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3Event Management – Hallmark Events


Event Management – Hallmark Events


Traditionally, human beings have been known to mark memorable happenings in ceremonious ways. Ideally, events are an integral part of the human culture throughout the world. While the truth is that events have the power and ability to transform who we are as individuals, the same can be said about their role to impact a particular group of people, culture, nation or community in general. Such events can range from Music festivals, major sporting events, cultural events, arts festival, and the list can go on and on, endlessly.

It, therefore, goes without saying that the need to identify important happenings or events in our lives is conspicuously present in both the private and public spheres. According to the Accepted Practices Exchange Industry, an event is defined as, “The organized occurrence of a convention, meeting, special event, meeting, gala dinner, exhibition.” In the public sphere, given the appropriate support and promotion from the government, corporations, and businesses; events are potent enough to facilitate economic development, nation-building and not to mention destination marketing.

It is also important to realize that the support and promotion of activities have become an important ingredient in the marketing strategies employed to create brand awareness and promote their image as well. On the other hand, the governments can also greatly benefit from events as they can help grow the nation’s revenue by boosting the tourist appeal, thus attracting more visitors and help (re)create the county’s national identity. This is compelling evidence on that links events to the role it plays education generation of revenue and entertainment as well.

Events can be grouped into various ways not limited to, but including size form and content. This essay will, however, highlight the distinction of a mega event from a Hallmark event with a primary focus on their defining features and their role in encouraging tourism.

Mega Events and Hall Mark Events

Hall Marks Events

In reference to tourism research (Ritchie, 1984:2) a hallmark event is the occurrence of major one-time recurring event that takes place for a limited duration of time with the sole purpose of not only creating awareness but also facilitating profitability. Moreover, such events serve to boost the tourism appeal of a particular destination for both the short term and long term.

Moreover, Hallmark events carry with them some symbolism that can be attached to a particular location or destination that the event is conducted. The symbollism creates a spirit, value, culture or any other elements that are akin to that particular town, city, or region giving the destination an identity. Additionally, it creates awareness and recognition far and wide since the event is held at the same location repeatedly after a specified period.

The city of Rio, for instance, is known for its vigor liveliness and energy; this is eminently expressed in the annual Rio Carnival and is synonymous with the city of Rio. The Oktoberfest of Munich, Germany is another prime example of a hallmark event.

Case Study: The Tour de France

The Tour de France is yet another classic example of a hallmark event. First staged in 1903, the event has gone a long way in growing tourist revenue, creating an identity for the citizenry of this destination giving them international recognition as well as local acceptance and pride. With time, the Tour de France has become a carrier of the destination’s tradition, attractiveness, hospitality quality, and publicity as well. Moreover, both the event and the destination have become endeared by sports enthusiasts. This, in the long run, has given the hosting venue (destination) an edge and a competitive advantage over other destinations.

While it is true that periodic events can be of historical value to the destination, such as the 1998 France FIFA World Cup, hallmark events such as the Tour de France possess the ability to consolidate the reputation of the host community. Ritchie and Crouch (2003:120) point out that the difference between the significance of one-time and recurrent events is as clear as day and night. This can be attributed to the lack of post-event reviewing or follow up in one-time events while periodic events facilitate the gradual build up necessary for reputation, recognition, and awareness.

Mega Events

Mega events are widely considered “Must see” events by a vast majority of the population all over the world. Mega events are known to generate a lot of heated discussions and debates. The magnitude and gravity of mega events are so tremendous that its effects can be directly in the economy of the host nation or country and even around the globe in one way or another.

Getz (2008: 403-428) defines mega events like those that, due to their size, their impacts return exceptionally high levels of coverage from the media, reputation, fame, influence and tourism thus having a direct impact on the economy of the host community and or organization. In other words, mega events are one-time events with an international spectrum. About Roche (1994:1-2), mega events are short in nature but have long term consequences on the host community. These events are usually characterized by the development and upgrading of existing infrastructure and event facilities that demand long term use considerations. Roche (1994:1-2) goes on to add that through the global media especially the TV, internet and newspapers as well the host community portrays its tenacity, vitality and identity.

Case Study: Olympic Games

High-profile events such as the FIFA World Cup, The IAAF Diamond League Athletics Championship are just but examples of mega events. Take the case of the Olympic Games which despite being a mega event, it is also a project that is surrounded with a lot of complexities and unexampled exclusivity. Dated back to the 8th Century BC, Olympic Games have become more of a global tradition. Its magnitude, coupled with the scope make it unmatched to any other event in the world.

The Olympic Games gives the host nation and city a great opportunity to expose its tenacity and vibrancy to the entire world. One of the defining characteristics of the Olympic Games is that they act as a unitive factor among nations (Rose & Spiegel 2011, p. 661). Countries are free to participate, and the host is assisted by other nations in organizing and meeting the expenses of the event. Additionally, the high turnout of sports enthusiasts from across the globe gives the event the characteristic mega event status. Certainly, nearly every single country in the world is represented in this grandiose event.

An event of such big proportions, calls for the involvement and cooperation of various partners including the concerned authorities, organizations and governing bodies. Invariably, the inclusion of the different stakeholders aids in ensuring that there is prudent planning and that the available resources are pooled together efficiently (Rojek 2014, p. 37). Moreover, since a lot infrastructure development and upgrading housing facilities, construction of roads and other distinct landmarks of the host nation are required, prior planning is essential in order to avoid last minute rushes. It is also worth to keep in mind the significant amount of time, vast resources, and lots of planning efforts that is invested into making such events successful.

Unlike Hallmark events that are known to be held in the same location over and over again and thus creating an identity and some spirit as well as symbolism that is synonymous with the host community, mega events are highly competitive since the aspiring host cities or nations are subjected to a highly competitive and rigorous bidding process with the bid-winning candidate nation or city securing itself the lifetime opportunity of growing its socio-economic aspects that are propelled by the sporting event.


It is an undeniable fact that effective management of an event can bring with it tremendous financial and economic gains to the involved governments, corporations and businesses respectively. Even so, the benefits of such events go beyond just monetary gains since they also have social and cultural benefits attached them. For instance, even though the Tour de France or the Olympic games do generate significant revenue, the events also play a critical role in bridging the cultural gap through the exchange of the diverse cultures of all who are involved.

True as it maybe that event is characterized by their size and scope, there is a thin line between hall mark events and mega events. Despite the efforts to draw a clear line between the two, there still exists a lack of clarity and exactness thus making the distinction blurred in some aspects. This is because hallmark events when properly managed can have “mega” kind of effects on the host community.

This, however, does not imply in any way that it is impossible to tell a hall mark event from a mega event. The distinction can be blurred, but yet again the difference is just as evident as oranges are different from apples.

In summary, hallmark events such as the Tour de France occur recurrently in the same location creating a long-term strategic advantage for the host community. Moreover, it brings an iconic symbolism that co-brands the destination with the event. On the contrary, mega events are one-time occasions that provide the host city or nation a short period and opportunity to showcase, expose, and market the destination while at the same time bringing the various cultures together just as illustrated by the Olympics Games.


Getz, D 2008, ‘Event tourism: Definition, evolution and research’, Tourism Management, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 403-428.

Ritchie JB 1984, ‘Assessing the impact of hallmark events: conceptual and Research issues’, Journal of Travel Research, vol. 23, pp. 2-11

Ritchie, JB and Crouch, G 2003, The competitive destination: A sustainable tourism Perspective’,
CABI, Wallingford, 120

Rojek, C 2014, ‘Global event Management: A critique.’ Leisure Studies, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 32-47.

Rose, AK., Spiegel, MM 2011, ‘The Olympic effect’, The Economic Journal, vol. 121, no. 553, pp. 652-677.