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Cambridge Festival of Ideas 2013

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Michael Duignan

on 27 January 2014

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Transcript of Cambridge Festival of Ideas 2013

Cambridge Festival of Ideas Talk 2013
and local festivals impact on local businesses

How multiple (competing) interests of the London 2012 Olympic project was managed at the local level - and potential impacts on local business
2-3 years later what is the
'local legacy'
for the local economy (Greenwich's local traders)
can be learnt for Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 to ensure local traders can thrive (and survive) from a mega-event?
RQ: “How, and to what extent, were the
of local traders featured in the planning and delivery of the London 2012 Olympic Games project?"
The research
The talk format
Side passion
- of how entrepreneurs
to subsequent potential opportunities / threats arising from mega-events (e.g. strategic thinking / marketing tactics)

N.B. note sure if ill fit in it with PhD, but will still research...
Me (opening)
- specific focus on:

* Potential ways mega-events can impact on the local businesses communities that host them

- highlight the potential opportunities and uncertainties that entrepreneurs can face, and

- discuss some of the key arguments and dichotomies that exist within event delivery.
Always asked - field?
- Project management ('softer side')
- Tourism (Olympic context)
- Urban studies (influencing factors on urban order)
- Entrepreneurship (stakeholder)
Lorraine Turton
(Chair, East Greenwich Business Association) – providing experience of Greenwich’s local business community impacts pre, during and post-Games

Dr Ilaria Pappalepore
(Senior Lecturer in Tourism, Anglia Ruskin) – touching on how local creative industries can be impacted by mega-events

Ceri Littlechild
(Mill Road Coordinator, Cambridge City Council) – responsible as a liaison between council and community, Ceri will be providing anecdotal experience from Mill Road's local traders as to the potential economic and social impacts

Guest speakers
- blend of expert and local knowledge
Me (to close)

* Snapshot findings from EAT Cambridge 2013 - impacts

* Q+A and final thoughts
Mega-events - intro, history and development
"large scale cultural (including commercial and sporting) events which have a dramatic character, mass-popular appeal and international significance” (Roche, 2000: 1)
Essentially, although debated the three KEY mega-events:
Sola (1998:14) builds on this with notion to:
“increase tourist volumes directly and indirectly relating to
the event”….and that ”
visitor expenditures boost local trade

Not to be confused with hallmark events / local festivals....
The largest mega-event phenomenon...
"archetypal, most prized event of this genre"
(Essex and Chalkley, 2002; Matheson, 2006)
Why? - multitude of ways...
"World's leading festival of sports" (Rustin, 2009)
Captures intense global interest...
...as a major source of both local -->

"world coming to see the world" (DCMS, 2008) - celebrating London's diversity, history and local hotspots
Potential panacea for combat spiraling public costs (see Montreal 1976) Games
"London’s bid was built on a special Olympic vision: that a vision of an Olympic Games that would not only be a celebration but a force for regeneration...

...The Games will transform one of the poorest and most deprived areas of London....

...They will create thousands of jobs and homes. They will
offer new opportunities for business in the immediate area and throughout London”
(Jack Straw, 2005)
Some are more and less straightforward than others...
all businesses reported being down on revenue 50-60% ... noone could access local businesses (Guardian 2012)
"Local people who might otherwise come out and eat - stay away from the immediate shopping area" (Restaurant owner, Chalip and Leyns, 2002)
"We saw fewer tourists that usual....we had a negative impact during and after the Games" (Federation of Small Business, 2013)
Key primary research findings (inc Vlachos's stuff)
- ALL businesses in Central and East Greenwich reported severe losses
- Olympic Route Network (ORN) caused serious conjestion, difficulty with deliveries and prevented potential custom coming down Trafalgar Road
- Local customers stayed away (chaos) and (parking permit)
- 6ft plastic barricade and Games makers preventing tourists from coming accessing traders (see BBC story) - watching 1000's go by
- Local train stations (in East Greenwich - Maze Hill) closed - only access was Cutty Sark DLR and Greenwich main
- Advised to stock up, but perished due to the inevitable issue with tourist accessibility

Essentially all businesses are trying to recoup losses, no financial support by authority and advice post-Games

(5) Snapshot findings from EAT Cambridge 2013
PhD researcher...
...........all drawn from previous case study examples and data collected from London 2012 as a foundation for debate.
In society...
* Momentous growth of achievement in arts, sports and science (Hall, 1992)
For policy...
* Key role in urban development / tourism strategies (e.g Smith, 2012)

- cataclysmic opportunity for city change, 'fast-track' existing and new policies - and stimulate new ones

- Global presences, single focal point and immoveable pressured deadline for completion

- most city policy is centered around 'events'; particularly mega-events
For economic development...
* Tool for enhancing 'national and city' image - often with the hope to attract inward investment, and develop future tourism (e.g. Malecki, 2004) called 'showcasing' (Faulkner, 2003)

(event tourism - fastest growing element of leisure and tourism market (Chalip et al, 2002)

* short-term job opportunities associated with the event; enhancing of local skills
(although bit debatable)
... the promise of
'urban regeneration',
London's pledge towards
helping local communities
- that won the bid (e.g. Vigor et al, 2004)
as of recent years (Barca '96) Olympics - synonymous with 'urban regeneration'
* Seen as a key catalyst of globalisation; bringing communities and nations together (e.g. Roche, 2000)
* Controlling social problems; sport linked with reduction in crime/violence (Whitworth, 2001)
Although it has been seen in earlier contexts (e.g. Rome 1960)
But what does this actually mean for London 2012?
Pertinent for this talk -
...just over 83% expenditure (Malfas, 2004)
But what kind of opportunities (and controversies) - either planned, or unplanned could local businesses potentially face?
- exploring new grounds

- little understood; little written (all macro / national effects...)

- Shifting priority from 'hard, physical' to 'softer, social' impacts / legacy

- Shifting priority from 'economic' indicators to 'social' indicators
Land of sangria, sun...and Gaudi
But Post-Franco -- pre-'96 the city was different.
* No 2 mile beach.
* No modern marina (only industrial sites)
* Poor transport links in and out
* Lack of residential housing

* Not seen as a 'global city' - now most of us will have prob sung to Freddie's 'Barcelona' tune on way home...
Global city, great boost to national economy, intense city investment, catalyst for tourism development and construction of housing...
to name a few benefits...
Hailed as a roaring success; a milestone - 'Barcelona model' ---
- many have tried to replicate, but to differing degrees success...
But there were flaws in the model...
Single concept

Absorbs city agendas
Beijing -
- Rio

Mobilizes new / existing policies
discussed later...
Linked to the above; large tourist volumes are matched by tendencies of 'impulse spending’ (e.g. O'Brien, 2006) and increased shopping behaviour (Godbey and Graefe, 1991; Irwin and Sandler, 1998)
Large visitation impacts and tourism to specific geographical areas [mainly around core event zones] (e.g. Chalip and Leyns, 2002; O'Brien, 2006)
Hedonistic effects impacting on spending...
Acknowledgment of 2 types of tourist
- 'event' tourist (focused)
- 'accompanying tourist' (casual) = disposing of time...
Opportunity to develop global / national / local business relationships (e.g. O'Brien, 2006)

Noted link between strong business relationships, and business survival advantages (Baum and Oliver, 1991)
Networking opportunities; bringing small, medium and large businesses together to talk about collaborative working
Widely noted (e.g. O'Brien, 2006) that cultivating networking opportunity; can exploit networks of other businesses
Business Club Australia
Strategic programme of networking events
Local workforce skills development (e.g. Gold and Gold, 2008; Smith, 2012)
Increased local, national and business pride

during a time of economic austerities and uncertainty, the Games bring a feel good factor,

may have motivational and social cohesion value (e.g. Gold and Gold, 2008; Smith, 2008)

Softer - social impact
Mainly focused on economic and social impacts
Positive side of local 'Gentrification'
increases value of property for those small business owners who and trading out of own property(ies) (e.g. Raco and Tunney, 2010)
however - those that dont... highlights highlight contextual nature of debate
Improving internal business functions
opportunity and catalyst for improving internal processes and systems, up skilling business owners and their staff (Osmond, 2002)
SME Business impacts - 6-12 months post-Sydney 2000 (Osmond, 2002)

Operational shifts - increased push towards staff training, improved customer relations, budgeting, planning, marketing and advertising strategy

From local to global - greater orientation towards global marketplace e.g. exploiting export markets
Management of tourist flows - issues around barricading and marshalling
Identified as THE key problem with event delivery, particularly within my case study area of Greenwich.
Prevention of access to local high street shops
During 'high' tourist season (Greenwich already - hotspot)
Aversion markets forming
Displacement of those (locals) who would normally shop - avoid/vacate (O'Brien, 2006; FSB, 2013)
Substitution effect (at best) of

- local trade (bread and butter)
- regular tourist trade
- ppl often told to avoid key areas
= 'Ghost town effect'
Stay clear of central london...
East Greenwich - dead!
Direct 'urban regeneration impact' known as 'Tabula Rasa' ('wholesale demolition' of place leading to physical displacement
CPO'S........and the forced removal of local communities (and businesses) to make way for Games infrastructure
Raco and Tunney (2010) study on the removal of local businesses
* Found that just over 300 SME's were evicated from local communities
* Destruction of pre-existing social/economic practice - local traders rely on close-knit networks and connections within community

- 'Historical' - (client relationships)
- 'Practical' - (purchasing of local goods/services in area and business location)
- 'Physical' - (sports clubs, societies in the area)
- Seen as 'blank slates' - creates dystopic images in which a juxtaposition provides a vision of utopia

- an image of futurity and promise however, risk and uncertainty for present users (Davies, 2013)
Why - some explanations..?
"Written off as collections of old fashioned firms"..."whose decline is inevitable" (e.g. Imrie et al, 1995)

...Lack of understanding of environmental dynamics which small business operates (e.g. Amin and Thrift, 2002)

- Due to difficulties in proving contribution to social and economic vitality of cities, seen as earlier signs of economic activity (Raco and Tunney, 2010)

---> Areas in favour for more marketable purposes / profitable land uses (Osmond, 2002)

*** Ultimately, these connections were lost when displaced
saturated business rental markets..
Negative side to gentrification...
Flip side... those businesses who rent business units, can see
spikes in rental prices - common trait of post-Olympic areas
Of course, effects on profit margin / cash flow can be hampered, indirectly forcing 'displacement' effects
- East London - some of the cheapest rents per Sq Ft in London
(as low as £5 per sq ft compared to £50 in W1)
Forced out in to outer city areas, to conurbations
** Common in city history... (and London)
- trend for central cities, known for poor,
low skilled communities

- Pushed out from centre to peripheries
Social-critiques e.g. seen in 'Oliver Twist'
Dickens - known for social critique
Advertising restrictions on shop window displays, product and service offerings...
Overlooking of local 'interests' and poor community consultation - often 'token manufactured consent'
In addition...
West Ham Road, London 2012...
“In central London, predominantly in the first week of the Olympics - footfall reduced as a result of messages from the authorities advising people to avoid using private and public transport in the capital is possible” (FSB, 2013:7).
- and overstating of benefits...
---> increase stockpiles... get ready for the influx...
So what have been the noted effects on local businesses in Greenwich?
After initial phase of primary research
- on average 50-75% reduction in turnover
"Sales fell as much as 75% in areas of East Greenwich" (FSB, 2013)
- Tourist numbers and footfall key issue in this - primarily due to lack of accessibility and local people avoiding busy areas
- One restaurant reported increasing stockpiling, but everything went to waste
- Ghost town seen, particularly in East Greenwich due to avoidance signs
Passing the Baton - Federation of Small Business Report (FSB, 2013)
"the Olympics was an 'absolute disaster' for local
business in East Greenwich" (Lorraine Turton, Chair - EGBA)
Lorraine will provide further examples...
Case of Greenwich...
Reviewed multi-dimensional ways local businesses can be impacted by the Olympics coming to town....
- Mixed local opinion "one local put it - it almost created a civil war - we were so divided"....
- One (unnamed) critical local business owner won a small niche contract and backed out of a local demonstration
But why do such negative impacts exist?
A key objective for my research...
- what is it about the project...?
By virtue of the goal of Urban regeneration - 'tabula rasa', 'gentrification' and displacement seem, a natural by-product - planned and known.
"One senior legacy advisor: 'there has to be local casualties"
Dichotomy.... 'bid' Vs 'reality'
widely discussed that bid promises are rarely delivered
(e.g. Gold and Gold, 2008)
that urban regeneration, and the more social impacts are a 'fig leaf' over extensive expenditure (e.g. Evans, 2005)
Poses (naive) question: wasn't the bid meant for local communities?
Intense competing interests during its delivery
Particularly for this study - corporate Vs local trader interests
Key points found so far:
- Hypercommercialisation, increased corporate involvement since 1980's - see stats
- 'Deep Sponsorship' (McGuigan, 2005) - see 02 Project
- Resulting in: territorialisation / corporatisation of public space
* discussed favouring corporate objectives...
(2) Lorraine Turton - Chair, East Greenwich Business Association
• Entrepreneur (running 3 business from Greenwich)
• Greenwich Borough Representative, Federation of Small Businesses (as well as Vice-Chairman for the South East London Branch and Committee Member for the London Policy Forum)

(3) Dr Ilaria Pappalepore - Senior Lecturer in Tourism at Anglia Ruskin
(4) Ceri Littlechild - Mill Road Coordinator, Cambridge Council
- Local traders 'locked out' of the party (Hall, 2006)
Key objective:

to combat spiraling costs of the Games themselves...

but how such short-term macro objectives, prevent local economic development is to be explored further...
- what mega-events are, how important a role they play in cities (and societies)
- how the
potentially impact
local business
**positive Vs negative
**as opportunity Vs controversy

- highlights some of the key reasons why...

Eat Cambridge 2013 - snapshot impact
One of few, measuring economic / social impact from the event
Key highlights include:

* Key place to market themselves!

- many don't have a physical presence in the city centre so can't rely on footfall like other companies.
- provided a central place for them to market their products to customers they haven't reached before.
NOTE: The festival was hugely successful from their perspective

* Improved collaboration!

- found that many existing bodies and charities were touching upon the topic of food (amongst other things)
and we gave them a forum to reach audiences that may not usually show an interest - e.g. Transition Cambridge,
Cambridge Carbon Footprint, Cambridge Food and Wine Society

* Use of social media to spread key news about events and local businesses!
- huge range of demographics - ages, backgrounds etc who had heard about the event by word of mouth

* Hit on a trend
- captured a growing interest in food and drink at exactly the right time for an event
- Cambridge food scene was slightly underground before Eat Cambridge and hopefully pushed smaller businesses
and unconventional businesses like street food vans into the limelight to operate alongside more mainstream
restaurants etc.

All further details to be found at: www.eat-cambridge.co.uk.

**** 50+ local food and drink businesses (independents) participated and raised awareness of their business

****10,000+ local people involved in, attended, reached by Eat Cambridge - 5000 visitors on the main festival day plus many more from all over the county attending fringe events and pop-up restaurants/supper clubs during the festival.
(6) Final Q+A and thoughts
Thank you for all coming!
My email address: Michael.Duignan@anglia.ac.uk
Blog: www.olympicresearcher.wordpress.com
Twitter: @michaelbduignan
Full transcript