The risky business of event management

Professor Simon Chadwick

Posted: July 24, 2014

Tagged: bidding / legacy / risk / strategy

In June this year, I gave a keynote speech at the European Academy of Management’s (EURAM) Sport Management Special Interest Group in Valencia. My presentation was entitled: ‘Issues in event management the challenges ahead’, and contained observations in ten areas.

In the first of two posts based on my presentation (five of the ten areas are given in each post), here is the written content of my presentation:

Before beginning, it is worthwhile considering what an event is. According to Van der Wagen (2010), events are characterised as being:

-Lifetime experiences for consumers and participants

-Expensive to stage

-Time constrained over short period

-Long and careful planning

-Generally take place only once (annually)

-High levels of risk

-Multiple stakeholders who have often made a significant investment in the event




-Public vote on whether to stage 2022 Winter Olympics in Munich

-Public vote on whether to stage 2022 Winter Olympics in Oslo


Some issues to consider



-Branding and sponsorship


Possible research opportunities

-What is the most appropriate governance model for the bidding process?

-What role should crowds play in bidding?

-How should commercial organisations contribute to and be involved in bidding?




-Singapore and its Sports Hub

-Azerbaijan and its bidding to stage the 2020 Olympic Games


Some issues to consider

-Creation of proposition and branding

-Nation building

-Geo-political context


Possible research opportunities

-What is a country selling when bidding/staging?

-Can sport events build infrastructure/competence?

-What network power & influence do events confer?




-2012 Olympic Games, London

-2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi


Some issues to consider


-Legacy, sustainability, delivering on strategic goals

-Net economic gain, financial return, other measures


Possible research opportunities

-Can reliable impact measures be established?

-What is legacy and how is it established?

-What constitutes event success?




-Threats posed by PCC in run-up to World Cup in Brazil 2014

-Issues posed by GLR protests around Winter Olympic Games in Sochi 2014


Some issues to consider

-Tangible, physical threats

-Economic and financial security



Possible research opportunities

-Degree of risk and how should it be managed?

-How do risks undermine economic value of sport?

-Nature and implications of cyber-attacks?




-2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil

-2012 Olympic Games, London


Some issues to consider

-Delivering venues on time and on cost

-Post-event utilisation of venues

-Project management as strategic competence


Possible research opportunities

-Most effective form of project management?

-How to create strategies for venue utilisation?

-How to establish a global competitive advantage?

IVan der Wagen, L. (2010), Events Management: For tourism, cultural, business and sporting events, Financial Times Prentice Hall.

About Professor Simon Chadwick

Professor Simon Chadwick set-up and edits The Scorecard. He is Director of CIBS (Centre for the International Business of Sport) at Coventry University, where he works as Professor of Sport Business Strategy and Marketing.  Simon tweets via Prof_Chadwick