Event Management Body of Knowledge Project
26 October 2003
This project presents a knowledge domain structure as a captured and therefore explicit starting point for a multi-national and multi-disciplinary discussion on a global Event Management Body of Knowledge (EMBOK).
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Click here to view a PowerPoint that explains the International EMBOK Model.
What Is EMBOK?
Simply put, EMBOK is a framework illustrating and encompassing the facets of events management that is flexible according to the needs of its user.
Event management is the process by which an event is planned, prepared, and produced. As with any other form of management, it encompasses the assessment, definition, acquisition, allocation, direction, control, and analysis of time, finances, people, products, services, and other resources to achieve objectives. An event manager�s job is to oversee and arrange every aspect of an event, including researching, planning, organizing, implementing, controlling, and evaluating an event�s design, activities, and production.
Event management has been described as an �emerging profession� due to the fact that no academic, government-issued licensing, or private occupational certification credentials are required to practice this complex and responsibility-laden enterprise. Without such credentials, �professional� status is suspect and subject to degradation by the actions of untrained and inexperienced practitioners who are simply not aware of the scope of what needs to be learned in order to be qualified to work in this profession, as well as the scope of the legal and ethical responsibilities associated with such endeavors.
Event management encompasses a multitude of types of events. Although the industry has delineated itself into various categories, all represent the planning and production of an event that brings people together at a particular time, in a particular place, for a particular purpose. The event genres that may be considered as falling within the event management profession for the purposes of this project are illustrated in Table 1.
Business Corporate Events
Any event that supports business objectives, including management functions, corporate communications, training, marketing, incentives, employee relations, and customer relations, scheduled alone or in conjunction with other events.
Cause-Related Fundraising Events
An event created by or for a charitable or cause-related group for the purpose of attracting revenue, support, and/or awareness, scheduled alone or in conjunction with other events.
Exhibitions, Expositions Fairs
An event bringing buyers and sellers and interested persons together to view and/or sell products, services, and other resources to a specific industry or the general public, scheduled alone or in conjunction with other events.
Entertainment Leisure Events
A one-time or periodic, free or ticketed performance or exhibition event created for entertainment purposes, scheduled alone or in conjunction with other events.
A cultural celebration, either secular or religious, created by and/or for the public, scheduled alone or in conjunction with other events. (Many festivals include bringing buyer and seller together in a festive atmosphere.)
Government Civic Events
An event comprised of or created by or for political parties, communities, or municipal or national government entities, scheduled alone or in conjunction with other events.
A commerce-oriented event to facilitate bringing buyer and seller together or to create awareness of a commercial product or service, scheduled alone or in conjunction with other events.
Meeting Convention Events
The assembly of people for the purpose of exchanging information, debate or discussion, consensus or decisions, education, and relationship building, scheduled alone or in conjunction with other events.
A private event, by invitation only, celebrating or commemorating a cultural, religious, communal, societal, or life-cycle occasion, scheduled alone or in conjunction with other events.
A spectator or participatory event involving recreational or competitive sport activities, scheduled alone or in conjunction with other events.
Professional knowledge, which consists of technical knowledge, specialized skills, and ethical standards used to function within a professional jurisdiction, must be transformed into formal knowledge systems combined with experiential or situational knowledge systems. The proposed knowledge domain structure (Figure 1) captures and makes explicit the scope of this knowledge system, and provides a taxonomy (Tables 2 through 5) for incorporating additional expertise, experience, and transferred knowledge and applications. Note that the Units and Topics are in simple alphabetical order. For more detail on the EMBOK Structure see Updated Structure.
Event Management Body of Knowledge Domain Structure
Revised 03 February 2013
NOTE: This taxonomy was developed prior to the 5-Knowledge Domain format shown above. Therefore, items belonging with the Design Domain are currently interspersed in other
The Taxonomy of the Administration Knowledge Domain
Many of the units and topics represent specific specializations, disciplines, or its own distinct industry, with its own body of knowledge and credentials, some requiring specific licenses in many jurisdictions, with which the event manager must interact or subcontract in order to plan and produce an event. For example, catering management, traffic management, and emergency management may all be included within the scope of an event, and all are distinct professions with their own expertise criteria, curricula, and credentials.
At this stage the knowledge domain structure represents a simple mapping of concepts. It is not practical to numerically quantify the units or topics contained in the various certification competency blueprints, vocational qualifications, guides, and texts because, as yet, standard units and terminology have not been adopted by the industry as a whole. This initial taxonomy will serve as a platform that will enable expert participants, from a variety of disciplines around the world, to continue its refinement and develop a shared understanding and interaction.
The proposed domain structure can serve numerous purposes and uses, not the least of which is the illustration of the scope and complexity of this profession to internal and external constituents and stakeholders, current and future practitioners, and allied and supplier industries, thereby increasing respect and reverence for the profession of event management and legitimizing and �expertizing� the functions of event management.
The establishment of a global Event Management Body of Knowledge (EMBOK), with this domain structure as the foundation, may influence all levels of academic and professional development programming (formal, association, and informal), research, publications, credentialing, product development, specialization, assessment criteria, and many other outcomes. As usual, once a tool is available, its uses expand beyond its originally conceived purpose.
Considering the fact that event management spans such a variety of event genre and disciplines, the development of a multi-disciplinary-validated Event Management Body of Knowledge will set the stage for development of practice standards that will lead to the legitimacy of event management as a true profession, as well as create a platform for curriculum development, competency assessment for employers, and career mobility for practitioners.
Further development, improvement, expansion, and ratification of the Event Management Body of Knowledge Project depends on the review and input of a broad variety of industry practitioners, experts, certification bodies, and academicians from the full spectrum of event genres and industries.