• Canoas amarradas a un pantalán en un pantano antes de realizar un Evento de Team Building
  • Slider 41
  • Slider 45
  • Slider 43
  • Slider 38
  • Slider 39
  • Slider 37
  • Slider 36
  • Slider 30
  • Slider 31
  • Slider 32
  • Slider 33
  • Slider 34
  • Slider 40
  • Slider 35
  • Slider 2
  • Slider 3
  • Slider 4
  • Slider 6
  • Slider 7
  • Slider 8
  • Slider 9
  • Slider 10
  • Slider 11
  • Slider 12
  • Slider 13
  • Slider 15
  • Slider 16
  • Slider 17
  • Slider 18
  • Slider 19
  • Slider 20
  • Slider 21
  • Slider 22
  • Slider 23
  • Slider 24
  • Slider 25
  • Slider 26
  • Slider 27
  • Slider 28
  • Slider 29
  • Slider 1


CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION

INTRODUCTION

Within this chapter the findings of the study will be discussed and related to the literature. The extent to which the study answered the research questions will be evaluated. Recommendations will be made to providers and potential stakeholders of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS so as to capitalize on the value of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS as Event Tourism resources.


The key questions to be answered in this study were:

•    What is a TEAM BUILDING EVENT? What specific organizational needs can be satisfied by means of a TEAM BUILDING EVENT?
•    What is the value of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS as Event Tourism resources?
•    What are the potential stakeholders within the Event Tourism industry that may ‘hold a stake’ in TEAM BUILDING EVENTS as a resource for Event Tourism?
•    What recommendations can be made in the light of the study that may lead to take full advantage of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS as Event Tourism resources?  


The first two questions to be answered are purely descriptive, and hopefully they have been sufficiently documented in Chapter 4. The study now will build on and discuss various issues in answer to the last three questions.

THE VALUE OF TEAM BUILDING EVENTS AS EVENT TOURISM RESOURCES

Capacity to assist in overcoming seasonality problems

As discussed in Chapter 2, “events have unique advantages in overcoming seasonality” Getz (1997, p.53). The former author reported the preoccupations of the tourism industry in many places with “overcoming traditional seasonality problems” (p.53). As a result, there is an existing surplus capacity in the off-peak seasons within most destinations i.e. in hotels; tourist attractions etc. As suggested by Getz (1997) by “simply spreading the tourist demand more uniformly throughout the year would improve operating yields dramatically” (p.70). Getz (1997) draws attention to the business tourism and states that “meeting and convention travel often favours off-peak seasons, both to secure lower costs for participants and to ensure sufficient space in facilities” (p.54).
Category 1 shows the all year round activity of the TEAM BUILDING EVENTS industry, being the consumer demand for these events mostly concentrated in off-peak seasons of the traditional leisure tourism industry. Thereby, TEAM BUILDING EVENTS would contribute to make good use of existing under utilized infrastructure of the tourism industry such as hotels, transport, venues and other event related services.

TEAM BUILDING EVENTS are often linked to meetings and small conferences (Category 3). As discussed in Chapter 2, “conference and business tourism takes place throughout the year” (Rogers 2003, p.23).  Furthermore, spring and autumn are the peak seasons of the business tourism industry although many small conferences and meetings are also held during the winter months (Rogers 2003, p.23). That means there is no clash between the demands of leisure and business tourism, but rather they are complementary.

Capacity to attract overnight stays & increase the length of stay

TEAM BUILDING EVENTS vary in duration from two hours up to a few days (Category 1). Category 3 shows that TEAM BUILDING EVENTS may be held as part of events such as meetings or conferences rather than as standalone events. This being the case, TEAM BUILDING EVENTS would have a potential effect on visitors already in the area to stay longer (McDonnell et al. 1999, p.28). On the contrary, when TEAM BUILDING EVENTS are held as standalone events, it may be the case that these are run in a different location from the customer’s working environment (Category 3), encouraging, therefore, overnight stays (Getz 1997, p.66)

Capacity of delivering economic benefits and job creation
TEAM BUILDING EVENTS do have the capacity to deliver economic benefits. That is, the expenditure of visitors spread over travel, accommodation, restaurants, shopping and other Event Tourism related services (McDonnell et al. 1999, p.30). Furthermore, the use of existing under utilized infrastructure of the tourism industry such as hotels, transport, venues and other event related services would contribute to job creation or maintenance. As pointed out by Getz (1997) “event tourists are often big spenders” (p.70). Additionally, TEAM BUILDING EVENTS participants as shows Category 2 are often senior managers from public and private organizations with great level of responsibility and influential power. To quote Davison and Beulah (2003) “business visitors to the UK spend three times more per day on average than leisure visitors” (p.14).

Capacity to assist in shaping destination’s image and attract future inward investment

Team building and many other minor events do not have the potential to accommodate large numbers of tourists/participants, let alone media coverage. However, the rationale for integrating these events within a destination events portfolio is primarily that of contributing to the overall destination’s tourist marketing strategy. In terms of assisting in shaping a destination’s image, if strategically planned and successfully managed, these events do have the potential on a smaller scale of creating a positive image, correcting negative perceptions, increasing awareness or enhancing the appeal of a destination. This may help destinations to compete in bidding processes for major events, attracting minor events or shaping in general a destination’s tourism attractiveness.

Many TEAM BUILDING EVENTS participants are senior executives from public and private organizations from all over the world (Category 2). The status of the positions occupied by these participants may mean that they have the potential to be “disproportionately influential” when they return to their home and work environments. These business people may discover the benefits of a particular location for future conventions or for incentive travel or even (Robson 2003, p.23) to relocate their business or to set up a subsidiary and so become the engine to attract future inward investment.

The forgoing considerations are analogous to those observed by Faulkner et al. (2001 p.238-239) referring to the impact of word-of-mouth communication of the Sydney 2000 Olympics Sponsor Guest Programme and the opportunity to building useful relationships with its participants respectively. For Faulkner et al. (2001) the status of the positions occupied for by some of the participants may mean that they have the potential to be “disproportionately influential” (p.239) when they return to their home and work environments. Likewise, these business people, goes on Faulkner et al. (2001) “may discover the benefits of a particular location for future conventions or incentive travel” (p.238)

Along the same lines Davidson & Beulah (2003, p. 256) quoted in Rogers (2003, p.24) suggested that:

    “A business visitor who leaves with good impression of the conference, trade fair or incentive destination becomes an unpaid ambassador for that place… these are often influential people, whose opinions of the destination will be instrumental in determining its image in the minds of others who have not visited it”

POTENTIAL STAKEHOLDERS OF TEAM BUILDING EVENTS WITHIN THE EVENT TOURISM INDUSTRY


The study presents as follows the existing range of potential stakeholders of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS within the Event Tourism industry, discussing the underlying rational for a number of agencies and intermediaries of the Event Tourism industry to ‘hold a stake’ in TEAM BUILDING EVENTS.
Appendix-3 is intended to provide the non-experienced reader with a more detailed inside into the Event Tourism industry, whose structure may become puzzling and complex. Appendix-3 may be also useful for providers of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS on a practical basis as it is framed particularly in the UK.

Meeting, conference or similar event planners could either be employees of the buyer agency i.e. company or association, or they could be intermediaries- employees of agencies specialised in organising such events on behalf of clients (Davidson & Beulah, 2003 pp.113-114).

Intermediaries working on behalf of buyers


Professional Conference Organizers (PCOs)

    “The PCO acts as the project manager for the whole event… Davidson & Beulah (2003 p.114) 

The range of services offered by a PCO can extend to ‘‘as little or as much as the client requires’’ Davidson & Beulah (2003 p.114-115): venue selection, booking and liaison; event marketing; assistance to conference bids; finance consultancy; arranging social events etc (Rogers, 2003 p. 50-51; Davidson & Beulah, 2003 p.114-115).Therefore, PCOs may ‘hold a stake’ in TEAM BUILDING EVENTS by playing a buying role for their organizational customers. PCOs may also be interested in packaging TEAM BUILDING EVENTS directly to particular conferences.

Incentive Travel Houses

Incentive Travel Houses are specialized providers of Incentive Travel (Chapter 2) as a management tool used to motivate and/or recognize participants for increased levels of performance in support of the organizational goals (Rogers, 2003).

Category 2 shows that organizational buyers do not consider TEAM BUILDING EVENTS as effective incentives to motivate their employees. Many TEAM BUILDING EVENTS organisers share the same view (Category 2). However, for Rogers (2003) “Incentive travel programmes may have an educational element for the participants” (p.53). Furthermore, Rogers (2003) identifies “Team building activities” among the actual “ingredients” that incentive programmes may have (p.54). It makes, therefore, a good business sense to think that providers operating in the incentive market may ‘hold a stake’ in TEAM BUILDING EVENTS as ‘ingredients’ for their incentive programmes.
Additionally, Rogers (2003) observed that many incentives now include a meeting and states:

    “This is a way of delegates avoiding the need to be taxed on the benefit of the incentive trip. However, it also makes good business sense to build a more formal work related element into the incentive programme” (P.54)

Rogers made no reference to the effect on delegates’ taxes of including a TEAM BUILDING EVENTS within an incentive programme. Inland Revenue Tax Bulletin states in its 27th issue that:

“Sometimes, the Government gets suggestions that employers should be given tax relief for the costs of training their employees. That surprises us, since except in cases where the employee has some link with the employer outside the employment itself, the disallowance of expenditure by an employer on staff T&D will be extremely unusual indeed” Inland Revenue Tax Bulletin. Issue 27

TEAM BUILDING EVENTS are in nature T&D events and therefore delegates would avoid the need to be taxed on the benefit of incentive trips provided that these include a TEAM BUILDING EVENTS. Furthermore, for some, it may make more sense and may be mach better the spirit of an incentive to include in its programme an “alternative” and in many cases fun training component such a TEAM BUILDING EVENTS, rather than a more work related meeting. Furthermore, one of the current trends in incentive travel programmes is centred upon “active not passive programmes, for example participating in an activity rather than merely watching it” (Carolyn Dow, 2001 President of Society of Incentive and Travel Executives (SITE), quoted in Rogers, 2003 p.54)

Destination Management Companies (DMCs)

For Davidson & Beulah (2003) DMCs are key intermediaries who operate separately from official authorities ‘‘whose strength lies in their extensive and detailed knowledge of the destination where the meetings event is to be held’ (p.114). Rogers (2003 p. 55) points out that such ‘‘specialist ground handlers’’ (p. 55) operate in the incentive travel market. However, goes on Rogers (2003 p.55) they may also provide services to conferences organizers, especially when a meeting conference or similar event is being organized overseas. The services they provide range from finding accommodation for delegates or organizing all grounds of local transport arrangements to suggest exciting pre-conference and post-conference tours and excursions; (Davidson & Beulah, 2003 p.114). DMCs often work in collaboration or partnership with PCOs or meeting planners who have been given responsibility for the overall organisation of the event (Davidson & Beulah, 2003 p.114).

The underlying rational, therefore, to include DMCs among the range of potential stakeholders of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS may be the result of combining that previously put forward for Incentive Travel Houses and PCOs respectively.

Intermediaries working on behalf of suppliers


    ‘‘To reach, maintain, defend their competitive position on the global market, tourist destinations need to use methods and tools that guarantee the management of a destination in the future in terms of quality, value and sustainability’’
Pechlaner & Abfalter (2005, p.43)

In this framework, organizations such as DMOs and NTOs play a decisive role. Destination marketing is undertaken at both, local and national levels- that is, DMOs representing cities or counties, for example and national tourism organizations (NTOs) representing nations (Rogers, 2003 p. 108).

Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO)
   
    “A number of organisations exist at various geographical scales to bring destinations to the attention of potential buyers and the intermediaries working on their behalf. With titles such as convention and visitor bureau, convention bureau or conference desk, these organisations represent the destination in the market place, offering buyers a one-stop enquiry point” Davidson & Beulah (2003, p.117)

NTOs may ‘hold a stake’ in TEAM BUILDING EVENTS as these agencies aim to both offer a one-stop enquiry point and bring destinations to the attention of potential buyers and the intermediaries working on their behalf. Therefore, it makes a good marketing and operational sense for NTOs to establish partnerships with providers of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS so as to be able to offer an enhanced one-stop enquiry point; and take full advantage of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS as Event Tourism resources by integrating these in the destination marketing strategies.

National tourist organizations (NTOs)

As Rogers (2003) points out, most countries in the world now have ‘‘some form of NTO, publicly funded, established for promotional activities to the international tourism industry’’ (p. 60).

    ‘‘As well as promoting their countries to the leisure market, many NTOs also target business tourism buyers and intermediaries’’ Davidson & Beulah (2003, p.117)

The underlying rational, therefore, to include NTOs among the range of potential stakeholders of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS is analogous to that previously put forward to DMOs. Furthermore, as observed by Getz (1997):

    “Even if the events are not powerful enough in their own right to attract international tourists, they can be an important part of promoting the destination as a whole, and in the offering of touring packages” (p. 55)

RECOMMENDATIONS: EVENT MARKETING AND EVENT DEVELOPMENT


The study, as stated in Chapter 1, aims to make practical recommendations that may inform and stimulate organizers of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS in the process of a sustainable development and marketing of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS for tourism consumption 

EVENT MARKETING

Introduction

The study recommends bodies charged with Event Tourism marketing and development at a destination to undertake a situational analysis (Chapter 2) and integrate if relevant, TEAM BUILDING EVENTS in the complete portfolio of events and related services of a destination. This may help destinations to compete in marketing related processes such as bidding processes for major events such as conferences, attracting minor events or shaping in general a destination’s tourism attractiveness.

As discussed in Chapter 2, “adding value to major attractions” is a valid Event Tourism generic strategy (Getz 1997, pp. 103-105). That is, according to Allen et al. (2005) “to incorporate smaller events into larger events to add to their uniqueness and subsequent tourism appeal” (p.65). It makes a good marketing sense to market TEAM BUILDING EVENTS around the ‘theming’ that surrounds major attractions i.e. meetings and conventions within the destination so as to ‘add value’ and help towards shaping a destination’s positioning strategy (Getz 1997, p. 103).

Stating the related outcome goal for TEAM BUILDING EVENTS within a destination’s strategy as well as making clear the process by which the goals can be achieved is an essential assignment (Chapter 2, Table G.2). This should be undertaken for the organizations charged with Event Tourism marketing and development within a destination in close collaboration with TEAM BUILDING EVENTS organisers. Category 1 shows a classification of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS which integrates both supply and demand parameters that may be of value according to Getz (1997) in the “planning” and “marketing” processes (p. 110)
Ultimately, it would be good for TEAM BUILDING EVENTS organizers and Trade associations to have regular round table meetings with bodies charged with Event Tourism development at a destination in order to synchronise, fit TEAM BUILDING EVENTS into long term strategies and overall marketing goals.

Marketing policy
   
    “Individual events benefit greatly when destination strategies and policies exist to help them realize their tourism potential through communications, packaging, and other forms of assistance and cooperation.’’

Getz (1997 p.100)

Within the context of the UK, policy to help events realize their full potential does exist. This study identified generically (Chapters 2 and 5) relevant organizations concerned with Event Tourism marketing and development. Table G.1 as discussed in Chapter 2 shows a full range of actions to implement strategies that such organizations might engage. Among such actions, TEAM BUILDING EVENTS may benefit particularly from ‘destination promotion services’ such as ‘marketing collateral’, providing information to organisations seeking to conduct events on a destination’s event-related facilities and services etc.

Touring packages

    ‘‘Even if the events are not powerful enough in their own right to attract international tourists, they can be an important part of promoting the destination as a whole, and in the offering of touring packages.’’

Getz (1997 p.55)

Getz (1997) concludes that in a destination’s events portfolio “there is much scope for packaging special events around conferences, meetings and expositions” (p.56). TEAM BUILDING EVENTS as described in this thesis may be used a tool to meet a range of organizational needs (Category 2), some of which may arise during the course of a MICE event.
It makes, therefore, a good marketing sense to package TEAM BUILDING EVENTS around conferences, meetings, expositions and incentive trips.

Implications for the Team Building Events market

Ultimately, TEAM BUILDING EVENTS organisers may benefit from marketing their events for tourism consumption so as to overcome the periods of least activity within the TEAM BUILDING EVENTS market itself. That is in this context, for conference organizers, meeting planners and particular agencies intermediaries of the MICE industry which undertake a buying role on behalf of their clients.

EVENT DEVELOPMENT

Briefs & budgets

As is shown Category 2 of the findings, TEAM BUILDING EVENTS need to be developed and managed to achieve the specific objectives that have been previously shaped and agreed between both client and event organiser. Yet, Team building Event organisers need to do so whilst providing innovative programmes and delivering creative events within budget for their clients (Category 2)

From a provider perspective, it is very difficult to assemble an event that meet such demands unless they are given a thorough brief of what is to be achieved, a realistic budget to make such creativity possible, and a destination that can do full justice to creative ideas. Particularly important for the development of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS for tourism consumption is the latter of such issues, the ‘destination’ and venue.

Venue & destination


Providers of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS may find it extremely advantageous to create powerful partnerships with unique venues or settings within destinations to enhance their event proposals. This would also contribute to the smooth running of the event as permission would be easily granted and other operational aspects would be addressed in advance. Thereby, event organisers would be able to deliver within tighter deadlines (Category 2).

Events developed and marketed for tourism consumption should capitalize on whatever natural appeal the destination presents (Getz, 1997 p.43). Therefore, built heritage, historic sites and environmental attractions are important in suggesting event venues. Furthermore, events could be easily ‘themed’ around those (Getz 1997, p. 103). A destination’s heritage should, therefore be examined as to its potential for hosting TEAM BUILDING EVENTS in addition to the traditional venues such as hotel facilities (i.e. rooms, lawn), conference rooms, forests, old castles, big houses, the city centre etc.
Unique experiences

For those organizing a conference or incentive trip, one way to make sure that those are as successful as possible is to give delegates and participants a “pleasant, positive experience of the destination in which the event is being held” (Rogers 2003, p.24). Therefore, if providers of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS want to be used as Event Tourism resources by DMCs, PCOs and other agencies intermediaries of the MICE industry, they need to adapt their events to meet such expectations.

That is, in addition to what have been already discussed, TEAM BUILDING EVENTS need to provide an experience that will give the participants an insight into a country or region that will be beyond the reach of the normal visitor or holidaymaker.

The leisure factor

Team building Event organisers may benefit from empowering the leisure factor of the events whenever this is feasible and consistent with the learning process. Chapter 2 provided an insight into the learning process in TEAM BUILDING EVENTS. Dainty and Lucas (1992) cited in Brown (2003 p.30) suggested that EL activities should be sequenced, “starting with fun and enjoyment” (Figure 2.4). Therefore, existing criticisms to this recommendation arising from inconsistencies between fun and enjoyment with the learning process in TEAM BUILDING EVENTS may be not thoroughly documented.  As shows Category 1 of the findings, TEAM BUILDING EVENTS are typically but not necessarily leisure events (i.e. featuring fun).

Event themes for tourism consumption 

To quote Getz (1997) in this context “consideration of cultural uniqueness and authenticity is important” (p.107). Many TEAM BUILDING EVENTS might be derived from the cultural makeup of communities, including their history, ethnicity, traditions, folklore (Getz 1997 p.107) and historic or cultural sites incorporating for instance ‘living history interactive events’.
Generalizing, along the same lines suggested by the DTB (Danish Tourist Board) cited in Allen et al. (2005, p.63-64) this study recommends organisers of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS to be mindful of the need to develop events that could reinforce the uniqueness of the destination culture, sporting opportunities, historic traditions and the uniqueness of the natural environment. The study equally suggest TEAM BUILDING EVENTS to take full advantage of whatever natural appeal the destination presents, such as summer and winter sports, seasonal food and produce, scenery or wildlife viewed in different places and under changing conditions. In order to help towards overcoming seasonality problems, as stated by Getz (1997) TEAM BUILDING EVENTS should capitalize on “whatever natural appeal the off-season presents” (p.53)

Sustainable development through Quality tourism

    ‘‘To reach, maintain, defend their competitive position on the global market, tourist destinations need to use methods and tools that guarantee the management of a destination in the future in terms of quality, value and sustainability’’
Pechlaner & Abfalter (2005, p.43)

Provided that TEAM BUILDING EVENTS are strategically marketed and successfully developed and managed for Quality tourism consumption, TEAM BUILDING EVENTS may be helpful in pursuing a policy that fosters and supports a sustainable development of the tourism industry. To do so, relevant criteria on sustainable development through Quality tourism should be met.
The criteria emanating from the World Tourism Organization (1994) on the topic were previously reviewed in Chapter 2 and will be now compared with the findings of this study. Indeed, a number of such criteria are consistent with the nature or general practice with TEAM BUILDING EVENTS.
TEAM BUILDING EVENTS comply with some requirements of Quality tourism as their participants i.e. event tourists:

•    Firstly, travel mostly in the low demand periods and are amenable to off-season packaging (Category 1).
•    Secondly, participants of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS visit an area to attend a particular attraction within such destination, which may be said it is “other form” of cultural and environmental experience.
•    Thirdly, tolerate high levels of visitor management. As argued by Robson (2003) for conference delegates, Team building event participants:
   
    “…are together as a group, so that it is possible to inform and educate them about the local community in which their event is being held in order to maximize the enjoyment of their stay, but also to minimize any disruption and possible inconvenience to the local resident population” (p.24)

If TEAM BUILDING EVENTS are to be regarded as Quality tourism and so contribute to the sustainable development of the host communities, attention must be paid to the following issues:

•    Firstly, make more efficient use of the existing supply i.e. do not necessarily require the development of new infrastructure but using more efficiently the existing one.
•    Secondly, be run by professionals who appreciate and respect the environment and host culture.
•    Thirdly, do not engage in destructive forms of behaviour.

In the experience of this researcher, the forgoing considerations are currently being observed by a good number of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS providers. Being this the case of a particular provider, this should equally consider the following issues as a general rule:

1.    Event organisers must focus on planning and managing the events so as to provide benefits directly to the local host communities: encourage longer stays and more local spending; generate local tax revenues; use local supply; create employment and business opportunities for locals Getz (1997, p.71)
2.    Events should engage in activities which foster and support environmental conservation, and ecologically responsible development of specific destinations whilst appreciating and respecting the host culture if they are to have the best chance of long term survival (Getz 1997, p.70)