Competitive events are closely followed by events for artistic expression, then by exhibitions, special business events, cultural, and charitable events in that order for popularity with event-savvy sponsors.
In fact, according to the leading American advertising journal Advertising Age, corporate spending on events in America has grown at an average of 17 per cent per annum since the late 1980’s.
Sports related events top the list by cornering about 45 per cent of the total event spending; music and art events represent a combined 35 per cent billing. Rest of the event-spend is shared by the other event categories.
Similarly, in Canada, almost 60 per cent of the Canadian corporate spending on events is on sporting events. The total event spend in the United Kingdom is put at 12 million pound.
In the Indian context, industry watchers expect growth rates of 50 to 100 per cent in the next five years and an event spend in the region of Rs 500 crores, thus making this industry a very attractive business.
The underlying fundamental infrastructure of these event categories has been ferreted out to understand the categorization of events better.
Though the categorization of events as a whole may seem to be comprehensive, they are not exclusive in nature. An event can be a mix of the above categories too. For instance, having an entertainment programme during or after (but as part of the package of) a trade fair is almost a common phenomenon.
Classifying such a stage show separately, as an event here would not be right since the reason for such a show to happen was the trade fair. But from the event organizers’ point of view this is a mixed and matched version of two different categories of events that require different levels of skill and management input.
Similarly, since awards are a feature of most categories and specifically with respect to sports, music and film events, as well as pretty lucrative for the event organizers, these should be categorized along with its parent category.
Thus, the Coopers & Lybrands and Ceat Cricketer of the year awards would obviously be put under sports as part of the competitive events category though the presentation ceremonies are stage shows. The underlying factor for the core concept could be business or entertainment.
Business need not be only monetary, political business is also a business. Similarly, entertainment or sensory thrills encompass a wide definition that includes display of paintings as a form of entertainment for a connoisseur or aficionado of the arts.
Competitive events also are a form of entertainment for the target audience, so is artistic expression. Therefore, event categories get mixed and matched to achieve the perfect blend of reach and interaction as well as business and entertainment giving rise to event variations.
Thus, each of the categories of events can be customized or combined to suit any of the marketing requirements of the corporate sponsor. Combined with the possibilities in the networking plans and barter deals et al, the situation that arises is one of having to decide amongst an unwieldy number of permutations and combinations that are technically feasible but difficult to execute in reality.