International Marketing & the Notting Hill Carnival

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    • 00:06

      [International Marketing & the Notting Hill Carnival]

    • 00:11

      NICOLE FERDINAND: I'm a lecturer in Event Managementat Bournemouth University.My name is Nicole Ferdinand. [Nicole Ferdinand,Senior Lecturer, Events Management,Bournemouth University]Currently, I teach, I research, and Iconsult in the areas of festival and eventmanagement, cultural enterprise, and international marketingand international business.Lately, I've done a lot of work on the festivalinternationalization process, and also

    • 00:33

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: some work on social media and looking at their impactson events and festivals.So, what I want to talk about is a case studyon the Notting Hill Carnival.Why I've looked at this particular case studyis because I wanted to show some new insightson the international process that festivals go through.

    • 00:57

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: There are quite a lot of international festivals,but really not so much research done on that area.So the whole point of doing the researchwas to find out a bit more about that process.The particular example I looked atwas the Notting Hill Carnival, whichis quite a big international festival.I think in terms of attending numbers,

    • 01:17

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: it's the biggest thing in the UK.It actually started off quite small, quite from humble roots.It comes from the tiny, twin island republicof Trinidad and Tobago.And now, it's grown to become Europe's biggest street party.So what I wanted to do was look into thatand how did it become that big.

    • 01:39

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: How did it move from being something so smallinto something so large?[Issues With the Internationalization Process]The Notting Hill Carnival is really a fantastic exampleof an international festival.There's quite a lot to learn from it.It will be of interest to people studying event management,

    • 02:01

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: people studying international marketing,international business.And there are a lot of issues thatare highlighted by looking at the internationalizationprocess.So for example, what are the optionsthat are open to festivals who want to become international,what are the challenges they will face in trying to grow

    • 02:22

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: and manage their festivals, and alsowhat are the wider implications of the decision to becomean international festival?[Methodology]This was quite an extensive study.We utilized 28 firsthand interviews

    • 02:45

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: ranging from people who are in the central organizingbody to people in the carnival organizationsto people involved in state bodies.We also examined the documentationthat was provided by these different stakeholders.And these were all combined to form a case study.

    • 03:07

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: All the findings were then coded and analyzedusing international business theory.[Context]So, the Notting Hill Carnival provides a really, really goodexample of the dynamism of the festival construct,how it moves and how it changes.And it's had a really dynamic history.

    • 03:30

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: So when you look at all the different interactionsof the stakeholders and how the festival has changed and so on,there are a number of issues that are drawn out.So like for example, ethical considerationswhen an event goes international, issueswith management and organizations, for example,

    • 03:52

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: using volunteers, also the prospectsof international competition once you getinto the international space.[The Internationalization of Notting Hill Carnival]So, the Notting Hill Carnival is currentlycelebrating its second year of its 50 year anniversary,which started in 2014 and it will end in 2016.

    • 04:15

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: It had a really exciting and dynamic history.In terms of its internationalization,we see that it's really driven by two forces.One is imports from the home country of Trinidad and Tobago.These imports continue still, whichreally serves to sustain and provide

    • 04:36

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: inputs for the festival.And exporting, as well, which brings additional incomeand revenue to the people participating in the festival.So in terms of imports, you have things like raw materials,you have costuming, you have the instruments.And in terms of exports, you havethings like live performances, training, in some cases,

    • 05:01

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: you have exporting of the actual costumes,and also things like renting out of supplies and thingslike this.Now the internationalization is alsosupported, as well, by the home country, so the host market.

    • 05:21

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: This is in terms of sponsorship and supportfrom local councils for funding.So when we look at the internationalization patternfor the Notting Hill Carnival, wecan see basically four phases.The first phase is what I would callthe pre-internationalization phase where

    • 05:41

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: we had a mainly local festival with local participantson local inputs.Then there was a second phase where the festivalorganizations looked back to Trinidad, its origin source,to get inputs to be strengthened so they imported things

    • 06:02

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: like instruments, costumes, and also expertiseto strengthen and develop the festival that theywere hosting.Then there is a third phase wherethe imported inputs were adapted and customizedto the host market.Eventually, the festival became strong enough

    • 06:24

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: that in itself it started to export to other countries.So also exporting things like costumes, not instruments,but performances, training, and its own expertiseto European cities at first and then to countries allover the world, for example China, Nigeria, Dubai,

    • 06:46

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: and so on.So this whole process of internationalizationis what really renews and keeps the festival fresh,keeps it relevant, and keeps it really vibrant.[What are the challenges?]

    • 07:06

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: So there have been a number of issuesthat have come up over the years for the organizers,the attendees, and also the participantswho are involved in the Notting Hill Carnival.One of them is the issue of authenticity.Now this event was first off a local event.Participating groups were local, the inputs were local,

    • 07:30

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: it was something for the community.But over time more and more things are added.So one of the things that people want to discussis what belongs there, what doesn't belong there.And it's also quite difficult to work outwhat's really an authentic part of the festival.Is it inputs from Trinidad which is considered by some the host

    • 07:53

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: country, or is it inputs by the host market,so for example, London on Notting Hill,or is it irrelevant altogether?It's now an international festivalwith international inputs, international participants.So, is it something that is all embraciveand can include everyone?So that's been a debate and discussion

    • 08:14

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: for many, many years now.Another issue that has come up over the years,particularly with people who are involvedin the central organizing body, isthis issue of using volunteers.[Issues of using volunteers]Now this is an international eventthat has international legal requirements,financial requirements, and so on.Now like many other events, volunteers

    • 08:38

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: can be considered the lifeblood of the Notting Hill Carnival.But when people have been involvedin volunteering for a long time with the festivalfor essential organizing body membersit can be very difficult to work with these members,because they feel their experienceand how long they've been in the festival

    • 08:58

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: confers some sort of authority.So they have become very, very difficult to manage.Also one must consider the legal and ethical implicationsof having volunteers involved at very high levelmanaging a festival at this scale.If anyone was to be injured, or there'sany issue of fiscal liability, or in terms of injury

    • 09:22

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: and so on, who is responsible whenyou're using an entirely volunteer workforce?Another issue that has come up over the yearis that of competition, particularlypost the financial crisis.[Competitive business environment]When we looked at the festival environment,we realized that actually all the participating groups

    • 09:44

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: are in essence competing with one another.Steel bands are competing with masquerade bands are competingwith DJs are competing with the central organizing bodies.They're all competing for an ever shrinking pool of funding.Now one way some of the organizationshave sought to kind of combat this kind

    • 10:06

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: of heavy local competition is to go international,seek out new markets.But at the same time, they also are confrontedwith international competition, so thereare many, many other organizationsthat manage and stage carnivals and havetheir type of expertise.And they are also competing with these organizations.

    • 10:28

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: One thing that works against them is the exchange rate.So for example, their colleagues from the United States, or evenTrinidad and Tobago, or other Caribbean islands,are able to underbid them because of favorable exchangerates.[Wider Opportunities]

    • 10:50

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: At the same time, the Notting Hill Carnival,because of its internationalization,has offered a number of opportunities.So the first one that is quite noticeableis the potential of the Notting Hill Carnival,and other types of festivals to be, essentially,global marketplaces.[International festivals to be global market places]

    • 11:11

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: Because they are the product of immigrant populations,they become a driver for imports.So they become a very important import market.So for example, the Notting Hill Carnivalis the number one export market for Trinidadand Tobago's steelpans, which is quite powerful.

    • 11:32

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: Also it is a way for other organizationsinterested in targeting attendees,at maybe at the Notting Hill Carnival,to enter the UK market space becauseof the reach of the festival.Also another thing that becomes noticeableis the potential of festivals, like the Notting Hill Carnival,

    • 11:56

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: to be destinations for serious leisure.[Promote serious leisure and business tourism]Because it is served by this army of volunteers,you get people from all over the world coming into play with the sound systems, coming in to play steelpans,coming in to perform as carnival dancers.

    • 12:16

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: So there's a whole big market for serious leisure and alsothe business tourism.A lot of people attend the Notting Hill Carnivalbecause they are interested in the wider business of carnivalsand the business opportunities that it presents.[Options for Development]

    • 12:38

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: Over the years, there have been a numberof options discussed as to how the Notting HillCarnival should be developed in the future,hopefully to address some of the issues that it currently faces,and also to overcome the challengesand highlight the opportunities.

    • 13:00

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: So one thing that has been discussed quite a bitis having the carnival run by a statutory body.[Managed and financed by a statutory body]Some people we spoke with refer to this as the Trinidad model.So in Trinidad and Tobago, the Trinidad Carnivalis run by an autonomous statutory body.

    • 13:22

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: That presents a lot of advantages.One, you don't have to worry about this problemwith volunteerism because the carnival is run and managedby state appointed public officials.So it takes away a lot of concernswe have with, for example, ethical issues,

    • 13:44

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: fiscal accountability, liability,and so on, because it is clear who is running the festivaland who is managing it.But at the same time we have to considerthe history of the Notting Hill Carnivaland where it comes from.It's viewed as a community event and for some peopleI think it is becoming a statutory body run carnival

    • 14:08

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: will be a step too far.Even though it currently has some involvementby these types of organizations, it'sstill seen as a relevant event, a political event,and I think it will lose some of thatif it were to pursue that option.Particularly in the last, I would say four to five years,

    • 14:29

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: is the prospect of having a carnival that is entirelyprivately run or privately sponsored.[Entirely privately run or sponsored]Now, there are a number of eventsalready at the Notting Hill Carnival that are private.One that comes to mind is easily is the Red Bull Music Academy.You know, for many years now theyhave been at the Notting Hill Carnival

    • 14:50

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: and they are a fixture.There are also many other private onesthat are operating in there.So it is possible, but one realizesthat if it were to become private,it will of course become a much smaller event.It also raises some ethical issues,because if we were to privatize something that was originally

    • 15:12

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: a community event and seen as a product of cultural heritage,you raise some concerns because you are allowingprivate individuals to decide who can participate,who can be included, who can be excluded.So, you know, it's something of a concern for the community.So what you may have happening in the future

    • 15:34

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: is that people who actually consider the carnival as partof their heritage may be priced out of participating.So that's something to consider when youlook to a private-type option.So another option that's come about thatkeeps being discussed over and overis perhaps that the carnival needs to return to its roots,

    • 15:58

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: particularly by people who describe themselvesas traditional carnivalists.[A community-run carnival]Because what you'll have right now isa mismatch, arguably, between resourcesand the event that is staged.So a possible solution could be to actually makethat event smaller.It seems simple enough to do, but then there

    • 16:19

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: are issues with that.How do you decide who should be included,who should be excluded, what aspects of the eventsare really considered essential, whichare optional and can leave?So it's quite a difficult decision to make,for the organizers, of what actually should constitute

    • 16:42

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: this new smaller event that wouldbe a community-run carnival.[Festival Organizations and International Marketing]So to conclude.What we've talked about is the range of optionsthat a festival, such the Notting Hill Carnival,can consider when going international, whether it

    • 17:04

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: be importing or exporting.We've also talked about the issues, challenges,opportunities that international festivals face.We've also talked about a range of options, not solutions,as to how these issues can be addressed.For organizers, like the central organizing body

    • 17:28

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: of the Notting Hill Carnival, there is no easy answerbecause any option or solution that you explorewould have consequences, so positives and negatives.[Reflective Questions]So some questions for you to consider.How does the internationalization

    • 17:50

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: of a festival compare to other products and services,so for example, electronics, cars, and other fast movingconsumer goods?[How does the international marketing of festivals compareto those of other products?]What ethical considerations should festival organizationspay attention to when they make the decision to go

    • 18:11

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: international?[What ethical considerations are there for cultural products?]Thirdly, what international marketing lessons canother festival organizations learn from the Notting HillCarnival?[What lessons can other festival organizations learn fromthe Notting Hill Carnival?]And finally, which of the options wouldyou choose to develop the Notting HillCarnival in the future, and give some reasons why.[What options would you choose to develop the Notting Hill

    • 18:32

      NICOLE FERDINAND [continued]: Carnival?]

International Marketing & the Notting Hill Carnival

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Abstract

Dr. Nicole Ferdinand discusses topics surrounding the Notting Hill Carnival. She explains the many issues involved in running a large carnival, including community relations, import/exports, and international marketing.

SAGE Video Cases
International Marketing & the Notting Hill Carnival

Dr. Nicole Ferdinand discusses topics surrounding the Notting Hill Carnival. She explains the many issues involved in running a large carnival, including community relations, import/exports, and international marketing.

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