تبادل رویداد : نقش طراحی و خلاقیت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2236||2010||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Hospitality Management, Volume 29, Issue 2, June 2010, Pages 208–215
The purpose of the research is to contribute towards a better understanding of the role of design and creativity in the pitch phase of an event bid. The paper does not seek to re-document the formal proposal process of preparing and bidding for an event but instead will look at an element within event bidding, the pitch to the client. Winning an event pitch is a crucial part of the events industry and is undertaken by most event management companies (EMC) or agencies. It is highly competitive. The material is based on qualitative research with key individuals working in the events industry and presents selective reflections upon the pitch process, the rationale and criteria for pitching and the extent to which they use creative thinking to win. Design and creativity are essential components that help make events memorable experiences, but as the paper demonstrates they also have a significant role in securing the event contract in the first place. In some cases elaborate and extreme design tactics are used to make a successful pitch.
Bidding for events is an everyday part of the events landscape for agencies working with corporate and public clients (Berridge, 2007) and has become an increasing part of strategic and policy initiatives by destinations to attract new business (Getz, 2004). A key element in the bidding process is the presentational ‘pitch’ to the client. The purpose of the research is to offer a better understanding of some of the key issues in event pitching and, in particular, some of the more creative approaches used in pitching. The majority of organisations operating in the events industry (in the UK) are typically small companies or agencies employing less than 20 permanent staff and pitching for new contracts is an essential part of their day to day operations. For those working in this commercial sector, pitching accounts from anywhere between 20 and 40% of their revenue whereas those working within the public sector it can account for 100%. An ‘invitation to pitch’ for a private, entertainment or celebration based event, is normally done by direct invitation from the client and often involves no more than 3 competitors making a 30–45 min presentational ‘pitch’ on ideas for the event. In the public sector and for many larger events the pitch is preceded by a pre-qualifying questionnaire or bidding stage, which mostly includes the formal documentation of a bid. From these bidders a short list is drawn and those on it are then invited to formally pitch for the event. A literature overview of event management texts ensues, followed by an explanation of methodology. Results from interviews with 9 people are then selectively discussed to highlight how agencies view pitching and the creative ideas they employ to be successful.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The research indicates that design and creativity is a constant feature in pitching and the extent to which it is used to make an impact is considerable. It underpins both the initial concept stage, as noted in the literature, and the development of event experience. It also influences the style and delivery of the pitch itself. Some agencies were willing to take extravagant risks and give exposure to highly original pitches. Such preparedness to bend the rules of pitching is perhaps high risk but as one person put it ‘all you can do is lose the pitch’. Some agencies though were not prepared to deviate too much from the perceived pitch format other than in the level of creativity and conceptual thinking they had for the event. Client–agency relationship remains a central feature in what goes on in a pitch, although who is ‘controlling’ who is open to question. Mind games are being played by both clients and agencies. Whatever else emerges from the material here, one thing remains evident, pitches are becoming highly choreographed affairs. Communication operates on multiple levels and sending the right message to the client is paramount. The means to do that though is, of course, what marks one pitch out from another. Daring design elements and bold creativity for the event will only work if the client gets the message and so the pitch has to be clear enough to do that. If the client does not get it, there is little point to the pitch (unless confusion is the point). Different messages are transmitted by different channels of communication and, as is demonstrated in this paper, some of pitches succeed because those channels have been creatively designed to deliver the message in a non-routine way. What immediately becomes apparent is that there are some process rules that can be followed when pitching. Most of the interviewees acknowledged that they had a fairly well developed routine for responding to requests in the first instance. Within this framework it was largely evident that most EMC's had the knowledge and skills to pitch the type of event the client was requesting. In fact if they did not have evidence of this to begin with they would not be asked to pitch. This though did not preclude variations to this mutuality with some clients often keen to change the process whether by time, client representation or style of pitch. Often it seemed this was done to get a ‘response’ from the agency or to test them out. Interestingly while several agencies were happy to play mind games with clients and use extreme tactics, they did not appear to like it when the client did the same to them. There existed a clear professionalism in the way an agency responds to a brief with a set of meetings held to conceptualise an idea and develop a visual response to the brief. Research on the client, the company, their past events, the likely needs of guests, these were essential elements in helping agencies map out ideas, and is discussed in most sources on the subject. It was important that a connection was made with the client and all interviewees stated that they would try to meet directly with the client prior to the pitch. Here they would try to discover the types of ideas that might be appreciated as well as those that might not be. Hence with so many EMC's having the requisite skill level, it begs the question how would a client differentiate would proposal from another. The answer suggested by this research, is that it is at the pitch level where variation truly emerges as EMC's are able to present design and creative ideas on the event that mark them out as distinct from someone else. Some agencies acknowledged they got contracts because of how they pitched, not because of their ideas for the event. What can be learnt from these interviews especially for people new to the industry and unfamiliar with the pitching process or those preparing for a pitch? The following main points have emerged: 1. Preparation is required for an event brief that can be either vague and misleading or detailed and specific. As a consequence, EMC's need to ensure they conduct a pre-pitch interview with the client where they must be prepared to ask clarification questions. 2. Before pitching do background research on the client and look at past events and review them critically. 3. Try to pinpoint the buying criteria when meeting the client, establish who will make the decision and what the most important criteria is, e.g. price or concept. 4. Make the pitch an expression of the design ideas for the event. Ensure that the creative concept is clear to the client. Use different media to express this, do not be afraid to use strong ‘sense’ elements such as touch by bring in a swatch of material to be used in the event design or specific mock-ups of props. 5. Always have a contingency plan for the pitch, as the client can change the rules, e.g. instead of 45 min, it is 20. 6. As a rule, bring a clear idea of the type of venue or venues that would suit the event, and pitch to it/them. Clients like special venues and are often impressed by unique and ‘new’ discoveries. Show the design of the event in relation to a venue. This can be crucial since a venue can be ‘hidden’ by decoration if it is a basic space or complementary to the event if it is architecturally interesting. 7. Consider the strategic value of pitching and the third quote syndrome. It can be an effective promotional exercise if the client is someone who regularly holds events and the aim is to make an impression. In this case effusive evidence of creativity and design awareness will at least impact on the client even if it does not win the contract at this time. 8. Research trends and fashion in society as well as events. Be aware of historical links or celebrations that could either be the basis of or incorporated into the design concept. Know what is ‘flavour of the month’ for creative concepts. If last year it was casino nights, celebrity look-alikes and ice-bars, what is it this year? 9. Think and be prepared to act creatively. Sometimes, providing you have done research on the client, extreme tactics in creative pitching can work. Agencies should not be afraid to challenge assumptions. 10. Think on a psychological level, and consider the interaction in the pitch. Work on design techniques to get favourable responses. Personal interaction between those presenting a pitch can be vital, they must be seen to have a rapport with each other, so design certain elements in the pitch that show this. 11. Rehearse the pitch. 12. Design communication techniques that will get the message across to the client. Do not clutter the message by sending in a troop of people. Keep it clean and simple. This paper gives some insight into the pitch aspect of bidding for an event that is normally undertaken behind closed doors and is conducted confidentially between client and agency. All primary material here is supplied by narrative accounts from agency people involved in pitching and is, by nature, subjective. More detailed and objective insight into the research, design and creative discussion, is required especially the selection and rejection of ideas, the pitch preparation and pitch delivery could be further developed by, for example, participant observation and real-time tracking of the pitch process. Shadowing a team through a pitch would help detail elements of the process that are not evident here as some of the interviewees were reluctant to fully elaborate on design concepts for the actual events, a result of a combination of confidentiality but also they wanted to keep their advantages secret. There is also no doubt that an exploration of the psychology used by agencies and clients would shed some interesting light on the different pitch strategies. Furthermore there is scope for a more international study of pitching, to compare and contrast some of the ‘issues’ uncovered here with other business cultures. Finally there is considerable scope for investigation into client side views of the process and the pitches they receive.