Here’s a pick of some of the great events available if you are joining us at Staffordshire University this Autumn. There’s also a list of venues and other information sources at the end for more events
The event sector which includes hospitality and tourism, has seen a significant decline in commercial activity, since March 2020 and as we come to the close for the year 2020. Many small to medium size business saw a complete loss of business, this included the festival industry which had somewhere in the region of 7 million visitors attending festivals in the UK each year. It is reported, the UK prior to the COVID restrictions had somewhere in the region of 400 plus festivals throughout the UK each year. Even the largest event provider on the planet ‘Live Nation’ experienced financial difficulty and received $500 million from a Saudi investment fund. Live Nation furloughed 20% of its staff to save $600 million and Live Nation artists were informed by the company to take a pay cut. This was a similar situation and mirrored in most cases across the Event Sector.
within the sector that had Interruption Insurance, attempted to make a claim
because of the Government shut down. The sector will fully understand
what is meant by ‘interruption Insurance’. As some insurance companies
decided to decline claims on ‘Interruption Insurance. Insurance companies
argued that many claims did not specify or have insurance for the specific type
of interruption. However, there was some light at the end of the tunnel,
a High Court ruling on the 15th September 2020 which represented
370,000 policy holders who are some way clearer to an answer and pay out under
their interruption insurance claim. So, what do we learn from this, it is
not just necessary to have interruption insurance but also specify the type of
interruption be that Government shut down, a pandemic and what type of virus,
be that SARS, Zika or any other known type.
Some event companies within the sector made an early attempt to re-engage with their consumers through a different medium. Those that made the immediate change rather than cancel maintained a presence in the commercial marketplace and some saw a significant increase in revenue.
If you haven’t heard of Tomorrowland outdoor music festival, let me refocus your attention. This is a festival that takes place in Belgium and has a 15 year history. In 2019 Tomorrowland had 250,000 attendees at the festival site. When the pandemic hit the global economy, Tomorrowland didn’t cancel or postpone, they created over a period of three months an online virtual festival. Two million people registered for a ticket and 400,000 people received an invite. Some commentators say the industry in the main wasn’t quick to respond to the change to the environment, thus providing a short-term alternative solution for their customers.
In the North East of England, we saw the first licensed outdoor music event that ran for a period of 6 weeks. With a maximum capacity of attendees each day of 2500, contained in their own Covid secure zones, a maximum of six per zone. The event was sponsored by Virgin money as title sponsor. For the event to have a return on investment, a schedule of live performances over six weeks was the only solution.
question on everyone’s lips, will the event industry recover and what will it
look like in 2021 going forwards.
There is no guarantee for this virus to completely dissipate from society even with a vaccine and we as a nation may experience another rise in transmission during 2021 and possible government shutdowns. The events industry must be flexible and ready to respond to the change in the environment to maintain some financial stability and continued growth. Alternative methods for delivering events should be considered and factored into the planning process with a viable contingency if immediate change is required.
There are several possible interpretations of the fundamental role of a university, however the one that holds close to my values and beliefs is “the university” as an institution for the creation and dissemination of knowledge, creating graduates who have a genuine commitment to making the world a better place and of being significant players in civil society. The western university model has been a remarkable success and is one in which we should have immense pride. Operational freedom within an interactive setting which enables excellence across teaching, research, learning and enterprise opening unlimited opportunities for many. However, in an increasingly complex and uncertain world the role of the university is constantly being questioned. In particular there has been a recent drive for developing “value”, in the form of employable work ready graduates. This may be interpreted as a set of desirable skills and attributes to be embedded within the curriculum or perhaps and more importantly the development of an entrepreneurial mind-set. The ability to think outside the box, to adapt and respond to change in a fast paced environment and more importantly the ability to be able to communicate within and beyond their academic discipline is perceived key to graduates contributing to societal challenges.
In today’s global economy and in society as a whole we are faced with many complex challenges (clean water, ageing population, disaster management, global-warming, sustainable food production, transitioning populations), which require new ways of working. It is widely accepted that innovative and sustainable solutions for many complex global social issues reach far beyond the boundaries of a single academic discipline or methodological approach and as such the practical argument for embedding interdisciplinarity and interdisciplinary collaboration opportunities into the learning experience within universities is strong. Interdisciplinary working is widely accepted to be the new mode of knowledge production, it focuses on building intellectual capacity and is supported by government policy makers and research funding agencies. Many of the most exciting developments cross traditional disciplinary boundaries and therefore have great potential to break through complex societal problems and foster innovation.
The concept of interdisciplinarity within Higher Education is not new: Thompson and Fogel (1921), acknowledged in their publication ‘Higher Education and Social Change’ that all social problems require interdisciplinary skills and knowledge. They expanded on this by stating: “if graduates … are to be societies’ leaders …they need a broad social and historical perspective that is difficult to achieve in one discipline”. Thompson and Forgel’s (1921) paper highlighted specifically the need for Higher Educational institutions to promote interdisciplinarity as a means of developing the essential skills of leadership required to impact on civil society.
So, what is a university for? It is to change mind-set, opening up opportunities to bring together individuals to generate knowledge to solve societal problems for the good of mankind. Thus, the connections we make, the disciplines we cross and the knowledge we form are only part of the picture, it is the transformative impact on people’s life’s that we make that hold the true meaning of the value of a university, which instil the leadership qualities desired to make the world a better place.
Thompson, K.W. & Fogel, B.R. (1921). Higher Education and Social Change: Promising Experiments in Developing Countries. Vol 1 Reports. US: Praeger.
Written by Paul Walters, Lecturer, Staffordshire Business School
The global event industry has grown significantly over the past ten years and in part due to the introduction of Live Nation as a concert touring company. The UK has benefited from their strategic alliances, buyouts and ownership with some of the entertainment products in the UK. The company has grown to become more than live music but a one stop-shop for venue management, artist management, ticketing, concert touring and festival management. Some commentators within the industry have aired their views as to the growth and dominance of Live Nation within the UK. The company was investigated by the Competition Commission regulator on the merger with Ticketmaster. Not the first time Live Nation was investigated by the UK regulator. One can debate if Live Nation has a market share of the UK live music industry that warrants concern. It is difficult to disagree on what Live Nation has brought to the global economy for live events. The company is now in more than 40 different countries developing a similar business module taken from the USA. It is therefore accurate to conclude that Live Nation is the largest live concert touring company in the world.
In an article published in Music Business world 2018, The Association for Independent Festival organiser is considering lodging a complaint to the Competition and Marketing Authority. It is claimed by AIF that Live Nation has 25% control over the UK festival industry.
Written by Angela Lawrence, Associate Dean at Staffordshire business school
There’s an Autumn nip in the air, the Great British Bake Off has begun and the annual McMillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is just around the corner. Kenwood mixers are whirling into action in kitchens across the UK.
Meanwhile, bags are being packed, goodbyes said, and freshers are itching to begin their university life. Around the World lecturers are preparing to welcome their new students and planning for the academic year to come.
It strikes me that these two situations have something in common. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that all lecturers are good bakers (far from it!), but there is something vaguely familiar about the nurturing, caring principles of baking and lecturing; the desire for a good outcome and the commitment to working hard to achieve this.
Ever tried baking a cake with less than quality ingredients – with a dodgy cooker and scales that don’t quite weigh correctly? The chances are your cakes won’t turn out to be as good as you would like them to be. Quality, fit-for-purpose equipment and excellent ingredients are needed to guarantee the bake that you are looking for.
When choosing a university to spend three or more years of their life at, prospective students similarly seek quality – high rankings in the league tables and TEF, good NSS scores, high levels of student satisfaction and committed, highly qualified academics. A quality university is needed to turn out a top-notch, highly qualified and work-ready graduate.
The Recipe Even quality ingredients can’t ensure a perfect bake if the recipe is wrong. One too many eggs or not enough baking powder and the cake’s a flop.
The same balance needs to be considered within the course that a student selects. The onus is on academics to create a balanced mix of exciting learning content, activities, guest lecturers, trips and course materials to ensure that students learn exactly what they need to know. Miss out a vital ingredient and students will struggle to achieve success in their assessments.
Too hot an oven and your cake will burn. Too cool an oven and your cake won’t rise. Getting the temperature right is as important as having the correct recipe.
Lifelong friendships are made at university, so a good balance between studying and fun is needed. The correct work-play balance creates an environment in which students flourish – without the fun some students struggle with the pressure of study and can be tempted to drop out. Too much fun and grades may suffer. A good university seeks to provide exactly the right balance between social and study. Student Unions, personal tutors, pastoral care and student guidance teams are all there to support students in getting it right.
Jam and cream fillings, a sprinkle of icing sugar here, a coating of chocolate there and your cake is more than a cake, it’s a thing of beauty. It’s those finishing touches that make your cake the one that everyone wants to take a bite out of.
Similarly, a degree is not enough. Employers are inundated with graduate applications for advertised vacancies, and applications that stand out are those where the candidate has more than just a degree. Work experience, success in student competitions, self-awareness, confidence, professional presentation, global awareness…these are many of the added extras that lead an employer to choose YOU over other applicants.
Instagram Stories in particular will be relevant from a marketing perspective because, compared to other transitory video platforms, Instagram metrics are eminently trackable.
A final note on Instagram Stories: Their foundation is social media engagement gold. Video drastically outperforms all other forms of content on every test.
2. Influencer Marketing Makes Major Contributions to Social Media Engagement
Influencer marketing is big business — a billion dollar industry by some counts. There is an exhaustive list of micro-celebrities who earn six figure incomes. And this isn’t a fluke. Influencer marketing is uniquely keyed to exploit certain facts about a growing number of buyers.
As Millennials advance their careers, and Generation Z starts theirs, an enormous population’s purchasing power is increasing swiftly. These two groups — who, combined, literally comprise most of the world’s population — are uniquely influenced by this marketing method.
3. Generation Z to Decide Social Media Trends
We’ve mentioned Generation Z in both of the previous topics for good reason.
RetailDive had this to say about Generation Z and their associated social media trends:
“Gen Z is two- to three times more likely to be influenced by social media than by sales or discounts — the only generation to value social media over price when it comes to making purchase decisions…”
Furthermore, 81% report watching at least one hour of online video per day, or more, according to a study by Fluent, covered by AdWeek. Combine these facts and realize that droves of Generation Z will graduate college and/or start careers next year, and you start to see the powder keg.
4. Messaging Platforms Make Companies Accessible
What do you know about WeChat? They’re a wee little Chinese messaging company . . . errr, one that’s looking to cross 1 billion users this quarter. WeChat and WhatsApp are absolutely ubiquitous across either ocean, reaching across many different functions to dominate social media, direct messaging, and even purchasing and commerce.
Every year more and more buyers are Millennials and Gen Z, and fewer and fewer are older. In case you’re not aware of these people’s overwhelming preferences when it comes to talking to a company, we’ll illustrate in their native language:
5. Live Streaming Explodes
Live streaming isn’t about live streaming. At least not in the way we’re going to be talking about it. You’re going to see a lot more of it in 2018, and the people who do it well will be fully with the times and accelerating. Its prevalence will increase because it works.
But there’s something more at work here.
It’s actually about technology. We get better phones every year. Does that mean that we’re running the same apps better? Sometimes. But once the technological baseline of the average user has clearly moved up a notch, it becomes about making more robust apps that do more and fully take advantage of that new technology.
The smartphones of today are better than what we used to have by orders of magnitude. Furthermore, our data speeds are better, and are poised to make yet another insane leap in the next few years when 5G becomes the standard.
Live streaming is a medium or implementation of social technology that’s uniquely positioned to take advantage of hardware improvements for the next several years. The resolution of an image the size of a phone screen can only get so good before you have to zoom in to see a difference.
But better video processing across the board means all devices involved can handle more streaming at a better quality across more channels at the same time. This is such a huge change that it’s possibly unclear that anyone is even capable of fully understanding the ramifications.
6. Twitter is Going to Change
And they themselves might not even know how just yet.
Online hangouts go hand-in-hand with the live streaming trend, and with Generation Z. Consider Houseparty — an app for multiple friends to essentially FaceTime with each other in a group setting.
Houseparty made quite a wave in 2017 with rapid growth, and hit its stride well enough to inspire copycats, including perhaps an effort on the way coming from (no surprise here) Facebook.
The online hangouts trend is also going to intersect with VR. Sure, everyone promised everything this year with VR and AR, and all that ultimately came of it was two weeks of Pokemon GO.
But this year actually has the potential to be different. Many promising programs have another year of beta testing still left under their belts, but the technologies are improving in exciting ways. Once again, Facebook is at the epicentre, with Facebook Spaces.
We’re likely going to see companies revisit this in a more significant or longer-lasting way, and definitely more proactive than reactive.
As leveraging social media outlets for marketing first took flight, some were dubious of their staying power. The years since have changed sceptic’s into believers, and what’s on the forefront will clearly and easily amplify the channels’ relevance even further.
2018 is here… but were you prepared?
2018 social media trends predict that time on social media platforms will increase. This means you will need to improve your online presence in the year to come.
When it comes to email marketing software, marketers are spoilt for choice. But how do they feel about the emails they send?
It turns out that relevance is a huge concern for them. DMA reports that 42% of marketers say only some of the emails they send are relevant, and a whopping 10% say their emails aren’t relevant at all. That’s an issue, with consumers trashing irrelevant email.
Another issue people wonder about is the ROI of email marketing. In other words, is it really worth it? Various comparison’s of email marketing vs social media shows that email outperforms social by miles. And Chief Marketer says the ROI of email marketing is 28.5% better than for direct mail.
So what does Messenger do better?
Well, the big problem with email marketing is that you’re talkingat your users and potential customers, not with them.
It’s kind of like being on the receiving end of a sales pitch, one where you have no say until the salesman is finished leaving you with only one response, yes or no.
Email is a mature channel, one which has been extensively developed and includes various advanced features to help you better market to your customers.
Messenger on the other hand is the new kid on the block.
It’s showing great promise and is getting far higher engagement in the areas where they’re going head to head, but it’s not yet at the level of sophistication email has developed.
Messenger is quickly gaining ground on email in terms of features and is already outpacing the platform in the areas where there’s overlap.
So what should a smart store owner like you do?
Well, what you shouldn’t do is abandon email marketing in favour of Messenger. Right now Messenger simply doesn’t have the advanced functionality and tracking of email.
However, if you already haven’t you should be looking at implementing Messenger on your site ASAP.
Right now, Messenger is the perfect complement to your email marketing. And if the last year is any indication, in the near future Messenger will continue to outperform email in other key marketing and communication areas for ecommerce as the platform progresses.
Right now, if I had to advise some specific campaigns your store needs to be running I’d recommend focusing on:
Messenger isn’t just a nice thing to have on your store or a new fad that will die out. The success rate of stores across the globe and the growing user base points to a new channel that might one day overtake email as the chief ROI channel.
Email marketing and social media are like parallel universes that communicate with each other.
We suggest using email marketing when you’re looking more for reach, traffic and direct conversions. Social media, on the other hand, is a great tool that can help you engage your audience and assist you with making more sales.
There is no reason why you shouldn’t use both. Just be sure to allocate your resources the right way. Thank you for reading this blog and please leave your comments below.
The Christmas Market Fayre will consist of over 50 stalls selling hand crafted products and locally sourced and produced fine foods for festive treats and Christmas gifts, located in the Courtyard and the Darwin Suite. There will also be music and entertainment, along with Christmas lunches in the contemporary restaurant and a festive afternoon tea in the Wedgwood Tea Room.
In addition to the Christmas market, visitors can also enjoy the Wedgwood Museum or take a tour of the Wedgwood factory, where they can put their skills to the test in the creative studio by having a spin on the potter’s wheel or designing a unique Wedgwood plate.
The World of Wedgwood is situated in Barlaston in Stoke-on-Trent. It is not far from junction 14 (north) and junction 15 (south) which makes life a lot easier for tourists travelling from the motorway . The Christmas Market Fayre has free entry and there is also free parking available on the venue.
I am doing my final year project on the World of Wedgwood’s Christmas Market Fayre. The aim of my project is to establish the customer profile and to broadly evaluate the marketing aspects of World of Wedgwood. This is vital to my project as it will enable me to understand what attracts people to visit the World of Wedgwood and how it can be improved for future visitors.
Data collection will be conducted by asking the visitors at the Christmas Market Fayre to fill out a survey. This survey consists of various questions about the customer experience e.g. what they enjoyed the most about the Christmas Market and what they would like to see improved in the future.
I hope to pursue a career within the Tourism industry as l enjoy working with people. This final year project will enable to reach this goal because it is going to teach me interpersonal skills, good communication skills and lastly, it will enable me to use my own initiative.
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