CONTACT US Mary Rose Stafford (Manager) Irish Academy of Hospitality & Tourism, Institute of Technology, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 066-7191664
Top Tips for Planning and Organising Festivals and Events for 2013 Liz Kennedy-Burke 2013 is the year of ‘The Gathering’ in Ireland, presenting many opportunities for local communities to attract visitors to their area. The purpose of this article is to provide a broad introduction to planning and organising festival and events as they apply to small groups, under the following four headings. 1. 2. 3. 4.
Getting Started Marketing & Promotion Safety and Risk Management Managing Finance
1. Getting Started A group of people interested in an event should come together and have clear aims and objectives for running the event i.e. to build community spirit, to stimulate the local economy, to educate children etc. Once these aims and objectives are identified the next step is to establish a local working group (i.e. an organising committee). This organising committee should review themes, timing, potential etc. Themes considered could be based around local folklore/customs unique to an area or unique to Ireland; or around food, literature, music, fashion, religion, architecture & design, activity based (e.g. water, walking, equine),linkages to the natural environment or a combination of the above. A structured approach is important for organising a successful event. In addition to identifying the aims and objectives of the event, other suggested tasks for the organising committee include the development of the committee’s procedures and terms of reference, agreement on membership and determination of roles and responsibilities. Successful events require strong local champions. Three champions are considered the optimum number required for effective local management.
2. Marketing & Promotion All events no matter how small need a marketing plan. When developing a marketing plan consider positioning, marketing mix and recent marketing and consumer behaviour trends. In the marketing plan, define objectives, budget, target market and how you are going to reach them. Clearly communicating that the event is happening is critical for its success. Promote the event locally by encouraging local involvement. Engage regularly with the local media. The main methods for communicating include advertising; sales promotion; brochures; public relations and e-marketing. Track the effectiveness of marketing efforts by asking people when they register how they heard about the event. Develop a website within the first two months and ensure it is uncluttered, interactive and updated regularly. Review other event websites for ideas. Ensure at least two people are responsible for responding to queries on the website. The website should have a link to the event online brochure and should contain all the required information (name & location of event, directions, dates, times, prices, target market suitability, event contact details, accommodation & transport options, attractive photos and the unique selling proposition of the event). Encourage pre-bookings by offering ‘early bird’ rates.
Social Media is a cost effective marketing communications tool. Given the expedient growth in the use of social media, it is important to develop an active and integrated strategy. Update and communicate regularly. Develop strong calls to action through organising competitions on Facebook of ‘best event moments’. The best photos could be posted on Flickr. Social media can also be used to develop unique stories by targeting visitors, businesses or locals to tell their stories on YouTube videos. Post endorsements or quotes from key influencers connected to the area. Twitter is especially useful for communicating with your visitor during your event. Ideally visitor research should be conducted by trained market research experts. Given limited time & resources and a perceived lack of experience, some basic research can be conducted by gathering visitor information at registration. You can also collect information during the event by recruiting volunteers to ask visitors about their experiences; their satisfaction with programme content; type of accommodation/transport used; expenditure on certain items etc. Take notes and do a summary report. Competitor analysis can be conducted by visiting other festivals as a participant.
3. Safety & Risk Management All event organisers have a duty of care to those attending and working at the event. Safety statements, risk assessments, emergency plans and insurance are a pre-requisite for organising festivals in Ireland . The prospect of preparing formal safety statements, risk assessments and emergency plans can be a daunting task for event organisers. While many community groups can prepare these themselves, seek help from professional experts if required. Ensure responsibilities for preparing and managing the above documents are delegated to committee members and communicated to volunteers. Safety statements should be produced as part of a commitment to safety planning and as a defence in the event of an accident occurring and insurance claims being made. It should contain a brief description of the event, dates and a list of statutory bodies that have been consulted. It should also contain a safety policy, risk assessment, emergency plan and insurance. Depending on the size and nature of the event, consider other elements e.g. crowd management, waste disposal, and noise control. Risk Assessment: An effective risk assessment is concerned with preventing accidents, by identifying, eliminating and controlling hazards and risks. There are five main steps: 1. 2. 3.
Look for the Hazards Decide who might be harmed and how Evaluate the Risks and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or not Record your findings Review your assessment and revise
Emergency plan: Have a procedure in place should an emergency happen. Distribute key contact numbers to volunteers. Have Civil Defence, Red Cross etc on stand-by. Develop an accident report form to record details of injured party, witnesses and support staff. Insurance: All festivals should ensure they have adequate insurance i.e. Public, Employers, Property and Motor Liability and a cancellation policy. Contact relevant bodies in advance to ensure the event is appropriately insured. Additional documentation: Consider also developing traffic
management and site plans. Information on event licences can be obtained from local authorities, Gardaí and AOIFE (Association of Irish Festival Events) as required.
Mary Stritch Lifelong Learning Department, Co. Kerry, Ireland Email: email@example.com / Telephone: 066-7191701
Issue 2. Vol 1 May 2013
4. Managing Finance Events are often not for profit but this does not exonerate organisers from managing prudently and transparently on behalf of a community. Establish a finance committee (as a sub group of the main organising committee) and appoint a competent treasurer. Prepare projected budgets and end of year accounts. As the event draws closer the budget evolves into an Income & Expenditure Account. Keep accurate, up-to-date financial records of income and expenditure, pay bills promptly and reconcile accounts regularly. An Event is a Business, so have a Business Plan. Identify all sources of costs and watch for hidden costs i.e. VAT. Sources of Finance include Existing /Own Funds; Admission Fees; Advertising; Donations; Sponsorship (Private); Sponsorship (Public) or Grants. Types of Funders include Trusts; Community funds; European awards; Corporate; Statutory bodies; Local businesses (sponsorship); General Public (Flag days) or LEADER Programme. Approach the funders most likely to offer you support. Know their product and identify who makes the decisions. Distinguish an element of the event which might be of interest to prospective sponsors. Thank sponsors after the event.
10 Rules of Fundraising 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Ask for a gift, don't wait. Another will ask if you don't. Be professional and look professional. Be accountable. Be honest. Listen to your heart; it's more honest than your mind. Speak with conviction for your cause. If you can't, recruit someone who can. A prospect is simply a donor without motivation. You provide motivation. A donor is a fundraiser who has yet to share their conviction with a friend. Ask them to. A good fundraiser is a friendly motivator. A successful fundraiser has thick skin, a soft heart, exceptional hearing, a quick mind, a slow tongue and no shame - at least when it comes to asking for a gift!
Liz Kennedy-Burke has almost 20 years experience of the education and training sectors in Ireland. She holds an MBS (in Tourism Policy) & has worked closely with a wide range of clients including public sector policy bodies, Higher Education Institutions, government departments, various Skillnet networks, SMEs, trade associations, LEADER groups, festivals, community groups and commercial enterprises associated with the tourism industry. Liz’s particular expertise is in applied market research, focus group moderation, situational analysis, y ffacilitation, training g & project management. Dublin gement. Having worked with the Dub Institute ute of Technology (DIT) for 16 years, LLiz ged their Tourism Research Centre for 7 years. managed
Attending the launch of the Irish Academy of Hospitality and Tourism in June 2012 in the Institute of Technology, Tralee Front row LtoR: Kay Fitzgerald(Institute of Technology, Tralee), Tom Curran (County Manager, KCC), Mary Rose Stafford (Irish Academy of Hospitality and Tourism) and T.J. O' Connor (Institute of Technology, Tralee) Back row LtoR: Adrian Cummins (Restaurants Association of Ireland), Michael Vaughan (Irish Hotels Federation), Natasha Kinsella (Irish Hospitality Institute), Sean O' Malley (Failte Ireland), Dr Clare Rigg (Institute of Technology, Tralee), Gerry Rafter (Vintners Federation of Ireland)
News update from rom the IAHT The Irish Academy of Hospitality & Tourism was launched in June 2012 at the Institute of Technology, Tralee. In 2012, we had the first intake of students on the new national Trainee Manager Development Programme, a three year BA in Hotel Management. There is great industry support for the programme;19 students commenced in 2012 and 27 students entered the programme in 2013. The blended learning approach to programme delivery, which combines traditional classroom lectures with work based learning and on-line modules and supports, is proving a success with these students. As a result of the success of the TMPD programme and in response to industry demand, the IAHT has also developed a BA in Hotel Management which combines classroom modules with extensive work based learning experience and on-line modules. The first cohort of students will begin the degree programme in September 2013. In order to highlight these new and innovative programmes, the IAHT presented at a number of Irish Hotels Federation Human Resource Managers’ Forums throughout January 2013. Fáilte Ireland’s Marine & Countryside Guiding programme was also rolled out in 2012. This programme supported the professional development of Local and Regional Guides in the South West of Ireland. With the support of Fáilte Ireland and South Kerry Development Partnership a total of 32 Guides and 16 Angling Guides completed the programme.
APPLICATION DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Entry to Year 1 of the Trainee Manager Development Programme (TMPD) (BA Hotel Management Level 7) Closing Date for Applications: July 1st 2013 Commences: October 2013 BA Hotel Management, Block Release (Level 7 and Level 8) CAO entry: July 1st 2013 (change of mind) Commences September 2013
In terms of applied research, Dr Denise O’ Leary, with the support of a Fáilte Ireland applied research grant, completed a study of Food Tourism Networks and from the study has designed a practical manual for managing food tourism networks. This will be launched in April 2013 and will have relevance to the wider tourism networks around the country. Fáilte Ireland’s continued support in 2013 allows the IAHT to work on a new community-led tourism initiative to facilitate the development of St. Brendan the Navigator as an iconic living historical story along the Wild Atlantic Way Kerry route. Community involvement is an important remit for the Institute of Technology, Tralee and the IAHT with support from North & East Kerry Development is involved in supporting communities to run Gathering Events in 2013. These supports provide mentoring and training in areas of event management. Our international collaboration has continued with partners in the University of Strathclyde and Waikato University in New Zealand who provide mentoring and support for the IAHT activities. In addition, our collaboration with Tourism colleges in Ontario, Canada will see the first cohort of students coming to the Institute of Technology for Hospitality & Tourism training in 2013.
L to R: Mary Rose Stafford (IAHT), Michael Vaughan (President IHF), Bjorn Minnie (TMDP Student, Malton Hotel, Killarney) and Dr Oliver Murphy (President IT, Tralee) at the annual TMDP dinner.
International Trends in Tourism – Are You Ready? Prof T.G. Baum “Whither tourism?” was a favourite and cryptic examination question set by an eminent professor and colleague in his examination papers, asking students to use informed speculation to paint a picture of the direction which international tourism was taking at that particular time. As a question without any obvious right (or, indeed, wrong) answers it was both deceptively easy and a hidden minefield for those poor students choosing to answer it. After marking the papers, the professor would collate the best of the answers and share them with his colleagues as a fascinating barometer of where the world of tourism was heading. Unscientific? Maybe but perhaps as valid a source of trend analysis and predication as those attempted professionally. Table 1 is taken from the annual analysis of current and future developments in tourism, published by UNWTO and gives us a picture of those countries that they expect to be the world’s top destinations in 2020. These and the wide range of accompanying predictions are predicated upon historical trend assumptions which may or may not prove to be valid - economic stability and growth, continued reduction in the formal barriers to travel (visas) among others. As we all know to our cost, assuming the continuation of historical economic and tourism trends through to 2013 (as most people would probably have done in 2007) would have led us to assume a very different place from that where we are today. In evaluating the implications of tourism trends, of course we do need, in part, to take cognizance of historical precedent and data. We would be naive and foolhardy to ignore such sources. At the same time, tourism businesses, operators and analysts need to adopt a future thinking perspective which can accommodate a range of both thinkable and unthinkable futures and create what futurologists call ‘opportunity spaces’ which allows them to prepare for different future scenarios, based both on their likely occurrence and their importance to a business or destination if they did. This process, then, allows us to create organisational (or destination) flexibility which can allow us to thrive within whichever ‘opportunity space’ ultimately emerges as reality.
Table 1: World’s Top Destinations 2020, UNWTO Country China France USA Spain Hong Kong UK Italy Mexico Russia Czech Republic
Arrivals (Mn) 130 106 102 74 57 54 53 49 48 44
Market share (%) 8.3 6.8 6.6 4.7 3.6 3.4 3.4 3.1 3.1 2.7
% growth pa, 1995-2020 7.8 2.3 3.5 2.6 7.1 3.4 2.1 3.6 8.5 4.0
As well as envisioning possible futures, it is also evident that there are historically rooted social, economic and political trends which impact on tourism and which we can adopt into our thinking with reasonable confidence. Changing demographics in Europe, with an aging population and fewer in the younger age brackets (our prime source of labour in tourism) is widely discussed but there is little evidence that much of the tourism industry is taking measured, long-term steps to prepare for the consequences in terms of product and service (for consumers) or recruitment and training (for a potentially much more mature workforce). Do we really understand the expectations of the grey generation as either consumers or employees? Are we willing to, are we capable of adapting to these expectations? Likewise, in Europe we have largely been passive observers of the major market shift in international tourism over the past two decades, that of the rapid growth in outbound Chinese tourism and now face a situation across the EU where, in product, service and cultural/ language terms, we are woefully ill-prepared to cater for their needs. It is not only tourism businesses who are at fault here - our secondary schools and tourism colleges persist in teaching European languages and ignore the future needs of tourism and other economic sectors. UNWTO’s analysis of future trends in 2012 is based on the continuation of developments which we are already talking about: • • • • • • • • •
Increased prominence of emergent markets and destinations Increased concern for safety and security More mature and experienced tourists Increasing competition Stress on value for money Aging population Shift from service to experience Incorporation of new technologies Importance of sustainable development and accommodating environmental change
In many respects, all tourism businesses and destinations should already be positioning themselves to accommodate this well-established vision of a global tourism future but will this be enough for survival and for competitive success? Think back 10 years, to the early noughties, and consider those aspects of the external environment as well as our personal and working lives which, today, we take for granted but which, then, were unknown and unanticipated. The list could be extensive, technology dominated, perhaps (applications of social media, tablets, smartphones) but could also include other dimensions - a black President in the White House. Over the next ten years, one absolute certainty is that there will be a list of unknown and unanticipated changes waiting for us, only it will be much, much longer than that which we can jot down for the past decade. Are we, our businesses and, indeed, Ireland as a tourism destination geared up to accommodate these unknowns and to steal a march on others in terms of their adoption and exploitation? Of course, the future is inherently unpredictable and this process of thinking about trends and shaping up for what is known about the future is not about anticipating left-field events which are always going to take us by surprise and about which we cannot do anything. But where we do need to be is in a position where we can respond faster and more effectively than others around us to the certainty of a continually changing world in both practical and psychological terms. That is the real challenge in thinking “whither tourism?” and interpreting and acting upon the possible consequences of our answers. Tom Baum is Professor of International Tourism and Hospitality Management in the Department of Human Resource Management, University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Tom has worked in vocational and professional education and training in the tourism and hospitality sectors for over 30 years, as a research manager within the public sector in Ireland, an educator in the university sector and as consultant to public and privately funded projects across 45 countries and five continents. He has published extensively in tourism and hospitality education and training, including 8 books and over 200 scientific research papers. Tom is a member of the IAHT Advisory Board
Developing Food Tourism in Ireland– Why Get Involved? Dr Denise O’ Leary Food Tourism has been recognised as a fast growing niche area, identified by the Tourism Renewal Group as a priority market segment where Ireland can gain competitive advantage. In recognition of its importance, food tourism has recently been prioritised within the policy arena and tourism providers have been encouraged to become involved in its development. But what does this mean in practice? This article attempts to address that question as well as examining why it may be advantageous to tourism providers to become involved. Before answering the question, it is important to establish what the concept of ‘Food Tourism’ entails. In fact, there is no universally accepted definition. There are narrow definitions of food tourism as catering specifically for individuals who intentionally travel to a destination for food-related experiences. Although one aspect of food tourism is providing food-related activities and events to attract visitors with a passion for food, everyone must eat. Consequently the broader definition of food tourism defining it as ‘the provision of competitively priced, high quality, authentically Irish food to all visitors’, is a more appropriate one to use. Additionally, food tourism is not simply about food. When visitors consume a meal, they do more than physically consume the food. The experience is permeated by the cultural aspects of the environment around them. Therefore food tourism from a visitor’s perspective means experiencing quality offerings in all aspects of their visit while experiencing a sense of ‘place on a plate’ throughout their time here. Consequently, the development of food tourism cannot supersede other tourism development in a region, but must complement it.
Food tourism in practice If you are a tourism provider, what does it mean in practical terms to support the concept of food tourism? If you provide food, it means knowing about local food and offering authentically Irish food and/or cuisine with a specific focus on food from your own region. Just as important as offering local food, is to highlight the fact to visitors. Restaurants and hotels for example, can highlight the use of local food products on their menus or a menu board. Other tourism providers can create food-related tourism experiences. One example of how this can be done is provided by Dingle Bay Charters. This business offers fishing packages which allow visitors to take their catch to a local restaurant where it is prepared for their dinner, enhancing the entire experience. There are also opportunities for tourism providers to get involved in food tourism networks which play an important role in the development of food tourism. There are some already in existence, on the Dingle Peninsula and in Howth for example, and now is an ideal time to develop others throughout the country.
Food tourism networks are of prime importance in encouraging the buy in of a critical mass of tourism providers in a region to the concept of food tourism. A network can also support individuals (like Dingle Bay Charters for example) who wish to create specific food-related experiences. These experiences can in turn become part of a ‘food trail’. Food Festivals can also play an important role in food tourism. The Galway Oyster Festival, for example, has grown from small beginnings in 1954 when 34 people attended a single event, to a multi-event festival with more than 22,000 visitors in 2012. Tourism providers can play a part in organising such a festival or can be involved in festival events.
Why get involved in the development of food tourism? Developing food-related visitor experiences or sourcing, using and finding out about locally produced food requires time, effort and expense. Why then should tourism providers consider active involvement in food tourism development? In short, food tourism has been shown to reap rewards for individuals and for the region in which they operate. If a destination becomes known for its high quality, locally produced food and food-related experiences, this can increase visitor numbers which in turn can lead to increased tourist spend. The state of Vermont in the United States for example, attracts visitors by marketing its farms, farm produce and food-related experiences. These experiences include overnight farm stays, pick-your-own produce, farmers markets and corn mazes. Research has shown that more than half of visitors might not consider Vermont as a holiday destination without these types of experiences to attract them. Food tourism can also reduce leakage of economic resources from a region because money for food purchased locally circulates within the local economy rather than leaking out of it. This is because more use of local products by local food providers translates directly into more sales for producers. Additionally, if food providers and other local businesses highlight locally-produced foods, this results in increased consumer exposure and greater brand awareness which can also translate into more sales. A study conducted on food consumption in the Seattle area in the US found that for every $100 spent at restaurants prioritising the use of local produce, $79 is re-spent locally while if $100 is spent at a restaurant which does not give precedence to the use of local produce, only $31 is re-spent locally. Benefits to local food producers can translate into other regional benefits since increases in sales of local foods can create employment. It has been demonstrated that in rural areas, food tourism provides employment opportunities which would not otherwise exist, particularly for women and young people . Thus, food tourism in a rural area can support rural development as it provides a means of economic diversification. Some benefits of food tourism can be less economically tangible, but equally important. Association with quality food products can encourage the celebration and preservation of local traditions that might otherwise be lost. Consequently, while the mass tourism industry has sometimes been accused of causing dilution of identity, food tourism can in fact be an effective means of maintaining regional identities. By differentiating a tourist region from its competitors in this way and focusing on making a destination different through the creation of unique food experiences, food tourism can increase the competitiveness of a destination in the tourist market. Increasing the competitiveness of a destination can lead to greater numbers and a greater visitor spend. Tourism providers that position themselves as providers of local food in such an environment can benefit even more from this increased spend. Fáilte Ireland presents the vision ‘...that Ireland be recognised by visitors for the availability, quality and value of our local and regional food experiences which evokes a unique sense of place, culture and hospitality ’. This can only occur if tourism providers buy-in to the concept of food tourism. This is not to say it is easy to develop. It’s a process made complex by the sheer diversity of stakeholders involved. Nevertheless, the economic advantages at regional and individual level are numerous, indicating that the development of food tourism is a worthwhile goal. Fáilte Ireland provides guidance for food tourism development on their web site: http://www.failteireland.ie/Develop-Your-Business/ Food-Tourism-in-Ireland.aspx Dr Denise O’ Leary is a Post Doctoral Researcher at the IAHT and is currently undertaking research funded by the Fáilte Ireland Applied Research Scheme. In 2012 the IAHT conducted research on Managing Food Tourism Networks and the centre has developed a Practical Manual for industry practitioners. In 2013 the IAHT will research a community led tourism initiative to facilitate the development of an iconic living historical story along the Wild Atlantic Way.