Individual Field Trip

The objective of this report is to identify the different components of marketing mix in the event I have chosen and attended. I am to evaluate the effectiveness of these components which contributed to the success of the event.
The event I chose to attend was World of Dance on November 9th at Pasir Ris Park, Costa Lawn. This event started from 1600 hours to 1830 hours. It had dance performances of different categories, from hip hop to Mexico ballet and Asian contemporary. The performers were not only from Singapore, but also from Mexico and Philippines. National Arts Council has formed a range of Outreach and Community programs called the ArtReach, which aims to get a wider participation from the community. Therefore, there are and have been different free events happening all around Singapore and offering everyone a chance to experience and enjoy the arts. ArtReach programmes had started since 1996.

Evaluation of the Effective Use of Marketing Mix
According to my observations, the components of the marketing mix used in this event were Product, Partnerships, Price, People, Place and Programming.

The event core service is the performances showcased. There were no chairs provided because the venue of the event was at an open field. Unfortunately, the field was muddy due to the rain earlier in the day. This factor did not seem to bother the consumers as they managed to settle down before the performances started. The organisers, in my opinion, did not prepare the event as rain or shine event. The organisers differentiated the event by conducting it at a public park with no temporary wooden flooring. I think that this is different as compared to any other events or performances whereby there are large and high tents provided. They wanted the event to be relaxing and enjoyable to the families and even anyone who came to the event. Therefore, without chairs, the audiences could be more comfortable.

This event was organised by the National Arts Council and sponsored by ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. The partners involved in this event were the National Parks Board, Singapore Dance Theatre and Oddesey Dance Theatre, Mexican Embassy which recommended the Mexican ballet group, Pinoy Star Dance Troupe.

The event was of free admission. From a consumer’s view, and mine, the event was organised at a park, a public space under the National Parks Board. In my opinion, it is a common knowledge and a “black and white” agreement that there would be no charges incurred to go to a park any day at any time. The organisers were mindful of their target markets’ sensitivity to paying entrance fees, especially to a public park. I think that the organisers have used operations-oriented strategy to suit the needs of their target market. This pricing strategy seeks to balance supply and demand of the market to consumers. This event is one of the ArtReach programmes providing free admissions to the community. This adds to my point that National Arts Council used different pricing strategies to their different arts events. NAC has organised events which required consumers to purchase tickets, example to the show of The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker was a family-based show, where Singapore Dance Theatre has performed in.

Though there was no need for the target market to spend on tickets, expenses were still incurred by them, especially those who turned up at “the last minute”. The prices of the titbits and canned drinks were set at above $1.20. From what I had observed from one of the customers, the man was clearly not bothered by the high “market” prices of the titbits and drinks as he purchased more than five items. Going to the park is an inexpensive way to get out of the house and able to interact with other people. However, there are still expenses of travelling and food and beverage incurred by the consumers. I believe that there are no such things as free gifts. Another example, you would still have to purchase something to qualify yourself into a lucky draw.
The balloons at the counter were the merchandises of ArtReach and NAC which were also given free. The balloons had made children smile and this caused their parents to be happy too. I believe that in providing service to a family, satisfy the children first before the adults, and the service experience would be pleasant to both the parties receiving and giving.
Because of the organiser’s objective to create pleasant experience to their target markets, and the location chosen, the free admission to the concert-in-the-park event has proved advantageous and the big factor to draw more people to attend and watch the entire performances.

The “cast” of this event was the performers, audience, host and volunteers representing the ArtReach community. The host was Jasmine and she has engaged herself with the audience and the performers. She has brought the audience and performers together. At several intervals during the event, the host has conducted a “Q&A” session related to the event and its stakeholders. There were prizes won and the questions were not biased and opened to anyone regardless of age, language or race. There was a session where the host has asked for volunteers from the audience to participate in one of the guest performer’s act, the Bamboo Dance from the culture of Philippines. The volunteers had the opportunities to learn the dance on the stage itself where the rest of the audience looked on. These interactive sessions have proved that the organisers do want people to have a great time and let their hair down while experiencing a different form of art from other culture.

The audience, which are their target markets, was family-based. The event was conducted on Sunday, a good day for family members to spend their time together. Different families of different races have come together to enjoy the event. It is my opinion that some of the families were “dropping by” the event. I noticed that they were from the barbecue pits provided near the beach, behind the event’s stage. From the pits, they made their ways to the field and settled down after taking out their mats again.
The volunteers appeared to be in their late teens and early twenties. They seemed friendly and appeared to engage in conversations, even small ones, with visitors and tourists who came to their booth. These volunteers also played a part in creating good impressions and experiences to these visitors, the target markets of the organisers.

When I reached the Pasir Ris Park, there were signs leading to the event. Upon reaching nearer to it, there was a white stage located in the middle of the open field. There was a huge banner on the stage which indicated “ExxonMobil World of Dance”. On several lampposts near to the stage, there were posters bearing the name of the event, the organisers and the programmes held on that day. At 1600 hours, the host had announced the start of the event, which started with balloon sculpting. There was music played from the stage which I believed was to attract more people to be part of the audience for the performances which started at 1700 hours, and to create a more relax atmosphere.
There was an information counter within a less than a kilometre radius to the stage. There were merchandises of National Arts Council and ArtReach, which were balloons and brochures at the counter, and a small food and beverage booth. As the day goes by with the performances on stage, I realized that the atmosphere was more subtle and the evening sky made the whole setting looked more relaxed and peaceful.

The activities involved in the event were the balloon sculpting, face painting, henna art, Mexican dance workshop, Philippines’ bamboo dance workshop, free artreach goodies for early birds and online photo competition.
These programs were designed to get all family members to be involved in this event. The performers in this event were unique in their own styles and represented themselves or their countries, starting from the first line-up. Examples were the youths who won the North-East CDC’s Dance Xplosion competition, the contemporary Asian and modern dancers from Dance Horizon Troupe and the Mexico Lindo Ballet dancers.

What the organisers wanted to bring out to the audience was the exposure of the different dance categories and to let these families enjoy their companionship with one another. The National Arts Council has found out that Singapore’s dance industry has increased, showcasing different races and cultures performing variety of genres. There are schools in Singapore which offer professional dance trainings, examples Bhaskar’s Arts Academy and Sri Warisan Som Said Performing Arts Ltd. The latter was involved in an artistic direction for a multi-disciplinary extravaganza, which was part of the 2004 Singapore Arts Festival’s Outreach Program. Many government schools in Singapore have approved of taking dance as part of the students’ core curriculum activities.

The organisers’ core concept of this event was to bring families together while embracing a new culture or different family activity, which is dance. Dance is another form of keeping the mind and body healthy. The performances and physical location of this event compliment one another. The performances chosen by the organisers were light-hearted and can easily be watched and enjoyed by anyone and everyone. Since the target market was family-based and the day chosen was Sunday, the physical location was at a good place to relax and soothe the minds. However, Pasir Ris Park was at the end of the East of Singapore. I think that most families present there lived at the East side as it would be more convenient for them.

The Tourism Roles and Economic Value of the Event
ArtReach programmes provide free events to Singapore, to make it more accessible for a wider community. This is possible through its strategic partnerships with organisations, artists and corporate stakeholders. National Arts Council has a department called the International Relations, where its function is to raise Singapore’s profile on the world stage as a distinctive global city for the arts.
The arts scene, be it music, dance or drama, has increased over the last ten years in Singapore and there are more than 5,000 ticketed performances annually. National Arts Council is one of the main organisers of arts events in Singapore, including the Singapore Arts Festival – a leading international arts festival in the region – and Singapore Writer’s Festival.

This event will bring more recognition to the National Arts Council and the platform Singapore dance industry is achieving. The increased number of ticketing performances in Singapore and core curriculum activities in schools shows that the government has acknowledged the people’s interests and passions in the arts. The core value of the international relation in NAC was to bring up Singapore’s name in the dance industry. The government allowed the use of public spaces, such as the park and even the Esplanade, to promote arts events. At the Pasir Ris Park, I think the National Parks Board would want to encourage more visitors to the parks for recreational purposes.

The attendance of the event was not only the locals but also foreigners. If this event cound attract the foreigners, then I am sure that more dance events in the future would do the same and more.

This concert-in-the-park event has been a good exposure for me and the audience present that day. I used the word ‘audience’ more frequently than ‘target market’ because the location was at a public park and anyone from anywhere could have just dropped by and watched the performances. I think that there was not enough advertisement or the marketing of the event. There were banners and posters put up, but could be seen and known if I passed by that spot or visiting the park. I think that the organisers could have done more to promote the events, and eventually draw more crowd and fulfil the number of their targeted target market, be it ticketed or not.

The ArtReach program has been around for a decade and aims to reach out to the community to be exposed to arts. However, this event that I went to was unheard of until I accidentally stumbled across it. The promotion of these events could be more open and accessible to the public.

Pasir Ris Park is located near Downtown East Resort. It is also near to the only theme park in Singapore. The location is rather distant from town and West side of Singapore. Despite being small and a dot on the world map, most Singaporeans would still prefer the convenient accessibility to a location, be it free or not. However, the event organised was to encourage the togetherness of a family and the introduction of different dance genres to the locals and tourists.

Overall, I felt that this event has been enjoyable for me and the people who turned up. The objectives of the organisers and event had been fulfilled. This event has been a positive impact.

All references for this report is from Festivals and Special Events Management 3rd edition by Allen, O'Toole, Harris and McDonnell.