EventWeb 14: LifeCycle — Pre Event Activities

Events have a life cycle that continues far beyond the time when the event takes place.  One could consider three important stages in this lifecycle.  These could be easily considered in three clear stages: Pre-event



Of course some events just happen or their Pre phase is so fast that it is not considered.  We will discuss that case later. 

Most events are planned.  First the time, duration, and location of the event are fixed.  This then blocks a region in spatio-temporal space for the event to take place.  In most events there are people who are invited and people who play role as organizers.  In many cases, invitations could be open – meaning anybody who is interested may attend the event – participate in it in some way.  There is some information that must be shared with different groups.  All this information is attached to this event.  In some cases, to attract people to this event, examples of similar events are presented, or information about the participants in the planned event is used for marketing.  All this material also becomes part of the information related to the event.

It is common to form one or more mailing lists related to the event.  These mailing lists are used to disseminate appropriate information.  It is now common to send all this information easily using e-mail.  Of course there are problems related to spam, but we will not worry about that in this discussion.  These mails sometime are used to discuss logistics related to the organization and attending of events.

Obviously, people attend events because they are interested in it.  Surprisingly, however, in many cases people attend events because they want to either meet other people, want to be seen at the event, or just don’t want to feel that they missed something.  Thus, events are a social occasion for a special group of people.  Events are organized many times to facilitate meeting of people with common interest.  Events are used to build communities.  No wonder that events are advertised to a particular group of people by using mail lists, publication of details in Newspaers, magazines or even Radio and TV.  In the last year many sites on the Web have started providing facilities to help people find events that they may be interested in.  These sites provide calendar of events.  Some sites have started providing environment so people can publish their events and share with others.  This is clearly very important and is increasing in popularity.  There are sites that help people organize events by providing environment to invite people to events and helping in managing attendee list, RSVPs, and thank you notes.

For many events, much excitement is created before the event by providing all details of the event and related information.  In many cases, excitement is built by speculating how great the event will be.  This commonly happens in sporting event.  For example, I am typing this post in my flight from Zurich to Atlanta.  I changed my plans and took this flight one day earlier (by paying $200 penalty for change and giving away my business class ticket for coach class) so I can land in Atlanta in time to watch on TV The Biggest Game ever between Michigan and Ohio State.  Much hype has been created for this event because these teams are ranked number 2 and 1 respectively and are the biggest rivals in college football history in USA.  I point out this because, I am not able to watch the event personally in Columbus, but I want to be at a place where I can watch this on TV and in my case Atlanta Airport is going to be the place.  For the last 6-7 weeks, much anticipation has been built for this game by writing about the rivalry, their ranking this year, and details about the teams.  This was the biggest news item in the international edition of USA Today – front page and the second page are all about this anticipation.

What is interesting is that in many cases the anticipation of the event is built by talking about similar events in the past and giving details of those events.  Obviously, past events are always used to predict the future events.  Is that the reason why history is so important?

An important part of the build-up leading to an event is discussions among people related to the event.  These discussion take place at many different levels and in many different forms.  And it is important to provide environment to encourage these discussions for creating more anticipation.  I find the polls like who is going to win the match published with much demographics of votes provide interesting example of how much people want to talk about events they are interested.  And people do want to meet people who are interested in similar events.  I wear Michigan cap many times.  Most times no body comments, but during football season and particularly close to the Michigan – Ohio State match, I commonly hear Go Blue from strangers.

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