22 November 2012

Professor Graham Brown will outline the impact of events on South Australia at the upcoming Knowledge Works lecture. Photo: Ed Boey As South Australia gears up for the festival season, a leading tourism management academic from the University of South Australia is calling for organisers to make sure the events staged benefit the local community.

Professor Graham Brown will outline the impact of events on South Australia and suggest ways to improve community engagement during the festival season at an upcoming Knowledge Works lecture at UniSA on November 27.

“Events in Australia need to focus on the local community as the most important event ‘public’,” Prof Brown says.

“Research has revealed that the ‘support of the local community’ is one of the most important factors in making an event successful. I advocate internal marketing, where event organisers try to understand and meet the needs of local residents so that events become a more permanent and engaging part of their lives.

“While South Australia is currently achieving economic and to a lesser extent social benefits from events, we are not gaining as many benefits as we could. A more strategic approach is needed with advanced planning of leveraging and community engagement.”

Drawing on examples from a number of successful community events held around the world, from major events including the recent London Olympics and his own experience in event management, Prof Brown will evaluate the current issues of hosting events in South Australia, traditionally known as the ‘Festival State’.

“Historically and in terms of innovation, South Australia is still the ‘Festival State’ but today events are staged everywhere and it is no longer possible to be "the" festival or event location,” he says.

“Events still play an important role in developing our state’s brand and distinctive, high profile events, such as the Santos Tour Down Under, are being used effectively as part of destination positioning and promotion activities of our state.

“However it is becoming increasingly hard to manage our state’s brand due to the rise of social media, among other things. Mad March is another example of a contemporary issue in our state. There are too many events, some of which are just not compatible.”

‘The strategic use of events: Lessons for South Australia’, a free public Knowledge Works lecture, will be held on at the Allan Scott Auditorium, Hawke Building, City West campus on Tuesday, November 27.

For more information and to register to attend, click here.

Media Contact

Rosanna Galvin office (08) 8302 0578 mobile 0434 603 457 email rosanna.galvin@unisa.edu.au

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