That is the poser for a new piece of academic research which is seeking to discover how creative outdoor events specialists are. It may seem the obvious answer is ‘yes’, but the research is designed to influence government policy to get the events sector more formally recognised as a creative industry by government.
Indeed every event professional has their opinion on this question. So do academics that teach events management in the United Kingdom. Two years ago academics from Bournemouth University and the University of Westminster were kindly offered a stand by the organisers at International Confex to ask this simple question. Events professionals gave a resounding yes as the answer and this spurred the researchers to take the research to the next level and look at this in-depth. Those academics are now asking for help with a survey they have compiled.
But why is it important to research this question? At the present time the events sector is regarded as part of the tourism industry by the government, and in particular by the responsible ministry for tourism, the Department of Culture Media and Sport (at Westminster level). Presently they do not qualify the events sector as a standalone sector or as one of the UK’s creative industries. Other creative industries such as advertising, crafts, film and television, marketing and museums to name a few, receive favourable policy treatment as creative industries. They are invited to represent themselves on international trade missions and showcase events, and are included in various strategies to promote jobs and growth in creative industries. But events are not included and academics want to know why. Researchers also want to look at other related issues such as benchmarking earnings as well as job role classifications.
Researchers, Caroline Jackson from Bournemouth University, Chantal Laws and James Morgan from the University of Westminster have embarked on the first part of the research. Starting with outdoor events, the researchers have already carried out in-depth interviews on creativity in this area. They are now asking for event professionals in any type of management, creative, production or supplier and support roles to contribute to the research. Professionals are encouraged to take a short survey to help the researchers in their effort to answer the research question. The research is being supported by the BVEP. The Events Industry Forum have kindly funded the outdoor research piece. Results of the findings from the outdoor events research will be published after the summer. More information can be found at the website https://creativityineventsresearch.wordpress.com/
To contribute, please take the survey here: Is the Outdoor Events Industry a Creative Industry?