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Importance of Knowledge Exchange on Contemporary Issue for Event Industry

Importance of Knowledge exchange on contemporary Issue for event industry


According to Graham (2006) knowledge exchange can be defined as the systematic approach of sharing tacit knowledge which simply refers to the knowledge that people get through their work experience, the failures and successes that face in life. This knowledge then shapes their future endeavours especially in their work place or personal life (Clark 2006). Knowledge exchange is an important venture for those of us who are in the event management industry. This is because it has a way bringing together the human resource in this industry, the clients and the public so as they can exchange evidence, expertise and ideas that can foster growth and development of the industry ( Bowen, 2006).

The mode of exchange is effected through the events that are organised be it weddings, corporate events, conferences, birthdays among other. These events/activities that are a conduit for knowledge exchange usually target the industry partners, policy, practice and the public (Birdsell, 2007). The knowledge exchange in the event industry occurs through three important stakeholders; knowledge generators, knowledge enablers and knowledge users (Baumbusch et all, 2008). This can be presented diagrammatically as follows;

Importance of knowledge exchange on contemporary issues for event industry

The event industry has undergone exponential growth in the last twenty years. More people and business are coming on board every year more than ever. Having been in this industry for over 15 years, one can say from experience that knowledge exchange is among the factors that have led to the new and emerging roles that have been witnessed in the recent past in this industry. There is a paradigm shift in terms of the new roles that event managers hold apart from the routine planning of events. It now goes beyond to include bringing together the knowledge and skills of social media experts, videographer, conference architect, designers digital concierge, event technology experts, digital analyst, customer care experts, security, reporters, event sustainability, creative directors, live feedback mangers among others (Armstrong et al, 2006). When all the above experts are working on one particular event there is a high chance that a lot of knowledge exchange takes place. As an event planner I have come to appreciate the role of social medial in keeping in touch with the public and our clients (Argote & Reagans, 2003). I started a blog where I write about the unique experiences of every event, and social media pages where I get to keep in touch with our clients. I realise that there is so much we can share as people in the event industry if we learn how to package it and present it out there. Before we talking about the importance of knowledge exchange in the event industry, it important that the process of knowledge exchange is governed by some important principles (Grol, 2003).

To begin with there is need for key stakeholders to own the knowledge exchange activities and strategies. All these should be done in a spirit aimed at promoting, supporting and implementation of working innovations in the industry. This calls on the stakeholders to develop working strategic mechanisms as far as knowledge transfer is concerned. This should be done with the understanding that they experts and therefore have to authoritatively share that which will boost the image and place of the event industry in the global arena. The experiences, ideas, innovations and skills that have been acquired over time as a basis for the growth of this industry should be authoritatively put out there for fellow colleagues who are perhaps just new in the industry, the clients who are earnestly in search of the truth, the general public and even policy makers (Wathen et al., 2008).

Additionally the principle if equity to access should be fostered. This implies that the different and unique needs of every audience and target group should be put into consideration even as strategies on knowledge exchange are developed are implemented,. There is need to take the various measures to tailor make or adapt whatever knowledge that is to be shared to the needs of the target group (Newton, 2007). For instance policy makers may only be interested in facts that will shape their decision making even as they come up with the rules and regulations that govern the industry. The clients on the other hand may only be interested in new trends or designs that are in the market at any given time.

While this is the case, the quality of content is also another important content. The knowledge and its contents have to be worth sharing. It should be factual and not exaggerated to fit personal gain. If it’s about new designs, it should be well articulated and if it’s about pricing of events, it should be as realistic as possible (Nicollin et al 2007). This is especially where the social media is being used as a tool of exchange. One shouldn’t paint the social media with luring lies or exaggerated information so as to make a name for themselves. It’s important to realise that the internet never forgets. While you keep that in mind, trim your content to serve a specific purpose for a specific audience.

The traditional modes of knowledge are still by and large useful. The good thing about the face to face meetings is that they enable interaction between decision makers, innovators and other key stakeholders. This then provides a platform for the interests of different to be shared while networking is taking place (Kuruvilla, 2006). However it’s important that the use of technology is very important in this era. As aforementioned, the social media can be a very fruitful platform for exchange if well utilised. The good thing about technology is because of the speed and coverage. One is able to reach millions of people through face book pages or Instagram and the resultant impact is desirable. Stakeholders therefore need to harness this important avenue even as they endeavour to grow this industry worldwide.

Then an important question arises; how then do we own the knowledge that is shared? Does one have rights to patent whatever knowledge they share. Say for instance, one has been in this industry for decades and wants to capture his or her thoughts in a blog, book or some sort of publication. It is important to understand that knowledge exchange occurs in levels. There are levels that will require protection of intellectual property and acknowledging ownership. For instance where a book has been published or a blog written; in that case property rights have to be exercised.

There are salon tools that act as avenues for knowledge exchange. They include for instance face to face discussions. This is perhaps the most missionary form of knowledge exchange conduit that has been since time immemorial. Face to face discussions happen in planning meetings, conferences and workshops. The second tool is telephone conversations and short messages services. Workshops and forums have also become a common tool for knowledge exchange in this industry. They allow the sharing of success stories, challenges and emerging issues in the industry (Lavis et al, 2003). There are parts of the world where due to technology, some events entrepreneurs are taking on the webinar as a medium of exchange. This online educational exchange platform allows the participants to put forth their comments and questions during each session. This is in fact one of the tools that makes knowledge travel in a flash. Besides with the introduction and use of internet in the 21st century the use of online tools such as social media is very key in knowledge exchange among key partners in the events industry.

Moving forth even the construction of a resource database will be inevitable. This is not to say there are no databases for the events industry; the issue is they are mostly widely used in the first world. There is need for the stakeholders from the developing world to take up the challenge and initiate resource databases that will capture their unique experiences in the industry. There could also be country specific or region specific newsletters. There are some events planners whose businesses are established enough to have telephone shows or even newsletters of their own. Even the new entries could join hands and invest in such a venture. Other tools of knowledge exchange that can be explored include; innovation repertories question and answer sessions, podcasts, policy briefs, stories of change among others (Jacobsen et al, 2003).

There is a lot of gain that comes with knowledge exchange in this industry. To begin with it makes it possible for various experts in this industry to come together of share ideas, discuss their work experience as they learn from each other (Kitson and Bisby, 2008). It is through such discussions that targets are set and improvements of performance and results realised. As aforementioned this industry now incorporates people from different backgrounds; some from the media, catering, operations, financial experts, public relations experts, technologists experts among others. Knowledge exchange enables ideas, best practices, experiences, skills and knowledge between these different areas of expertise to change hands for the betterment of the industry. Secondly knowledge exchange fosters innovation. If you study the growth of the event industry one realises that there are new ways and ideas that keep coming up every now and then. One cannot compare the designs that were used in 1990s to what is being used now. There is complete transformation in the industry as regards the concepts that were being used before and what is being used now. The current trends are that events are tailored along certain themes. Even in a simple example of birthdays. It is not just about getting a cake, decorated venues and food etc. Right now the clients come with a specific theme in mind; for instance they may want a jungle theme, forest theme, winter theme among others. This is all because of innovation that the event organisers have decided to embrace.

Additionally knowledge exchange creates an environment for continuous learning. This is to say as the interactions keep growing so is the exchange of ideas which them makes the various stakeholders to learn, unlearn and relearn new ideas and experiences. The experience you get through the discussions and face to face meetings makes one more knowledgeable and enlightened especially on the new trends in the industry (Grol, 2003).

Moreover, when the right knowledge gets to the policy makers then it ensure that effective governance and leadership is instituted in the industry. This is because the policies that will be put in place will be informed by the facts and the reality that is shared on various platforms. Knowledge exchange also allows for a comprehensive, integrated and responsive event plans and other complimentary services in each and specific setting for given target groups (Sudsawad, 2007). This will then allow for support for adventures and strategies that will enable further knowledge exchange.


As the world develops, the event industry continues to grow and develop. This then puts a demand on the various stakeholders to be ready to learn and relearn what works and unlearn what may be detrimental to their growth. In the 21st century, the use of technology is not something to discuss about. It is inevitable and adjusting to its use does more good than harm. One needs to be at per with the latest developments in the industry to avoid becoming obsolete and irrelevant. In conclusion knowledge exchange is an integral part of the event industry. It requires working and efficient tools that are tailor made for specific target group; it has to be guided by particular principles in order to achieve the desired results. Knowledge exchange does not occur in a vacuum for no reason. For every interaction or sharing, there is a vision and mission that is accomplished. Its therefore important to understand the role of each stakeholders especially the three basic ones; knowledge generators, knowledge enablers and knowledge users.


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