1. Lollaplooza's event concept
The Lollapalooza festival which is annually held during July in Chicago's Grant Park, is one of the most popular festivals around the world (Nbcchicago, 2021). With an extraordinarily high number of 385,000 attendees (2021), it can be said that this spectator based event can be categorized as a mega event (Bauer, 2021). Additionally, the global participation of the outstanding numbers of visitors, international media attention as well as environmental-, socio-cultural- and ecomomic impacts characterize the category of mega events (Müller, 2015). In fact, that the festival is public for every person around the globe, it can be concluded that this event represents the category of public sector events. In order to gain a better understanding, the following table is listed, to sum up the categorization of the Lollapalooza.
Table 1: Lollapalooza's categorization
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Source: Own representation
It is primarily of importance to understand the concept behind every event. That is the reason why a closer look at Goldblatt's model of the five W's is taken now. This model is not primarily of relevance regarding theoretical aspects, “ [e]vent management has [likewise] adopted them as their working fundamentals and deemed them the [event elements] (.) and (.) must be considered from the point of conceptualization, throughout the event and to its conclusion (Molina, 2007). The following representation simplifies Goldblatt's model.
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First of all, every organizer should be clear about the reason why the event must be held (Goldblatt, 2008). Music festivals have always played a major role in people's lives. Lollapalooza offers the unique experience to celebrate and get to know delightful heritage, traditions and cultures. The purpose is to celebrate special events and emotions in our lives with our loved ones and even strangers with whom we feel connected during a variety of magical moments. The festival also connects people ina special wayby dancing, celebrating diverse milestones and sharing their background with other people who could be a new part of their lives. That is the reason why Lollapalooza reinforces cultural and social identity by strengthening ties within a completely newly created community. In addition to adding vitality to cities, the festival gives citizens renewed pride and could improve the city's image (Pavlukovic, Armenski, Alcántara-Pilar, 2018). It can be said that Lollapalooza adds a lot of glory to every individual no matter which gender, sexual orientation or race.
Another influential priority is getting to know the event's stakeholders (Goldblatt, 2008). Regarding the Lollapalooza, it is noteworthy that stakeholders can be divided into two categories: primary and secondary stakeholders. The classification of the primary stakeholders includes “(...) those on whom the festival is dependent [for example] (.) employees, volunteers, sponsors, suppliers, spectators, attendees and participants” (Andersson, Getz, 2008). The second category involves factors such as the government, businesses, the host community, tourist organizations, media and essential services (Andersson, Getz, 2008). Without those relevant groups of stakeholders, the Lollapalooza would fail in every way, as the stakeholder's interaction is fundamental.
Furthermore, it is equally important to clarify where the event will be held (Goldblatt, 2008). The musician as well as founder and organizer of “(.) the first reborn Lollapalooza in 2005 (.) [brought the festival to Chicago] to catch performances in iconic Gran[t] Park along the waterfront.“ (Neenan, n.d.) The “(.) festival (.) began as a touring event, [so] it makes only sense (.) to keep the tradition alive (Neenan, n.d.). As a result, Lollapalooza was continually expanded since 2011 and found new origins in South America followed by the spreading in Europe in 2015 (Lollapalooza, 2021; Neenan, n.d.).
As mentioned in the beginning, the Lollapalooza is annually held during the last days of July and has a duration of four days (Lollapalooza, 2021). But this time period corresponds only to the American festival.
The last step thematizes the final developed and presented product of the Lollapalooza festival (Goldblatt, 2008). The presented product is a crowd of various people from different nations, feeling the music from popular international artists. The interaction of every single person, regardless of whether the influence is directly visible (attendees, stage performers) or hidden at the first moment (volunteers who prepare everything, sponsors, people who are responsible for the technique, light effects, customs and food) are developing this unique product together.
2. Event experiences
Event industries rely heavily on the importance of experience, which ties into important variables such as loyalty or customer satisfaction. The experience is often viewed as the heart of an event and is therefore, a primary concern during planning and organizing events. That is the reason why they can be seen as stages and carriers for experiences. ”Customer experience can be influenced not only by elements within the service provider's control (e.g., physical environment, service employees), but also by elements that are beyond [their] control (.) (e.g., the customer's previous experience, interactions with fellow customers, fluctuation in the customer's moods)” (Liu, Sparks, Coghlan, 2017, p. 463). For every event organizer, it is vital to create the most pleasant visitor experience which impacts the customer loyalty directly. In conventional events, physical presence is one of their defining characteristics which leads straightaway to a common and shared mood which the participants directly connect to the event. Resulting, the identification of process and behavior ranges transfer to the creation of social interactions like bonding, detaching, and belonging. Through this positive experience, the person will remember the moment forever, recommend the event to friends that they can participate as well and lastly, they want nothing more than to experience it again. (Richards, 2019; Lesic, Ružic, Brščic, 2017). “This type of consumer-to-consumer interaction (C2C) is increasingly important in supporting the atmosphere and ambiance of events” (Richards, 2019).
But how to create the optimal event experience? The answer is event experience design. The goal of event experience design is to develop a vision that “(.) guides event design and execution, and [conveys] your desired event narrative throughout the entire [event] journey” (Wong, 2018). By designing the event initially, the success can be guaranteed while understanding the audience's desires and needs. If these approaches are well thought out, it gives the event organizer the possibility to provide his target group a unique event experience (Wong, 2018).
It is impossible to design perfect experiences since they are also affected by factors such as social, cultural and personal. Nevertheless, Lollapalooza's designers should strive to create unforgettable experiences. The key to a guaranteed success would be the creation of immersion which is ”[t]he feeling of being fully absorbed, surrendered to, or consumed by an activity, to the point of forgetting one's self and one's surroundings” (Mainemelis, 2001, p.557). Immersion is essential of importance because of the creation of positive associations while developing long-lasting memories (Vaccaro, 2020).
The first requirement that must be met is letting the festival attendees feel safe. The top priority is to carry out a proper bag check while entering the festival area as well as providing an exceedingly large security team. But the topic of risk management is discussed in more detail in the following chapter. To create the base of immersion the festival has to completely fulfill the visitor's expectation levels. In order to achieve this, it is vital to work continuously on it while conducting satisfaction surveys annually after the festival is over. While implementing this measurement the organizers let people involve so that they feel part of the team. Additionally, people's suggestions for improvement have to be implemented steadily. But, more important is to always bring new ideas that the audience did not expect. The creation of an overwhelming amazement can be achieved through the surprising appearance of live acts at the end of each day. If Lollapalooza's organizer knows that one of the audience's biggest wish is to watch a live performance of Billie Eilish but she was not announced in the line-up, it could definitely guarantee the most breath-holding and unforgettable moment if she suddenly performs. Another measure to meet the goal is to improve the entire atmosphere starting with the stage, ameliorate light effects and invent modern art installations. It will immediately catch the visitor's attention while taking impressively more pictures to share the moment with other people and to reminisce later on. In this regard, the organizer should also think about dimming the light during the acts to create a romantic and comfortable setting while handing out lightsticks for free.
3.1. Fundamental bases of risk management
An event's success is regularly measured by a variety of factors for instance through the economic benefit. By implementing risk assessment metrics and frameworks, a person can assess or measure the risk related to the object under investigation (Rogers, 2020). Yet, risk cannot ever be completely eliminated, even if it can be quantified and characterized qualitatively (Chapman & Ward, 2004). But to ensure the most successful event as possible, the level of safety is vital.
Firstly, it is primarily important to understand the relevance behind this concept. Pinto exemplifies this terminology as “the art and science of identifying, analysing, and responding to risk factors throughout the life of a project and in the best interests of its objectives“ (Pinto, 2010, p. 221; Bladen, Kennell, Abson, Wilde, 2012, p. 25). Risk management takes place during the concept development as well as during planning, implementing and operating events (Chapman & Ward, 2004; Couillard, 1995; Tourism Western Australia, 2014). Eventually, the risk represents the uncertainty that an event has on the outcome (Tourism Western Australia, 2014). Uncertainty describes the unpredicted impact of problematic barriers which transfer mainly to the timing, resources and external factors (Bladen et al., 2012, p. 25).
Additionally, risks can be classified into four separate categories (Wilde, 2012, p. 26; Rogers, 2020):
1. Risks associated to technological performance
2. Risks linked to the project performance
3. Risks connected to organizational performance
4. Risks with regard to external performance
In production-driven organizations, the design team is irreplaceably dependent on the factor of creativity. The loss of key team members due to changes in staff, disagreements, resignations, illnesses or even the demise of a member affects important projects in a negative way. Such situations often don't simply involve replacing one person with another. (Wilde, 2012, p. 26). Thus, risk management is highly of relevance. But not only because of the previouslylisted losses, the concept is also needed to(Tourism Western Australia, 2014; Wilde, 2012, p. 26):
- Help throughout the entire planning process
- Minimizes unexpected costs
- Providing better event results
- Improved decision-making capability
- The participation of event attendees is dependent on how high the risk level is (Tourism Western Australia, 2014)
The risk management process can be identified as a five step action plan. The following representation illustrates this approach.
Illustration 2: Risk Management Process
Editor's note: This image was removed due to copyright reasons.
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Source: https://www.360factors.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/img-five-steps-digital-risk- management-process-1.jpg