Julia Rutherford Silvers, CSEP

Certified Special Events Professional

Event Management Authority

Like angels and elephants dancing on the head of a pin, our dreams and responsibilities may have no limits, but must be balanced according to the music of the moment.

Emeritus

HOME

 

EMBOK PROJECT

 

ABOUT JULIA

 

SITE MAP

An EMBOK Research Menu

July 10, 2006

 

EMBOK Day at the 2006 Las Vegas International Hospitality and Convention Summit, held June 6th at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), included vibrant discussions surrounding the scope and validity of the International EMBOK Model and strategies for its improvement and adoption by a broad variety of academic and industry stakeholders. One of the suggestions that resonated for the academic participants was to create a research menu based on the EMBOK that would provide students with viable research topics that would be of value to the industry.

 

Creating new knowledge through research is a significant link between academia and industry, providing students with learning opportunities and industry practitioners with data that can serve as a foundation for good decision making, event development, and strategies for continuous improvement. This was, in fact, one of the uses conceived for the Event Management Body of Knowledge, a knowledge framework and descriptive summary of the scope and processes that are used in the management of events that may be customized to meet the needs of various cultures, governments, education programs, and organizations.

 

The research menu presented here is an illustration of how the International EMBOK Model may be approached when seeking topics for research that will quantify, qualify, verify, or validate commonly held beliefs and practices that industry practitioners have acquired throughout their careers, turning the “school of hard knocks” into hard science. This research may be conducted within the academic realm as well as by associations that serve various industry sectors. Research data from both sources will contribute to the body of knowledge and will serve current and future practitioners, as well as event consumers through improved standards of practice.

 

This knowledge will provide important guidance to organizers and authorities. For example, studying the number of on-site ambulances included at various event types and sizes could provide standardized guidance for new events. Such data could be collected from the historical records kept by ambulance services, which might serve as a foundation for best practice or regulatory standards that would protect the health and safety of consumers at public events.

 

The EMBOK Matrix as shown below is comprised of Sectors and Domains (with their functional areas, referred to as Classes) and offers hundreds, even thousands of research opportunities. The EMBOK Matrix identifies 280 fields of inquiry, or 360 fields of inquiry with the Phases and Core Values included. One square within the Matrix indicates a single Class for a single Sector; one row indicates a single Class across all Sectors. Within each Class there may be countless elements (as illustrated in the Silvers Taxonomy comprised of approximately 600 items), but even with a simplified estimate of five elements per Class (e.g. Food & Beverage*: food service scope, catering operation selection, menu selection, service planning, and alcohol management) the number of discrete fields of inquiry jumps to 1,400.

 

*Food & Beverage has replaced Catering in the Design Domain in the original EMBOK Model due to the varying definitions of catering throughout the global industry.

 

One may approach the topics within a single industry sector (e.g. Meetings and Conventions or Sports Events), or comparisons between sectors or across all sectors. Such comparative analyses will enhance understanding of the horizontal and vertical nature of the overall events industry, as illustrated below. Many goods and services are used in a variety of event sectors, and data that identifies the similarities and differences between all sectors will not only help to illustrate the scope of the events industry as a whole, it will reveal opportunities for organizers and providers alike.

 

 

It should be readily apparent that the scope of research, both possible and desirable, is vast. A single square within the EMBOK Matrix offers researchers rich opportunities for discoveries to dissertations, through which the EMBOK will raise the stature and standards of the events industry and all its inhabitants.

 

Matrix Research Opportunities

 

  • The applicability and usage of the scope of the EMBOK Domains in the various industry Sectors

  • Comparative analysis of the EMBOK Phases in the various industry Sectors

  • Comparative analysis of the EMBOK Core Values in the various industry Sectors

Administration Domain Research Opportunities

 

  • The application of the EMBOK Administration Domain Classes in the various industry Sectors

  • Analysis of the scope of the EMBOK Administration Domain in individual industry Sectors

  • Job analysis of the EMBOK Administration Domain Classes in the various/individual industry Sectors

  • Best practices in the EMBOK Administration Domain Classes in various/individual industry Sectors

  • Comparative analysis of EMBOK Administration Domain Classes in the various/individual industry Sectors

Examples

Financial

 

Cash flow analysis

Bookkeeping procedures

Pricing strategies

Human Resources

 

Recruitment and selection procedures

Volunteer usage

Compensation strategies

Information

 

Specifications guides / production books

Data reporting and monitoring procedures

Privacy policies and procedures

Procurement

 

Procurement policies and procedures

RFP/bid solicitation usage

Selection and evaluation criteria development

Stakeholder

 

Governance systems

Constituency management

Coalition building strategies

Systems

 

Information software/technology systems

Communication systems

Quality management systems

Time

 

Activity definition procedures

Schedule development tactics

Change control systems

 

Design Domain Research Opportunities

 

  • The application of the EMBOK Design Domain Classes in the various industry Sectors

  • Analysis of the scope of the EMBOK Design Domain in individual industry Sectors

  • Job analysis of the EMBOK Design Domain Classes in the various/individual industry Sectors

  • Best practices in the EMBOK Design Domain Classes in the various/individual industry Sectors

  • Comparative analysis of EMBOK Design Domain Classes in the various/individual industry Sectors

Examples

Content

 

Content development criteria and procedures

Content delivery format selection process

Accreditation requirements

Entertainment

Entertainment and attraction selection criteria

Ancillary programming

Cost/benefit analysis of entertainment and attractions

Environment

Marketing and communication environments

Seating arrangement effect on learning environments

Wayfinding systems

Food & Beverage

Impact of food allergies on menu planning

Concession operations

Alcohol service policies

Production

Trends in audiovisual and multimedia equipment usage

Decorative, task, and safety lighting strategies

Soundscaping and scentscaping practices

Program

Program composition and sequencing procedures

Protocol for ceremonies

Specialty services and amenities for attendees and participants

Theme

Theme selection and development procedures

Cultural iconography and branding imagery usage

Theme integration tactics

 

Marketing Domain Research Opportunities

 

  • The application of the EMBOK Marketing Domain Classes in the various industry Sectors

  • Analysis of the scope of the EMBOK Marketing Domain in individual industry Sectors

  • Job analysis of the EMBOK Marketing Domain Classes in the various/individual industry Sectors

  • Best practices in the EMBOK Marketing Domain Classes in the various/individual industry Sectors

  • Comparative analysis of EMBOK Marketing Domain Classes in the various/individual industry Sectors

Examples

Marketing Plans

Marketing objectives and measurement strategies

Message and branding criteria development

Integrated marketing tactics

Materials

Scope and purpose of printed materials

Content and layout selection procedures

Distribution schedules and methods

Merchandise

Product development criteria

Brand management

Inventory management

Promotion

Advertising methods and mediums

Cross-promotions criteria and strategies

Contest design and implementation procedures

Public Relations

Publicity strategies and measurement

Media relations activities

Crisis and controversy management

Sales

Registration and ticketing operations

Sales platforms and technologies

Transaction procedures

Sponsorship

Commercial sponsorship criteria and development

Donor cultivation strategies

Ambush marketing controls

 

Operations Domain Research Opportunities

 

  • The application of the EMBOK Operations Domain Classes in the various industry Sectors

  • Analysis of the scope of the EMBOK Operations Domain in individual industry Sectors

  • Job analysis of the EMBOK Operations Domain Classes in the various/individual industry Sectors

  • Best practices in the EMBOK Operations Domain Classes in the various/individual industry Sectors

  • Comparative analysis of EMBOK Operations Domain Classes in the various/individual industry Sectors

Examples

Attendees

Admittance and credentialing systems

Crowd movement and flow

Arrival and departure density

Communications

Communication methods and modalities

Briefings and announcement procedures

Command and control strategies

Infrastructure

Traffic impact and management strategies

Utilities usage and augmentation

Waste management strategies

Logistics

Task analysis and sequencing procedures

Contractor coordination

Move-in, move-out, and maintenance practices

Participants

Hospitality requirements for participants

Celebrity or dignitary inclusion and impact

Selection criteria and procedures for officials and officiates

Site

Site sourcing trends and practices

Site selection criteria development and procedures

Site development systems

Technical

Staging solutions for site enhancement

Trends in production technology usage

Technician support demand

 

Risk Domain Research Opportunities

 

  • The application of the EMBOK Risk Domain Classes in the various industry Sectors

  • Analysis of the scope of the EMBOK Risk Domain in individual industry Sectors

  • Job analysis of the EMBOK Risk Domain Classes in the various/individual industry Sectors

  • Best practices in the EMBOK Risk Domain Classes in the various/individual industry Sectors

  • Comparative analysis of EMBOK Risk Domain Classes in the various/individual industry Sectors

Examples

Compliance

Applicable statues, codes, and regulations

Accessibility compliance strategies

Intellectual and property rights observance

Decision

Risk assessment procedures

Decision making criteria and restraints

Authority and accountability controls

Emergency

Medical services provision

Emergency action plans

Disaster recovery and business continuity plans

Health & Safety

Fire and life safety evaluations

Occupational health and safety practices

Crowd behavior and control strategies

Insurance

Risk financing strategies

Liability exposures

Insurance coverage

Legal

Contract execution criteria and procedures

Licensing requirements

Policy development and implementation process

Security

Security personnel and equipment selection

Security deployment criteria

Command and control system

 


Additional Matrix Applications

  • Integration and impact analyses of EMBOK Domains in the various industry Sectors

Each Class in each Domain has an impact on and will be impacted by every other Class. One may examine the impact of one row (e.g. Administration: Financial), which represents 34 points of consideration. The entire matrix of Domain Classes represents 1,190 points of consideration, and when the five Phases of the EMBOK are added, represents a minimum of 5,950 points of consideration. When this is compounded by a minimum of five elements per Class (e.g. employees, volunteers, union workers, temporary staff, etc. plus structure of authority, job assignments, job descriptions, etc. all under Administration: Human Resources), one is looking at a minimum of 29,750 points of consideration, and more likely twice to ten times that many "decisions" to be made for a single event. Although much of this analysis is done almost unconsciously and rarely documented by most practitioners, such documentation facilitates knowledge transfer and provides evidence of due diligence.

 

  • Analysis of individual events in various industry Sectors using the International EMBOK Model

The International EMBOK Model, comprised of Processes, Phases, Domains, and Core Values, may be used to create a matrix showing tasks for each element of each Class of each Domain. When extrapolated out to analysis of a single event, such a matrix would provide an operational register with 4,375 points or opportunities for continuous improvement.

 

 

What has yet to be identified, however, are the scale variables that will allow events to be fully classified. The scale of an event could be small, medium, large, or mega (or other designations) and the challenge will be putting agreed-to numbers to these qualifiers. Some governments have used attendance numbers as the baseline for certain statutory requirements. South Africa’s new Sports and Safety legislation, for example, requires a “qualified event organizer” (among other things) for any event of 2,000 people or more.

 

The sheer volume of research to be done may seem overwhelming. However, as academic programs in events management and events of all sizes and types proliferate throughout the world, this becomes a wealth of opportunity rather than a burden.

 

Let’s go to work!!


Comments provided by Philip Mondor, Vice President of the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council:

 

"Thank you for providing this paper; it was a pleasure to read.  To follow are my key reflections on the model and ideas presented in the EMBOK Research Menu (10 July 2006) document.

 

Scope and Validity

 

Two themes resonate in the document – scope and validity. It would be beneficial to articulate the objectives for each of these as it will help place focus on the types of research that will be pursued and lend clarity to the overall goal.

 

For example, in terms of scope, are the objectives to:

Ensure the framework contains a complete, comprehensive listing of domains and related elements?  This may include the goal to ensure the range of domains and related competencies are exhaustive, and/or a greater level of specificity (such as clarifying the level at which the elements are performed) and/or classifying of the elements to describe type (such as transferable or core versus specialty; or frequency, importance, cognitive taxonomy, level of difficulty and so on).

Verify the application and relevance of EMBOK to (a) educational pursuits, (b) employment opportunities, (c) research and academic endeavors, (d) policy…? (*these are mere examples)

Promote learner and labour mobility, i.e. for EMBOK to inform (or be) a type of qualifications framework? (For example, OECD defines qualifications framework as “an instrument for the development and classification of qualifications according to a set of criteria for levels of learning achieved. This set of criteria may be implicit in the qualifications descriptors themselves or made explicit in the form of a set of level descriptors. The scope of frameworks may be comprehensive of all learning achievements and pathways or may be confined to a particular sector for example initial education, adult education and training or an occupation area. Some frameworks may have more design elements and a tighter structure than others; some may have a legal basis whereas others represent a consensus of views of social partners”. OECD further asserts that all qualifications frameworks establish a basis for improving the quality, accessibility, linkages and public or labour market recognition of qualifications within a country and internationally.  (For another good example, take a look at the International Labour Organization’s definition.)

 

If the objectives related to scope are well understood, then there is a clearer sense of what must be achieved in validation of the model. Validation, after all, must be linked to these objectives. Validation efforts to affirm completeness, for example, are different than validation efforts concerning application of the model. Methodologies will vary because of different objectives and necessitated by the different types of stakeholders, as well different opportunities and constraints. 

 

Classification Decisions

 

Classification systems are fascinating and organic by nature. Classification systems however should not be accidental and special care is needed to ensure decisions on how data is labeled are deliberate.  This is no easy task, especially in models that are intended to convey universal concepts and have international currency. One way to defend classification labels is to carefully define them and where possible to articulate the criteria or defense to come to those decisions.

 

One example I reflected on concerns the list of events sectors (which I think is also referred to as event genres in the document).  To a lay reader of the model, an inevitable question is “How did they come to the conclusion of these particular sectors?” Was it the size or scale of event, duration or other type of criteria, for example?  Perhaps the list was compiled as a result of other data or models. Regardless, it is helpful to include some rationale for the sector choices and definitions of the respective sectors to ensure clarity. 

 

Other examples of terms that I think would be beneficial to define include: domain, domain classes, fields of inquiry, class or function.  Terms and technical language that is universal in nature will assist in garnering serious interest and possibly even adoption or use of EMBOK. (Perhaps one of the validation efforts concerns the validation of terms and concepts.)

 

Research

 

The paper inspires many ideas on possible research that could be undertaken which would contribute to the EMBOK model. To some extent, the very body of this research may help validate the model (i.e. in terms of demonstration on the application of the framework), and at the same time the research will help refine the model. As I understand it, it is this very type of research that the paper is promoting. 

 

Here are some other research propositions:

  1. Articulation and verification of types of evidence or indicators that could be used to assess if an individual meets the skill or competency.  (Or this same idea, but looking at it from an event level rather than an individual level.)

  2. Mapping or articulation that shows the link to common types of skills or areas where one skill is dependent upon another… many other possible variables, but essentially the idea to show where there are commonalities and currency. (This very exercise is another form of validation.) This could include the defining of core competencies/requirements.

  3. On a similar vain, exploring what is transferable to other occupational domains or economic sectors.

  4. Exploring the underpinning skills or competency requirements, i.e. what is necessary for entry (not just expert level).

  5. Validation of industry terms, concepts and jargon.

  6. Defining and applying a taxonomy for each of the competencies (which is necessary if one wants to get to assessment of events practitioners, and very helpful in informing curriculum and training initiatives).

  7. Adaptation to another language and the validation efforts that go into adaptation of such a model.

  8. Specific development efforts with respective events-focused bodies such as tertiary educational institutions that specialize in the events discipline, or accrediting and certifying bodies. (These bodies could identify what is most important to them, and this would serve as a subject of inquiry… thus aiding in getting interest and buy-in as well.)

  9. Defining of quality assurance measures.

  10. Comparative work with other body of knowledge frameworks.

…of course the list could go indefinitely.

 

Summary Point

 

The very fact that there are many robust ideas that can be generated and an appreciation for the complexity that the model presents reinforces its value and the need for additional exploration. I really like the example that is positioned in the fourth paragraph, i.e. guiding organizers and authorities with respect to use of ambulances. Indeed many other illustrations could be talked about, but the point is there is a need for agreement and relevant data that will help inform better practices."

2001-2016, Julia Rutherford Silvers, CSEP. Albuquerque, NM, USA. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use & Disclaimer