This chapter will help set the scene for understanding both marketing and public relations within the milieu of promoting an event. First, we will set the context of events, and then look at the role they play within the communication process. We will then assess the literature on marketing and public relations within the events field. At the end of the chapter students will be able to:

Former UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan is supposed to have said in the 1960s that as a politician what he most feared was ‘Events, my dear boy, events.’ By this he meant that things such as war, industrial conflict and political scandal made it difficult for him to direct government policy in the way he wanted. This apocryphal story highlights a problem for students of events management: namely, that the term ‘event’ can have many meanings, some of which have no direct bearing on your field of study. In addition to political science and history, the term ‘event’ also has meaning in mathematics and statistics, psychology and physics. In the natural sciences the term ‘event’ is more associated with rules of nature, but in the social sciences we are more interested in events which have something to say about the interactions between humans. We need to provide a meaning of the term ‘event’ that is relevant to events management within the behavioural context of social sciences.