Introducing Event Stakeholders
What is a stakeholder? This question has been widely debated for years and years, simply because there are numerous definitions of the stakeholder concept, which normally vary depending on the organisational context.
Nevertheless, let’s take a look at one of the most common definitions used. For Freeman (1984:25), a stakeholder is “any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the firm’s objectives”. Thus, a stakeholder is anyone with a stake in a business’s success. Generally, stakeholders can be further categorised into internal or external, and primary and secondary, but I will come back to this point on another day.
In the mega-events context, event stakeholders entail
“a variety of individuals, groups and organisations which are impacted by or can influence the outcome of an event” (Ferdinand and Kitchin 2012:33).
Each stakeholder’s demands vary depending on the event’s reach, meaning if it is a local, regional, national or international event. For example, stakeholders in a mega-event can be the event organisation, sponsors, venue managers, local community or the attendees.
Furthermore, as explained in another post , a mega-event involves a complex process of planning and delivery, therefore, it will require the participation of an array of different stakeholders. Which means that the event organisation should recognise and set a management strategy for each one, depending on the phase that the project is on. As such the first step, once the main idea of the event has been established, is to identify and determine all the stakeholders that will be involved in the project, at one point or another. And secondly, understand the role of each one, whilst outlining specific goals and expectations.
It is important to mention that this is a very brief explanation and that there are very good academic tools to help you recognise and manage stakeholders. Such tools include the stakeholder wheel, the stakeholder matrix, or the numerous approaches to stakeholder theory.
 “What is a Mega-Event?”
Ferdinand, N., and Kitchin, P.J. (2012) Events Management an International Approach. London: Sage.
Freeman, R. E. (1984) Stakeholder management: framework and philosophy. Pitman, Mansfield, MA.