A Brief History of Event Management: Event Planning Then and Now

Posted: October 8, 2020

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A Brief History of Event Management: Event Planning Then and Now

 

Whether it’s a party, class, or promotional occasion, events of any kind are quintessential in connecting individuals within their communities. And as technology progresses, so does the manner in which people plan and host events. But, where did event management start? More importantly, how has it led us here? This brief history of event management compares the then and now of event planning.

The Evolution of Event Management

The earliest recorded events and gatherings promoted peace and friendship between tribes and clans, and the first known event planner was Cleopatra. She hosted elaborate, lavish, sumptuous meetings in pursuit of potential lovers. Cleopatra even went as far as entering one meeting by drifting down the Nile River on a boat filled with candles and perfume in order to impress Mark Anthony. However, Cleopatra’s events would not have been possible without her servants and free labor. Communication was very limited, and messages were often hand delivered which usually took weeks, if not months, to be delivered.

Luxurious events and parties continued with medieval French Royalty. Wealthy aristocratic women were in charge of event management, the most notable being Madame Pompadour, the mistress to King Louis XV of France and Marie Antoine. Parties were themed with costumes and popular musicians of the time.

The Industrial Revolution created the need for events and connecting to expand beyond parties for the elite and royal families. Thus, industrialization provided a stronger economy by increasing manufacturing and generating business growth, and it ultimately became necessary for people to set up meetings and events in order to collaborate and grow their businesses. People were making more money, which meant that they could spend more on hosting events. The expansion of transportation provided options to increase the number of events and meetings, as well as an array of location options. New modes of transportation such as trains permitted a feasible manner for people to travel to and from events, all in a timely manner.

The introduction of mobile phones and the internet also had an enormous impact on event planning. With the use of these electronics, communication could now happen at any time during the day, from anywhere in the world. Individuals can now create, locate, register, and document an event by using one small portable device.

Then vs. Now

Registration

Then: Prior to the 1990s and 2000s, event organizers had to use hand-written registration processes and all documents were physically mailed. It could take days to reach it’s final destination and it was easy for documents to become lost.

Now: Documents can be emailed or uploaded to a dropbox instantly and registration forms can be filled out online.

Locating

Then: Before the internet, attendees had to pull out a physical map to find the location of an event, which may have been difficult and stressful.

Now: One simply needs to type an address into Google Maps to receive turn by turn directions and even obtain a new route if they get lost or make a wrong turn.

Attendees

Then: Curious who’s attending an event? Back then, placing a telephone call to your friends or asking them directly in-person was the only solution.

Now: Through social media and event organization websites, attendees can see virtually who is interested in or attending an event.

Advertising and Finding Events

Then: Before the internet, flyers, posters, and word-of-mouth were popular ways to advertise events.

Now: People can search for events utilizing websites such as LocalHop and Facebook. Users can type in their location and find hundreds of events they may not have even know existed!

The most considerable change technology has afforded is the availability for an individual or organization to have more control over event management.

Software and websites allow people to construct advertisements for events with user-friendly formats that are slick and professional. Ticket sales and registration are organized in one spot, and in the fast-paced world of the internet, time is limited and valuable. Event management websites and apps such as LocalHop save people time while providing easy options for creating events.