1.0 Overview of the Event Marketing Environment – Situation Analysis
With events like Taste Festivals, which are hosted in different locations to highlight local culinary talent, the event marketing landscape in the UK is extremely competitive. The Isle of Wight has a history of receiving accolades for festival organization, including the ‘Best Major Festival’ and the ‘Best Medium Size Festival,’ which Bestival has won for the third year in a row. Wiley Events has long been the IOW’s premier event planning firm.
1.1 The Isle of Wight (IOW) Food Show
For the third year, the IOW has organized a culinary exhibition, which usually takes place the first weekend in May. Isle of Wight Tourism, Isle of White Chamber of Commerce, the Island Traders’ Association, and Wiley Events are collaborating to put on the IOW culinary exhibition. It’s a two-day event that runs from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event is free to attend, thanks to Needles Park’s pay-per-attraction policy. The cost of the services provided to exhibitors is £200. Needles Park at Alum Bay, on the island’s northwestern coast, will host the culinary exhibition. Accommodation providers, event organizers, transporters, tourist attractions, the local government, and the DMO are all stakeholders in the food exhibition.
1.2 Wiley Events
Since 2001, Wiley Events has been the industry leader in customized event management. Wiley Events’ partners, Teddy Toddington and Pippa Powell have a combined 20 years of event planning expertise. Both are specialists in their own way, and they split work responsibilities based on their expertise in various event management tasks. Wiley also serves as an adviser to other businesses, providing consulting services in areas such as sales, operations, and administration.
1.3 Isle of Wight Tourism
According to tourist statistics, there are 21 distinct touring locations. Caravan parks also organize touring and camping, accounting for 8% of event attendees. The summer is the busiest season for tourism in the IOW, with an occupancy rate of 80%, dropping to 37% in the spring and 19% in the fall. According to the Attractions Mini-guide 2005, there are 60 worth-seeing attractions, while the Tourism Baseline Audit 2003 estimates that there are 200 places of interest.
1.4 The Isle of Wight – Tourism Destination – Economy, Social, Cultural Trends, Physical Environment, Business Environment
The Isle of Wight, measuring 23 miles by 13 miles, attracts almost 2.6 million people each year, with an estimated tourism expenditure of £352 million. Tourism accounts for 24 percent of the Island’s GDP, and it was the first tourism destination to promote quality and supervised stay facilities. When you arrive on the Isle of Wright, you’ll see that the transportation infrastructure has been completely customized for the comfort of tourists.
Taste Festivals, which are organized in different locations to highlight local culinary talent, are examples of cultural trends. The business climate is very competitive, and the Isle of Wight has continued to rise to the top by earning accolades for organizing festivals, including the ‘Best Major Festival’ award and the ‘Best Medium Size Festival’ award for the third year in a row.
The island’s economy is reliant on stakeholders’ efforts to utilize tourism as a vehicle to re-energize the economy. If just the typical specialized sector of the tourist portfolio is given attention, such as summer vacation consumers and coach and school group market, success in utilizing this instrument may be questioned.
To enjoy the benefits, investment in facilities and competent personnel is required; otherwise, tourism’s contribution to the local economy would slacken. Negative consequences may include traffic jams that annoy local residents and have an impact on the environment and quality of life. Businesses will be unable to grow in order to meet the quality standard. If any of the symptoms reappear and the tourism card is not played tactically for the benefit of tourism, which would result in the creation of wealth, addressing environmental concerns, raising living standards, and providing a more than satisfactory experience to tourists, the public sector could withdraw support.
1.5 Strategic Tourism Plan ‘Vision 2020’
Potential tourism opportunities in the Isle of Wight are waiting to be exploited by collective efforts of various stakeholders under the canopy of Strategic Tourism Planning “2020 Vision”. By 2020, growth in expenditure at 2004 prices would be 40% more than just £500 million and visitors’ rush would increase 50% to 3.9 million, a surplus of 1.3 million from 2004.
1.6 Event Tourism – an Event Portfolio – Isle of Wight
Event tourism has huge potential in contributing to the economic health by enriching the event portfolio of the Isle of Wight. It is evident from the fact that big brands are sponsoring the event business of the IOW. Further, event management brands such as Wiley Events are organising the events for the Isle of Wight. Tourism department needs to enrich the event portfolio of IOW.
1.7 The Isle of Wight Destination – Target Customer Groups
Customers of the Isle of Wight are ‘families’ primarily who visit the Isle during summer holidays. First time visitors don’t visit a place for the sake of visiting; they want to have an unforgettable experience. To make tourism a dynamic industry, it is very important that a varied customer range gets a memorable experience, not just families with kids. For that the Isle needs to match the customer expectations, build their confidence and long-term interest in the ravishing beauty of the Isle. Tourism needs to cater to the varied demand of such customers in the future who are fit, spendthrift and at the same time old in age. Healthier holidays would be in great demand. Fun element needs to be created by exhibiting art, culture and historical aspects. There needs to be sophisticated technology usage in place for easy and timely booking arrangements. The tourism stakeholders need to create such destinations where environment quotient is very high. Hobbies, interests and worth learning experiences need to be promoted to cater to visitors’ experience. Customers desire a wholesome experience in a short span of time.
Dependence on the traditional customer base won’t inject necessary oxygen to the tourism sector of the Island of Wight economy. Job market won’t expand to the desired high standard and long-term.
1.8 The Isle of Wight Destination – Island Stakeholder Relationships
Accommodation providers, event organizers, transporters, tourist attractions, the local government, and the DMO are among the island stakeholders. Much relies on stakeholders’ efforts to utilize tourism as a vehicle to re-energize the economy. If just the typical specialized sector of the tourist portfolio is given attention, such as summer vacation consumers and coach and school group market, success in utilizing this instrument may be questioned.
1.9 Food and Drink Festival competition – Organising competitions in such food and drink festivals can help in increasing the attraction of foodie people to this event. Visitors for such events need to be varied, as envisioned in the “Vision 2020” to include other than traditional customers, the Chill-Out category of visitors that include DINKS (Dual income No kids), and SINKS (Single income No kids), and Empty Nesters (children grown up and moved away).
1.10 Food and Drink Trends – the Rise of the Foodie
Eating and drinking varied range of delectable delicacies and wines is becoming a trend with the people during holidays. The UK people are embracing this life style trend with open arms to connect with the local roots of celebrating cultural festivals with spirited participation.
The UK food market is brewing with foodies who want to have a date with delectable foods during summer holiday time. They could be people with high-income group, having spending power on tastier things of life, food being one of them. Market is full of another class of customers who are serious foodies, satiating their taste buds without considering the cost factor.
1.11 Inter-Island Event Competition
To promote tourism portfolio, inter-island event competition can raise the bar for tourism industry. It could be a way out to energise the event management industry too in the lean months of the year.
1.12 Marketing Research – Stakeholder Feedback
Future growth in the Isle of Wight event holding can be possible if the stakeholders present it as an innovative and “hassle-free” destination. Events should take place randomly throughout the year; at the minimum there is need to develop eight Strategic Events in the IOW. Some strategic festivals may include Jazz Divas (April), Motocross (May), Wight Diamond (May), Beach Soccer (July/August), Powerboat, Ryde Carnival and the Bestival to be celebrated in the month of September.
2.0 Marketing Assumptions – Some of the Marketing Assumptions Could Not Hold Ground Such as:
Climate — It is assumed that all would be well in event management business but it rarely happens as planned. If we see the event history of 2011, rainy climate spoiled the show.
Customer Complaints – The marketing assumptions proved wrong on customer issues when they complained of insufficient signage. Lack of theme was found to be another drawback. There was shortage of drink stalls; weather was also unfriendly; seating capacity was insufficient; no musicals were aired and one could see litter all-around.
Exhibitor Withdrawal – The previous two years there were not enough exhibitors for the food show.
Unhappy Sponsors – Sales of the sponsoring car company could not reach the desired level because of absence of the target audience.