Two of the earliest academic attempts to define events come from Donald Getz and J.J Goldblatt who identify an event as being ‘special’, ‘one off’, ‘unique’ and ‘beyond everyday experience’, thus immediately setting them apart from other more routine activities. Goldblatt (1990) states that an event recognises a unique moment in time with ceremony and ritual satisfy specific needs. Getz (1991;2005) recognises that an event ‘is an opportunity for leisure, social or cultural experience outside the normal range or choices or beyond everyday experience.’
The term ‘special events’ is also used to describe the event sector focusing on rituals, presentations, performances or celebrations that are consciously planned and created to mark special occasions and/or to achieve particular social, cultural or corporate goals and objectives Bowdin et al (2007). Wilkinson (1998) writes that ‘a special event is a one-off happening designed to meet the specific needs at any given time , ‘a one-time of infrequently occurring event outside normal programmes or activities of the sponsoring or organising body.
Another view looks at events from a tourism perspective and identifies that there are a set of six core attributes of special events. These are; special events that should attract tourists or tourism development ;be of limited duration; be one-off or infrequent occurrence; raise the awareness , image or profile of a region; offer a social experience and be out of the ordinary (Jago and Shaw 1999). It seems at times that special events are everywhere, they have become a growth industry. The field of special events is now so vast that it is impossible to provide a definition that includes all the varieties and shades of events Bowdin et al (2001, pp 15-16)
It can be concluded that despite there not being a standardised definition that whether an event is special or not depends to some degree on the viewpoint of the practitioner or person experiencing the...