Brief History of the International EMBOK
31 July 2004
William J. O’Toole identified
the need for an EMBOK in
1999 in his Masters thesis work at the University of Sydney comparing
project management methodology with the management of events and
festivals, included on a website he created to collect data
and promote discussion of this topic. Julia Rutherford Silvers, who had been researching
the scope of core competencies for event management, began email
correspondence with O’Toole in 2000 regarding his work, expressing
interest in the development of an EMBOK, which culminated
in the launch of Silvers’
Event Management Body of Knowledge Project on
her website in 2003.
Janet Landey, who
had worked closely with O’Toole, Silvers, and others on numerous projects in conjunction with the International Special
Events Society (ISES) and the work of the Institute of Event Management, hosted
the first EMBOK Imbizo*, where these academic and practitioner
experts expanded the previous work done by each to develop the conceptual
framework for a common international event management body of knowledge that may
be customized to meet the needs of various cultures, governments, education
programs, and organizations.
* Imbizo, pronounced im-bee-zo,
is the Zulu word for gathering.
Julia Silvers & Bill O'Toole
1st International EMBOK Imbizo
The 2004 EMBOK Imbizo, held 4-6 July at the Edeni Private Game Reserve near Kruger National Park in
South Africa, and
by the Institute of Event Management
in Johannesburg, was a gathering of
experts in event management from around the world who convened to pursue
an agenda to map, define, and align current event management standards
consistent with the needs of a global event management environment.
mission of this international endeavor is to develop the conceptual
framework for a common international event management body of knowledge
that may be customized to meet the needs of various cultures,
governments, education programs, and organizations.
The participants included, in
Imbizo participants, from left to right, in the back row Glenn Bowdin,
Matthew Gonzalez, and Jane Spowart; in the middle row Janet Landey and
Kathy Nelson; and in front Julia Rutherford Silvers, Joe Goldblatt, and
Glenn AJ Bowdin, MPhil, ILTM
Joe Goldblatt, Ed.D.,
(US) Temple Univ.
Matthew D. Gonzalez, MCSE, PMP
Janet Landey, CSEP
(SA) Institute of Event
Kathy Nelson, Ph.D., CSEP, CMP
Univ. Nevada Las Vegas
William J. O'Toole
Julia Rutherford Silvers,
Jane Spowart, Ph.D. (SA) Technikon
outcome of the Imbizo included the establishment of the International EMBOK
Executive, which has
moved forward with
this international effort to quantify the scope and framework of
performance-based process standards built upon a researched, tested,
three-dimensional model of event management functions, processes, phases, and
core values. Using this model, the complex job of event management may be
approached in a comprehensive manner, ensuring all critical functional
responsibilities, possibilities, and opportunities are addressed properly and
Photo Courtesy of eVentage magazine
2nd International EMBOK Imbizo
The International EMBOK Model (see
below) was unveiled at the
second International Event Management Body of Knowledge (EMBOK)
Imbizo, held 28-29 July 2005 at the Ellis Park Stadium World
of Sports in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. Developed by
members of the International EMBOK Executive, the Model is a
knowledge framework and descriptive summary of the scope and
processes that are used in the management of events.
International EMBOK Executive members gave presentations on their
current research at the Imbizo, including (from left to right) Joe
Goldblatt, Janet Landey, William J. O'Toole, Julia Rutherford
Silvers, Kathy Nelson, and Glenn Bowdin.
3rd International EMBOK Imbizo
The 3rd International EMBOK
Imbizo was held July 2-4, 2007 at the Sandton Convention Center
in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The EMBOK was
positioned as an international authority and advocate for
excellence in events management and a concept that brings people
together in recognition of the commonalities of skill sets in
different event sectors and the need for maintaining, updating,
and improving quality in events and events management.
Work on validation of the
International EMBOK Model by numerous groups was reviewed and
updates on the status of industry standards and qualifications
initiatives around the world were presented. In addition,
from MPI (EMEA) introduced MPI's CultureActive©
Steve Schmader of IFEA announced the establishment of
Members of the International
EMBOK Executive gave presentations on their current research and
endeavors, including William J. O'Toole, Glenn Bowdin, Janet
Landey, Julia Rutherford Silvers, Kathy Nelson, Matthew D.
Gonzalez, and Philip Mondor.
Ivor Blumenthal from Services SETA, South Africa, Susan Briggs from
Service Skills Australia, and Philip Mondor of the
Canadian Tourism Human
Memorandum of Understanding for reciprocal recognition between South Africa,
Australia, and Canada was signed. The
MOU specified that the Services Sector Education and Training Authority
(SETA) and the South African Qualifications Association (SAQA), Service Skills
the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC) have agreed and
committed to cooperation with regards to Global Certifications and
Recognition of Qualifications and Standards for events management.
These agencies will
undertake the mapping of their qualifications against each other and the
EMBOK, and are looking to draw together a Global Council including other
sector skills councils from around the world for developing a Global
Events Management Standards Initiative, from which a global set of
competencies are to be developed.
Members of the International EMBOK
Executive convened in November 2008 in Winnipeg, Manitoba in
conjunction with the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council's
Foreign Credential Recognition Education Projects National
Advisory Panel to review the International Events Management
Standard (IEMS) developed by the CTHRC.
The IEMS builds on the International
EMBOK framework and other recognized and established
occupational standards and curricula from six countries, and was
ratified by a network of domestic and international professional
associations, government standards setting bodies, event
management practitioners, thought leaders, and other
stakeholders from 16 countries.
February 5, 2013
were further tested and revised as the Event Management
International Competency Standards (EMICS) in 2011, and ratified
in January 2012 in Ottawa by the EMICS Global Advisory Board,
which included representatives from numerous industry
associations, educational institutions and government
qualifications authorities. The standards are now being
developed by the CTHRC into an International Event
Qualifications Framework (IEQF) that will provide benchmark
criteria for career path options.
IEMS Advisory Panel's EMBOK members,
From left to right, back row: Philip
Mondor, Matthew Gonzales, Glenn Bowdin, and Julia Rutherford
Silvers; front row: Janet Landey, Bill O'Toole, and Kathy Nelson
Photo by Dan Nelson
Dr. Kathy Nelson
Kathy, devoted wife of Dan and
mother of Chloe, was a dear friend and colleague. She was also a
gifted teacher, researcher, and mentor to thousands.
We had so much left to do together.
The International EMBOK
© 2005, International EMBOK Executive, All
to view a PowerPoint that explains the International EMBOK Model.
International EMBOK Model, which has been released to
the public (under Creative Commons Licensing) on the
International EMBOK website, draws knowledge domains and the range of
activities involved in event management together with the event planning
process, which will enable the event management discipline to be mapped,
defined and refined. This holistic three-dimensional framework enables
the process to be broken down into individual components, illustrates
the logical relationships between these components over time, and should
facilitate better understanding, an infrastructure for information, and
the possibility of improvement.
The Knowledge Domains and their Classes
(or management areas) are the grouping of tasks and responsibilities of
event management into subject areas for the purposes of study, analysis
and application. It is based on, and facilitates the assimilation of,
data gathered through experience, expert opinion, and review of research
and industry literature. Within each Class are numerous Elements, for
example Administration (Domain): Human Resources (Class): Volunteers
(Element), which will be subject to different objectives, procedures,
and constraints during different phases. The taxonomy of Elements will
be developed over time as the International EMBOK is refined through the
work of users, researchers and other contributors.
The five phases
emphasize the importance of time in any project model and the fact that each
component in the knowledge domain has a time dimension. The processes are an
integrated, sequential and iterative system associated with each element of each
functional area of each domain at each phase in the event management process,
with tools and techniques that may be used for each. The core values of
creativity, strategic thinking, continuous improvement, ethics, and integration
are the values that must permeate all decisions throughout event management
regarding every element, phase, and process.
International EMBOK Model into the public domain will make it a flexible
resource available to a broad variety of industry stakeholders.
may use the EMBOK for producing and perfecting professional development
programming and credentialing products that offer international recognition
and career portability for their members.
organizations, including academic and vocational training institutions, may
use the EMBOK for developing and maintaining quality curriculum programs
based on benchmarked current practice, as well as creating relevant research
use the EMBOK when seeking to create worthwhile employment opportunities and
considering policies and regulatory legislation to protect their citizenry
and minimize their liability.
future practitioners and suppliers may use the EMBOK for clear direction
towards continuous improvement of quality, efficiency and profitability.
management industry may use the EMBOK for image and stature enhancement by
articulating the scope and complexity of the profession.
EMBOK Day at
the 2006 LV Summit
EMBOK Day at the 2007 LV Summit