest recognition in return for their generous support. General benefits include the following:
· Company name and logo on sponsored items
· Acknowledgment in promotional materials
· Acknowledgement in Congress website
· Editorial entry in Final Programme
· Acknowledgement in Final Programme against sponsored item with own branding
· Priority choice of exhibition space
· Priority choice of hotel allocations
· Use of the World Library and Information Congress logo on company communications relating the World Library and Information Congress 2013.
Marketing and Promotion
Marketing is defined as the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably (CIM, cited in Watt, 1998). It is the function of event management that can keep in touch with the event’s participants and visitors, read their needs and motivations, develop products that meet these needs and build a communications programme which expresses the event’s purpose and objectives (Hall, 1997).
A comprehensive and well executed marketing and promotion plan will be developed to ensure the conference is a success. There will be a heavy emphasis on using new technologies, such as internet and email to identify and target potential delegates and communicate in a timely fashion with confirmed attendees. If success with this bid, we will be appointing, by tender, a Professional Conference Organizer (PCO) to assist with the logistics of organizing this conference. The marketing and promotion plan will include:
· A dedicated conference website with an advance booking service for delegates, special offers such as early bird discounts, and useful links to relevant information, such as hotels, restaurants and cultural facilities.
· Advertising within relevant journals and websites.
· Direct marketing to delegates of previous IFLA Congress through email.
· A robust public relations programme to generate media interest in the run up and during the conference and to keep it in the public eye.
Marketing events is the process of employing the marketing mix to attain organizational goals through creating value for clients and customers. The organization must adopt a marketing orientation that stresses the building of mutually beneficial relationships and the importance of competitive advantages (Getz, 1997). The marketing mix is composed of product, place, price, and promotion (4Ps).
Product – this refers to the event that is being offered
Place – this refers to where the event is going to be held
Price – this refers to the amount of money that will be required to be able to participate in the event
Promotion – this refers to the activities that stimulate interest in the event (Burke & Resnick, 2000, cited in Davidson & Rogers, 2006)
In line with the environmental ethos of the conference, we intend to strictly limit paper usage before and during the conference in favour of electronic communication. As well as being a greener policy, this should also help to significantly reduce a major budget line -item.
There are adequate numbers of entrance and exit doors enough to accommodate the expected number of people that will go to the book fair. The entrance and exit signages are in appropriate positions. The signages are clear and easily read, with adequate lighting. There are also fire prevention devices such as sprinklers, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors.
There are also available translation facilities that are available in the convention halls, and the latest in digital audio-visual equipment will ensure that the presentations and speeches carry the maximum impact. The entire complex is covered by a high-speed wireless broadband (WI-Fi) network provided free of charge to delegates. In addition, offices and meeting rooms of various sizes are available for hire at reasonable rates.
Conference Organizing Committee
In order to make the event organized and successful, an organizational structure must be created and functional teams must be established (Silvers, 2004). The organization is headed by the Event Committee which will direct, overlook and appoint teams to handle the different tasks in event coordination. The event committee makes strategic decisions about the events and is responsible for the overall direction of the event, the preparation of preliminary budget, and the oversight of the event coordinator and event subcommittees.
Six (6) Group Managers will be in charge of the 8 departments. The Group Managers informs and controls the duties/tasks. Each department is composed of 10 to 20 members. The departments are:
1. Food and Catering – this department will be responsible for menu planning and providing snacks and beverages on-site.
2. Communication and Logistic – this department will be responsible for transporting the equipments and facilities to the exhibition hall. The communication and logistic department also will arrange the communication network before and during the event. This group will also be responsible for communication tools such as fliers, announcements, travel maps and others.
3. Transportation and Registration – this department will be responsible for coordinating and planning for arrival schedules for participants and exhibitors. This department will also be responsible for arranging a transport system to take the special guests to and from the airport. This group will also be in charge in the registration area.
4. Public and International Relations – this department will arrange domestic and international promotion of the event. This department is also responsible for setting up a media center within the venue and in publishing notices and announcements. Lastly, the public and international relations department will also shoot videos and photos of the event.
5. Site Development and Security – this department will be responsible for planning and supervising the entire venue, including the facilities. This department will also overlook basic utilities such as water, garbage disposal and electricity. The department will also coordinate with the security group of the venue and with a private security company for security and protection of the venue. The site development and security department is also in charge with the medical and emergency services.
6. Finance – this group will prepare the budget for the event and will develop an accounting system.
Event Strategic Plan
The event coordination team will focus on the marketing and promotion of the event during the anticipation stage. The goal will be to reach a great number of people and to attract exhibitors, vendors, participants and consumers to the event. The team will work on the following:
Printing and Postage
The event coordination team is aware that majority of the exhibitors and participants will come from other countries. The event coordination team will focus on the travel and transportation of the attendees and guests. In planning the travel and transportation strategy of the event, the coordination team will consider the options the traveler might use: trains, airplanes, boats, buses, and/or private automobiles. The team will also analyze the potential arrival schedules of the attendees. In order to guide the attendees and to make sure that they arrive promptly and safely at the venue the team will make use of the following:
Housing for the guests
Instructions and Maps
The team will ensure that all the facilities, amenities, tools, and materials that will be used for the event are properly arranged and are in good condition. Among the major concerns of the team are:
Special Storage Requirements
Signage Requirements (Sponsor Recognition)
Since the event is a book fair, food and beverages will be kept in minimum all throughout the event. The team will recruit vendors/establishments to provide/sell refreshments to the guests and participants. The concerns are:
Food Service Scope
Seating – Reserved or Open
Beverage Service Scope
Special Wait staff Attire
The event will also feature different activities that will excite the guests and customers. These activities will be geared towards the promotion of the exhibitors’ and their products. The event will showcase:
Amenities will not only include the physical elements of the venue but also the following:
Risk Assessment and Safety and Security Plan
The possible sources of event risks are the following:
Selection and Pre-Event Activities – Entrance and Exists, Physical Conditions of Facility, Lighting
Pre-Event – Set-up Hazards
Transportation and Parking – Access and Traffic Control, Parking
Partners and Exhibitors – Written Agreements, Claims and Liabilities, Insurance Requirements
Professional Conference Organizer
The professional conference organizer, or sometimes called professional congress organizer is an organization that offers a company complete turnkey organizational support for a meeting, including administration and meeting management services (Rogers, 2003). The role of a professional conference organizer can include researching and recommending a suitable venue, helping to plan the conference programme including the social program, marketing the conference and handling delegate registrations, booking accommodation/housing for delegates, planning an exhibition tom run concurrently with the conference, producing a budget and handling all the conference finances (Rogers, 2003; Buhalis & Costa, 2006).
Once retained, the PCO becomes the liaison between the organization and the local convention bureau, the hotel and other suppliers. Services that a PCO provide include, but are not limited to:
· Advice on accommodations or facilities and assistance in negotiations
· Assistance with customs, taxation, and related government compliance
· Consultation on the program relative to local influences, customs and cultural considerations
· Budgeting advice invoking the PCO’s experience with similar events
· Arranging foreign bank accounts and letters of credit, collecting fees and disbursing funds to vendors and administering and auditing accounts.
· Establishing a secretariat or conference office with staff and administrative services
· Liaison with local counterparts, offices, or host and organizing committees
· Supervision, receipt and processing of registrations
· Contracting, organizing, and supervising exhibit services and collecting of exhibitor fees and other exposition management functions
· Advice on protocol, cultural differences, VIP treatment, and security
· Assistance with risk assessment, analysis and contingency planning, as well as preparation of emergency response and crisis management protocols
· Supervision and coordination of support services and logistical and/or operational details
· Coordination of post-conference tasks, close-out of accounts, and preparation and supervision of return shipments
· Post-conference critique and reconciliation of budget and expenditure
· Providing interpreters and multilingual staff and arranging for translation, reproduction, and dissemination of proceedings and meeting materials (Krugman & Wright, 2006)
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