Event experiences: design, management and impact

Berridge, Graham (2015) Event experiences: design, management and impact. Doctoral thesis, University of West London.

Graham Berridge PhD Thesis March 2015.pdf - Draft Version

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The papers submitted for this PhD by publication represent research centered on event
experiences and their design, management and impact. They are the result of research
projects that have produced seven published peer-reviewed papers and one book. The body
of work has made an original, significant and sustained contribution towards the
development of an emerging field of study in events. The work has made a major
contribution towards furthering understanding of the human experience that results from the
management of events, their design and their impact.
At the heart of this submission is a consideration for how events are experienced and what
factors and components contribute to the depth of that experience. The majority of papers
analyses and reflects upon the construction of experience settings (their design) and
essentially seeks knowledge to identify the variables that shape any experience of events
(Ryan, 2012). In doing so the research undertaken has embraced a less restrictive set of
methodologies usually afforded by statistical exercises in favour of a more embodied,
immersive and participative approach. This has included not only observation and autoethnography,
but also reflection on that which has been observed. In turn this reflection and
analysis has drawn upon a range of theories and models to advance understanding of the
social occasions that we call events where human interactions with the designed programme
and environment illicit a range of responses that may culminate in a memorable and unique
moment in time.
The research therefore touches upon the emotional response to event experiences, the study
and interpretation of the meaning of events, and notably their signification to an intended
audience. In the course of this research I have evaluated and reflected upon the study and
practice of event management across a range of event types and genres. Seeking to initially
clarify the role of design in creating event experience led me to questioning the paradigmatic
model for event management and resulted in the development of an alternative consideration
for event planning and management - Event Experience Design Framework (EEDF). Unlike
existing models this places design as the central and pivotal driving force that inhabits all
areas of the event management process and upon which all events should then be based.
The contribution of this body of work can therefore be summarised as follows:
1. Development of a paradigmatic concept that places design as the central and
essential practice that underpins the planned event experience.
2. Theoretical positioning of how designing event experiences impacts on
3. Recognition and application of theoretical models and tools relevant to event
design and creativity, and further use of conceptual models to analyse experiential
4. Identification and awareness of the broader socio-cultural impact of planned
This submission provides evidentiary material that I have made a positive and meaningful
contribution to raising the profile of events through research, teaching and learning by an
acknowledged excellence in events management education and as a recognised (and first)
National Teaching Fellow in Events. Furthermore, the submission provides a reflection on
this research and development that has enabled me to make such a pivotal contribution to the
field. It concludes with an outline of plans for the future.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Hospitality and tourism
Depositing User: Marzena Dybkowska
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2015 13:38
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2016 03:56
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1374


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