The paper "Hall Mark Event: The Notting Hill Carnival" is a good example of a management case study. Event management can be seen as one of the strategies that can be used to market destinations. Marketing of events can reinforce, repackage or reimagine the destination where the events take place. Against this backdrop, this paper evaluates the annual Notting Hill Carnival as a significant event and assesses how the event reinforces the area of Notting Hill in London. Background to the event The Notting Hill Carnival is regarded as Europe’ s largest street festival, which involves a celebration of the music as well as popular arts of a multiplicity of cultures (Carver, 2000: 34).
The festival, which is essentially based on West Indian (particularly Trinidadian) tradition, is held over August Bank Holiday weekend. Sunday is committed to children’ s carnival while the carnival proper is held on Monday. During the event, over one million people congregate in what is arguably a very small area in London (Carver, 2000: 35). In the past, the Notting Hill Carnival sometimes culminated in violence between the carnival-goers and the police and was thus broadly regarded both threatening and insignificant.
However, in recent times, the magnitude, success and high media coverage of the carnival have handed it an admirable image (Carver, 2000: 34). The Notting Hill Carnival has thus won sponsorship from a number of commercial concerns and has become one of the significant ways to market the Notting Hill area (Carver, 2000: 34). According to Raj and Musgrave (2009: 64), the Notting Hill Carnival has become a major component of the culture industry, and it accounts for the better percentage of economic growth for both local and national music as well as design artists. How the Notting Hill Carnival reinforces the Notting Hill area/London The Notting Hill Carnival reinforces Notting Hill in the sense that it is used for destination branding (Bowdin, 2010: 125).
The carnival is firmly established as a major festival in the UK and Europe, thus attracting a lot of attention to Notting Hill when it is held every year. The event also encourages identity creation (Bowdin, 2010: 125) since Notting Hill has come to be well known as a region that is associated with the carnival.
The idea behind reinforcing a destination is that the event markets the destination’ s status due to the activities that are undertaken during the event and the services or products that are offered (Bowdin, 2010: 125 - 126). According to Tassiopoulos (2005: 3), if managed and coordinate efficiently, a well-designed event strategy has the prospect to deliver a number of benefits and achieve various objectives for a destination. First is that doing so offers a means by which to reinforce the destination’ s benefits and attributes and thus generate a favourable image for the destination as a major tourist attraction.
Second, effective management and coordination of an event establish a destination as a major tourist attraction by attracting high-value visitors, particularly repeat visitors. Third, effective event management enhances a destination’ s competitive position within a country and places it on a global tourist map. The fourth point is well-coordinated events reinforce a destination by generating an increased rate of tourist growth for the destination and fifth is that the event truly brings a destination to life by showcasing its brand personality and instilling confidence and pride in its local community (Tassiopoulos, 2005: 3).
This is clearly true for the Notting Hill Carnival as in the past it was largely ignored as an event involving violence, but in recent times its has become a major crowd puller in the United Kingdom and Europe at large. The sixth point is that well-managed events lead to maximal use of and collection of revenue from existing facilities (Tassiopoulos, 2005: 3) largely because the event is able to attract many attendees.
The other benefits of well-managed events stem from increased media coverage (as is the case for the Notting Hill Carnival), which makes the destination to be marketed beyond the normal communication reach; increased organisational marketing and bidding capacity of the community involved; and a general increase in community support for such events - which leads to better reception for visitors (Tassiopoulos, 2005: 3). The above benefits are clearly evident in the case of the Notting Hill Carnival. Generally, carnivals are one of the major sources of employment for the people involved in design work and the artists who perform all year round (Raj & Musgrave, 2009: 64).
Specifically, the Notting Hill Carnival has created thousands of jobs for people in several industries including arts, clothing, hotels and catering, car rental, marketing and advertising, tour operations, and transportation (Raj & Musgrave, 2009: 64). For many communities, holding an event like the Notting Hill Carnival is a way of marketing its assets, to attract visitors from diverse regions, and to build the community spirit. However, the capacity of an event to achieve these objectives can only be attained if the event that is held is unique and of high quality, and is well managed as discussed above.
The event should also be well marketed including by way of extensive media coverage, be in an appropriate location, and of good reputation. Over the years, the Notting Hill Carnival has attracted numerous sponsorships from trusted brands, making it appear like a very special event. For instance, between 1995 and 1997, it was sponsored by Lilt, a fizzy soft drink manufactured by Coca-Cola (Carver, 2000: 34). In 1998, the carnival was supported by Virgin Atlantic after initial plans by Nestle to sponsor the event were withdrawn, and in 1999 it was sponsored by Western Union (Carver, 2000: 34).
This association of the carnival with major global brands indubitably portrayed the event as valuable and reinforced Notting Hill and London in general as a destination to visit every August.
Bowdin, G 2010, Events Management 3rd edn, Routledge, New York.
Carver, G 2000, ‘The effervescent carnival: performance, context, and mediation at Notting Hill’, in New Theatre Quarterly 61: Volume 16, Part , Barker, C & Trussler, S, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 34-47.
Raj, R & Musgrave, J 2009, Event Management and Sustainability, CABI, London.
Smith, M K 2003, Issues in Cultural Tourism Studies, Routledge, New York.
Tassiopoulos D 2005, Event Management: A Professional and Developmental Approach, 2nd edn, Juta and Company Ltd, London.