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Logistics and Analysis of IGEHO 2011 Report

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Updated: May 27th, 2019

Introduction

IGEHO is an international exhibition for hotel catering and extra-domestic consumption that took place in Basel, Switzerland from the 19-23 November 2011. The event was meant for anyone who is professionally involved in the hotel industry. The IGEHO event offered innovations, a complete market overview of products and services and a setting in which to meet familiar faces.

Alongside hoteliers, the event acted as a meeting point for professionals from the facility management industry and the care sector (homes and hospitals). In addition to this, visitors to the event were able to acquire valuable specialist knowledge about trends in the hotel industry.

Happening at a difficult economic climate, the event provided a good opportunity for stakeholders in the hotel industry to find the right partner in good time so as to be able to react successfully to changes within the industry. At a time when conserving energy is a priority for every organization, IGEHO provided participants information on energy efficiency for them to apply in the hotel industry.

Additionally, the event gave participants who would like to invest money in the hotel industry in the future an opportunity to learn the basics of how to run their businesses. This was achieved through a lecture given on hall 2.2 with the theme “Atmosphere for the Hotel Guest: Focus on Women.” The choice of topic was based on the assumption that hotels are generally better tailored to the requirements of men than women.

By placing the focus on women, the event organizers sought to give participants an answer to the question of how female hotel gusts differ from their male counterparts (IGEHO, 2011). Ideally, the event featured over 800 exhibitors displaying thousands of products, services, and innovations in the hotel industry (Allen, 2010).

This report looks at the logistical support for IGEHO to determine if the event was a success or not in relation to other events. The report also looks at the main suppliers (Butterworth, and Rukavina, 2002) during the event and gives a Gantt chart giving the schedule of the event.

Logistical Support for the Igeho Event

Events like IGEHO 2011 are leisure activities and work possibilities for people and logistical support is important if they are to be a success. Events bring people together and make them have a good time. They enhance the quality of people’s life by providing significant economic benefits and can also provide revenue for special projects. Regardless of size, events require a high degree of planning, a range of skills and a lot of energy.

According to Andersson and Wesslau (2000), when using events, companies get the possibility to have their own right to the consumer during the duration of the event. This means that if a company manages to get the consumer to attend the event, the distortion from the competitors will be gone or at least minimized during the duration of the event.

Also, events such as IGEHO, which largely concentrates on the hotel industry contains tangible elements, such as food, beverages and other products sold or given away, but are essentially a service in that they consist of intangible experiences of finite duration within a temporary, managed atmosphere. As with all services, this experiential “product” is produced and consumed simultaneously, is highly heterogeneous and very difficult to store or control (Allen, 2010) hence the need for proper planning.

Ticketing

Ticketing an event such as IGEHO is an immensely complex task, involving thousands of tickets. Hence, ticketing is one of the most significant programs of mega events such as IGEHO 2011. The ticketing that regards customers becomes, directly and indirectly, a critical factor for the success of the event and, consequently, it must be set up and realized in more professional and coherent way with the context of which it is to be situated (Cherubini and Iasevoli, 2007).

For IGEHO, the tickets were available from the event’s website www.igeho24.ch. Participants to the event were able to purchase their tickets online two months before the event kicked off. Selling tickets online provided convenience to the participants since they did not have to cue to obtain their tickets. Additionally, the event organizers were able to get good returns since they were selling their tickets directly to the public.

The ability to purchase tickets at any time that suited them not only enabled the participants to make informed choices on the part of the event they wanted to attend but it also eased the pressure on the organizers phones consequently cutting their cost base significantly.

However, since not all participants to the event have access to internet connection, the organizers had booths in various countries where one could buy IGEHO tickets. These were available from the stands at the entrances of shopping malls and event venue. In addition, portions of the tickets were sent to special guests personally (IGEHO, 2011).

Transportation

On Saturday, November 19 and every other day of the event at 08.15 am, a special train would move from the city center to Basel SBB where the trade fair was being held. Participants were not charged for this ride since the event organizers met the cost. Throughout the day, the number of speed trains heading to the trade fair was increased to enable anyone who missed the special IGEHO train to get to the venue in good time.

The event organizers chose speed trains as the mode of transportation to the event to avoid traffic jams, which are inherent in Basel. The IGEHO organizers had also made a special arrangement with the RailAway Company to offer 10% discount on the outward and return journey to Basel SBB and on the transfer to the trade fair grounds for those who missed the IGEHO train.

For those who did not wish to travel by rail, the organizers had contracted reliable bus companies and taxi operators to transport guests to the event and back. However, this was done at the guests’ own expense (IGEHO, 2011).

Human Resources

Human resource management is much more than recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers; it is a wide-ranging activity, involving the long-term strategic development of the event organization. The expected outcome of this is a positive culture of commitment and cooperation developed in the process of managing the work force (Wagen, 2007).

In events, there are also the volunteers. They are representatives from the community who freely choose to give their time and skills to support club activities for no payment other than reimbursement for out of pocket expenses. Volunteers come from all age groups, educational backgrounds and genders (Cherubini and Iasevoli, 2007).

People generally volunteer to have fun, socialize, learn new skills, help others, develop new friends, explore career opportunities etc. (Getz, 2007). Working with volunteers requires that their special contribution to the success of the event be acknowledged and shared. Working with volunteers requires consideration, flexibility and enthusiasm because volunteers often work for the ‘fun of it’ of for charitable purposes. Volunteers require just as much management and coordination as employees (Tassiopoulos, 2005).

For the realization of the IGEHO 2011 event successfully, there was need for adequate, competent and well-qualified human resources to achieve the goals of the event. In this sense, the staff employed in the IGEHO Event consisted of the Swiss Hotel Industry personnel and organization company’s staff.

These people had responsibilities from the beginning to the end of the event. In addition, during the staging of the event the personnel in charge were assigned to serve the participants and the audience. In the IGEHO 2011 event, a total of 38 employees were assigned including 13 employees in organization, 15 for stage setup and enter-exit controlling, 6 people in branding, 4 people in promotional and advertising business.

The personnel were trained people and were selected according to the job requirements. Volunteers were 33 people and students from various Swiss hotel industry institutions. The students were assigned to meet the needs of the audiences and provide the necessary assistance in the hall during the event. Two week training was given to the volunteers for the event (IGEHO, 2011).

Marketing and PR

In management of the events, public relations have two roles. On the one hand, it supports marketing activity in the form of promotions; on the other hand, it is also the tool that disseminates non-promotional information to other target publics that are important to the organization (Anderson, 2004).

An event’s leading aim is to achieve positive coverage on the media for the event without paying for the space or air-time it occupies. Strong relationships with the key media and a range of innovative techniques and tools in order to evoke an attraction are important when trying to create the desired media exposure (Masterman, 2004).

In addition, media relations and publicity should be given a lot of attention. A well-planned publicity campaign should run alongside any advertising campaign. Ideally, this drive should be spread over the period of months, building up to a peak shortly before the event. Early warning allows potential participants and spectators to book the event in to their diaries and prevents potential clashes with rival attractions (Tassiopoulos, 2005).

To promote the IGEHO 2011 event, various activities were organized in the city centre, in shopping malls and in hotels. Brochures and leaflets were distributed in areas of heavy pedestrian traffic (Berridge, 2007). In addition outdoor advertisements were done. Some attendants of IGEHO were determined by online voting by public people from the official web site of IGEHO www.igeho24.ch.

By carrying out e-mail based subscription system of voting, the event participants also achieved the chance to win various gifts. In addition, it was announced some surprise awards would be distributed to the lucky participants by drawing during the event. Wide coverage to reports on the subject was given in the local and national press, on web pages and official web site of IGEHO within the scope of public relations (IGEHO, 2011).

The IGEHO organizers created a strong brand and visual image for the event that was withdrawn from IGEHO’s strong hotel industry background while at the same time creating a clean commercial look that would appeal to European investors where participants were drawn from.

After developing a strong message – ‘Atmosphere for the Hotel Guest: Focus on Women’ the organizers formed a management team that focused on systematically developing a targeted participants list. The team then circulated targeted invitations to over 20,000 potential delegates.

To market the event further, the organizers formed the IGEHO Forum where lively discussions about the event were held. These discussions were chaired by Heinz Margot a well-known Swiss television presenter and covered various industry topics (IGEHO, 2011). Additionally, the organizers also used social websites like twitter and facebook to promote the event (Wagen, 2005).

Risk Management

The goals of risk management (RM) in events like everywhere include the protection of assets, to minimize legal and financial liabilities, to control potential loss, properly manage growth, and to operate responsibility. Risk management recognized in varying degrees as a key component of the responsibilities associated with the planning and producing events. It is often perceived as a function that is carried out once an event has been conceived, designed, and organized.

RM should be thoroughly embedded in the event design and throughout its development and production process to ensure the risks associated with the event are managed effectively and cost efficiently (Silvers, 2008). To reduce the risks that may occur during staging of the event, the logistical team had ambulances and medical teams on standby before the start of the event. In addition, to ensure the security of the event professional security staffs were assigned.

Event Participants Meeting, Receptions and Hospitality

To welcome the participants in to the hall, controllers, routing attendant’s volunteers were supposed to meet the people and guide them. In order to provide employee communication, intercom, wireless radio and mobiles were used. Before the event, time audiences were taken in by ticket controlling on a regular basis. Entries were provided in to two different doors. Assigned people directed the audience to different booths by asking them what they wanted to learn. In the VIP entrance, the audiences were taken into the same way. Front part of the VIP gate was devoted to protocol. Private catering was treated for the VIP guests (IGEHO, 2011).

Analysis of the Suppliers Needed

Like any other big event, the IGEHO organizers could not organize the event on their own and had to look for other suppliers to assist them in making the event a success (Butterworth, and Rukavina, 2002).

Road Traffic Office

Since the risk of road traffic accidents is higher in international visitors compared to local residents, the IGEHO organizers had collaborated with the Swiss Road Traffic Office (SRTO) to ensure that there were no accidents involving participants to the event.

The highway patrol officers taking part in the event had been retrained and improvements in the secondary road network including lane widening and lane separation in dangerous ‘hot spots’ near the location of the event was carried out.

The highway patrol officers created awareness among event participants on the side of the road they were supposed to drive, importance of wearing seatbelts, limiting the use of alcohol, and avoiding driving when tired. The officers were also required to give directions to motorists who did not know the venue for the event.

Cabeza Cleaning Company

In order to ensure that the city was kept clean during the duration of the event, the organizers contracted 326 street cleaners from Cabeza, a private cleaning company who manually removed approximately 20 tonnes of rubbish from city streets, which is twice the usual amount.

Up to 5000kg of rubbish was removed from the IGEHO site and 197sq m of city footpaths and 8000 sq m of city roadways were cleaned three times a day, which is equivalent to approximately 180 football fields. In addition, there was a team of 12 anti-graffiti cleaners who were employed around the clock removing approximately 1300 instances of graffiti.

G4S

For any event to be successful, security of the participants has to be guaranteed. To ensure the security of participants at IGEHO, the organizers had contracted security firm G4S to manage crowds in areas where pedestrian volumes increase quickly. This included areas such as near transport interchanges, station platforms, fairground exits, bridges, and ticket booths/ticket gates.

During the event, G4S was supposed to provide security and stewarding duties as communication between the two types of staff is critical for the safe management of crowds. G4S had selected stewards with appropriate competencies and they had also received training in fire safety, emergency evacuation and dealing with incidents such as bomb threats.

Two months before the start of IGEHO, G4S was already deeply involved in risk assessment and planning for the event. Working with the IGEHO staff, it participated in everything from security preparations and consultancy to the actual operations covering the whole 5-day event, starting on 19 November. Overall, G4S had provided 600 security officers to ensure the round-the-clock safety and security of the 80,000 visitors who descended on the Swiss city to take part in IGEHO 2011.

ABB Group of Companies

Although no incidents related to electrical hazards have been reported in any major event, there is always the potential of electricity causing death to workers, participants or members of the public due to the temporary nature of some installations.

The supply of electricity may also present an issue in that lighting levels need to be maintained at an adequate level to help people evacuate. The IGEHO organizers had contracted the ABB Group of Companies to provide lighting at the event venue. This came from the need to provide generators in case of any power failure during the duration for the event.

Table 1: Gantt chart giving the schedule of the event

ACTIVITY SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER
Week 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Committee
Training
Legislation
Marketing & PR
Event
Event Evaluation

Table 2. Explanation of the Gantt chart

Time Frame Schedule of Event
Sep. Wk. 1-4 Formation of the committee, search for volunteers and hiring of staff
Oct. Wk. 1-2 Training of volunteers and staff who took part in the event
Oct. Wk. 3-4 Procurement of the required licenses to ensure that the event complied with the Swiss law
Oct. Wk. 2- Nov. Wk. 2 The four weeks were devoted to marketing and PR in the countries where participants were drawn from.
Nov. Wk. 3 The date for the event
Nov. Wk 4 Various committees’ hand in their reports for the event. The reports highlighted the challenges that every team met and gave recommendations of how this
could be mitigated for an effective hosting of IGEHO 2012

Conclusion and Recommendations

This paper has presented the findings of a study about the dimensions of event management and event marketing. This has been done by reviewing the literature for event management and event marketing and approaches of how this was applied in IGEHO.

While most of the literature focuses on the entire event management, this paper focuses on the logistics of event management named ticketing, transportation, human resources (volunteers and trained staff), budgeting, marketing and PR and risk management.

The study illustrates that the event management logistics in the literature had been applied in to the 2011 edition of IGEHO organization and the event was successfully managed and marketed. The organization owners and the exhibitors have reached their objective and reached the number of people targeted.

Recommendations

Although most of the objectives for the event were realized, the report recommends the following for successful staging of future IGEHO events:-

  • The planning committee should be formed early in advance to ensure that adequate time is accorded to the planning process
  • The marketing and PR campaigns should run for a longer time to ensure that the participants surpass the 80,000 mark that the event organizers always target.
  • The event organizers should pay more attention to the issue of public health and safety risks that are inherent in mass gatherings and how to manage those risks when planning for the next event since this was not handled properly in the previous event.

References

Allen, J. (2010) Event Planning Ethics and Etiquette: A Principled Approach to the Business of Special Event Management. New York, Wiley.

Anderson, J. (2004) Teamwork: Interactive Tasks to Get Students Talking. New York, Delta.

Andersson, M. and Wesslau, A. (2000). Organizing for Event Marketing in Order to Change Brand Image and Increase Sales. International Management Master Thesis, 16(2), 19-20.

Berridge, G. (2007). Events Design and Experience, Events Management Series. Elsevier.

Butterworth, S. and Rukavina, V. (2002). The Event Sponsorship. New York, Wiley.

Cherubini, S. and Iasevoli, G. (2007). Marketing Trend in Europe Conference. Paris.

Getz, D. (2007) Event Studies: Theory, Research and Policy for Planned Events. London, Oxford.

IGEHO. (2011) Trendsetting in the Hotel Industry. Igeho 2011. [Online] Web.

Masterman, G. (2004). Strategic Sports Event Management. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.

Silvers, J. (2008). Risk Management for Meetings and Events. Burlington, Butterworth-Heinemann.

Tassiopoulos, D. (2005). Event Management: A Professional and Developmental Approach. Lansdowne, Juta Academic.

Wagen, L. (2005). Event Management: For Tourism, Cultural, Business and Sporting Events. Perth, Pearson Education.

Wagen, L. (2007). Human Resource Management for Events; Managing the Event Workforce. Burlington, Butterworth-Heinemann.

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