Event experiences: design, management and impact

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Berridge, Graham
  • Subject: hospitality

The papers submitted for this PhD by publication represent research centered on event experiences and their design, management and impact. They are the result of research projects that have produced seven published peer-reviewed papers and one book. The body of work has made an original, significant and sustained contribution towards the development of an emerging field of study in events. The work has made a major contribution towards furthering understanding of the human experience that results from the management of events, their design and their impact.\ud At the heart of this submission is a consideration for how events are experienced and what factors and components contribute to the depth of that experience. The majority of papers analyses and reflects upon the construction of experience settings (their design) and essentially seeks knowledge to identify the variables that shape any experience of events (Ryan, 2012). In doing so the research undertaken has embraced a less restrictive set of methodologies usually afforded by statistical exercises in favour of a more embodied, immersive and participative approach. This has included not only observation and autoethnography, but also reflection on that which has been observed. In turn this reflection and analysis has drawn upon a range of theories and models to advance understanding of the social occasions that we call events where human interactions with the designed programme and environment illicit a range of responses that may culminate in a memorable and unique moment in time. The research therefore touches upon the emotional response to event experiences, the study and interpretation of the meaning of events, and notably their signification to an intended audience. In the course of this research I have evaluated and reflected upon the study and practice of event management across a range of event types and genres. Seeking to initially clarify the role of design in creating event experience led me to questioning the paradigmatic model for event management and resulted in the development of an alternative consideration for event planning and management - Event Experience Design Framework (EEDF). Unlike existing models this places design as the central and pivotal driving force that inhabits all areas of the event management process and upon which all events should then be based.\ud The contribution of this body of work can therefore be summarised as follows:\ud 1. Development of a paradigmatic concept that places design as the central and essential practice that underpins the planned event experience.\ud 2. Theoretical positioning of how designing event experiences impacts on stakeholders\ud 3. Recognition and application of theoretical models and tools relevant to event design and creativity, and further use of conceptual models to analyse experiential outcomes\ud 4. Identification and awareness of the broader socio-cultural impact of planned events This submission provides evidentiary material that I have made a positive and meaningful contribution to raising the profile of events through research, teaching and learning by an acknowledged excellence in events management education and as a recognised (and first) National Teaching Fellow in Events. Furthermore, the submission provides a reflection on this research and development that has enabled me to make such a pivotal contribution to the field. It concludes with an outline of plans for the future.
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    147 references, page 1 of 15

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