Entertainment refers to various activities that aim at amusing people (Oxford English Dictionary 1971). The first forms of entertainment trace their origins back to the ancient world; different stories and songs have been known to humanity for centuries (Gakhar & Sonia 2007). Since then, entertainment has evolved and developed into a multifaceted industry with many shapes and forms. Apart from ensuring pleasure and rest, these activities have also gained crucial economic importance as people are both investing and spending much money on them (Kuhns & Francis 2005). The main forms of entertainment include banquets, music, games, reading, performance, storytelling, theatre, cinema and films, dances, fairs and exhibitions, sports, circus, fireworks, and magic among others. In the modern world, entertainment has got a paramount importance as it improves the quality of people’s leisure time, relieves stress, and also provides employment. The industry, therefore, significantly contributes to the economic development of the regions and countries in a number of ways.
Circulation of money in the country’s economy is greatly influenced by the entertainment industry as people spend a lot of cash on leisure. For instance, in the United Kingdom, the industry earned 12.4 billion Euros for the national economy in 2011 through publication of books, artistic creations and events, as well as arts performances (Center for Economics and Business Research 2013). Additionally, expenditures on the other entertainment forms such as print media, television, and games, among others, also play an important role for the country by generating revenues, as well as providing employment to people working in the industry. However, entertainment has a negative impact on the economy as many individuals tend to spend on leisure many hours that could have been spent on the productive economic activities.
For the national government, entertainment is a vital source of revenue, first of all, through taxes imposed on sales of electronics, books, compact disks, and films. On the other hand, the industry employs many people at broadcasting stations, theatres, stadiums, and exhibition centres; thus, the number of taxpayers, as well as tax amount, increases. For instance in the United Kingdom, the entertainment industry employed about 110,600 people in the period of 2008-2011 amounting to 0.45% of the national employment (Center for Economic and Business Research 2013). However, today, the industry faces a serious problem of piracy especially in the area of movies and music; this phenomenon affects the sales and decreases government’s revenues considerably. The entertainment industry has enabled the distribution of different entertainment activities to both the public and individuals. Consequently, leisure and entertainment are significant economic activities that promote the economic development of the whole country.
In the United Kingdom, several organizations fund the entertainment industry in order to improve the services offered to the citizens. Among the main contributors, there are Arts Council England, UK Trade and Investment, and London Film and Video Development Agency. Arts Council England provides grants to individuals and organizations that are willing to develop in arts (The Merton Council). UK Trade and Investment supports the production of music; in particular, it helps young talents and small organizations that try to succeed in the entertainment industry. The London Film and Video Development Agency, in turn, invests in the production of films and creative videos (The Merton Council). Nevertheless, all these agencies serve the same aim as they all strive to promote the quality entertainment services for the benefit of the UK citizens.
In the entertainment industry, organizations and private artists create and market different television programs, advertisements, motion pictures, audio recordings. In the United Kingdom, theatrical performances are a notable part of the national culture and tradition. Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Royal National Theatre, among many others, perform numerous plays before a live audience; moreover, some stage plays are broadcasted. The music industry offers different audio recordings on compact discs and at live concerts, as well as through digital options such as the Internet downloads. The sports industry offers people an opportunity to take various sporting activities at different venues ranging from the local gyms to national stadiums (Wembley Stadium or London Aquatics Centre) or to watch the activities for pleasure as audience. The broadcasting industry is unique in its nature as it can cover all types of events from all over the world. The arts industry offers different exhibitions and installations of art pieces at various places all over the country, for example, the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre or ExCeL London. The publishing industry, in turn, provides information in print forms, including books, newspapers, magazines, and strip cartoons that are read either for education or enjoyment (Florida, Mellander, & Stolarick 2009). The betting industry offers people an opportunity to gamble and win money. In addition, there are a number of popular games that are played either in pairs, groups, or by an individual. The games may be either real or virtual, but all serve the same purpose of entertaining people. Entertainment also includes the hospitality and restaurant industry. Many people prefer celebrating different events or simply having a meal at professional locations with quality services, for example, the Fat Duck or Gordon Ramsay restaurants. In the United Kingdom, large banquets are quite common. The ceremonies may also incorporate music, dancing, or various performances that engage the audience for maximum pleasure. Moreover, in the modern high-paced world, fast-food restaurants gain extreme popularity; therefore, such international giants as McDonald’s and KFC, as well as national chains such as Little Chef or Chicken Cottage, earn high revenues in the country.
All entertainment activities can be classified into mass activities and those meant for private individuals. However, in most cases, there is no clear division as everything depends on the settings and purpose of a particular event. In such a manner, banquets, theatre, cinema, fairs, sports competitions, air shows, and cabaret are public activities while music, games, and reading, for example, can be either private or mass events. Banquets are well-organized celebrations of notable events with meals being served to a large group of people; they are usually accompanied by different performances and music. Music includes performing of songs and music pieces being listened to by individuals at home via radio, television, and the Internet or played for big gatherings at concerts in such places as the Royal Albert Hall, for example. While some people prefer public performances, other individuals enjoy listening to music on headphones and thus limit the entertainment to themselves. Theatre entertainment involves the performance of any form of drama on stage to a large audience in such places as the London Coliseum Theatre. Films, including motion pictures and documentaries, are presented either to a wide audience at the cinemas and other special places or to individuals in private settings. Fairs are exhibitions of products or services in showrooms or show grounds to numerous people for the purposes of not only entertainment but also marketing. Sports involve different competitions and events that are held at stadiums, pools, or special fields; most usually, they are open to viewers and fans.
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Entertainment activities take place in different venues that may include theatres, cinemas stadiums, recreation gardens, hotel halls, wilderness, swimming pools, beaches, as well as museums, among many others. In order to maximize the revenue collection and profits of these venues, proper management strategies must be put in place.
Proper timing of the entertainment events is crucial; the choice should be guided by season and some financial peculiarities. The managers and sponsors of such events as the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts set dates for their events during the festive seasons, weekends, or when the schools are on holidays in order to attract a desirable number of visitors. On the other hand, the events should take place in the periods when people are expected to have money; consequently, end of month is the high time that will ensure an increased likelihood of high attendance and revenues (Gerdeman 2012).
The management should ensure that the venues are well maintained; it involves cleaning, repairing and improving the places of the entertainment activities not matter whether it is Hyde Park or a local restaurant. Moreover, the venues should be attractive so as to be interesting to a wide audience. The major repairs and improvements should be done during the off-peak periods so as to avoid interfering with the activities during high seasons. In addition, the more luxury the venue looks like, the more VIPs it can attract; consequently, almost any investment in exterior and interior translates to increased revenues.
Security at places of public entertainment, such as Wembley Stadium, should be well planned and secured so as to protect both the venue and visitors from vandals and ill-minded individuals. During the events, proper security measures should be put in place; this issue became even more crucial in the wake of terrorist activities that became a considerable threat to large gatherings. On the other hand, the crowd control measures should be also taken into account so as to protect the venue from physical damage and people from associated risks. The managers should consider hiring the services of special security agencies so as to reinforce their internal security.
Ticketing and revenue collection should be well managed in order to avoid the loss of revenue because of thefts, fraud, or mishandling. Proper ticketing records should be carefully kept and maintained. The management should also consider a proper distribution of tickets early enough before the event so as to ensure high attendance. Tickets should be available at different public places, as well as online, in order to reach a wide audience. The management should conduct audits and checks, to minimize the chances of losses because of the waste of finances.
Staffing should also be carefully done in order to equip the venue with qualified personnel that can deliver the best services to the clients and ensure customer satisfaction. It will be beneficial if the staff members live in a proximity of the venue. With proper work guidelines and professional training, the overall performance of the venue can be significantly improved.
The and marketing manager should ensure that they sell the venue to the public in the most effective way. The advertisements should be clear and available; it should describe the variety of events the venue offers. Moreover, the venue should be branded with a unique name. In addition, a close partnership with the other market players should be done so as to improve the marketability.
Venues provide employment in different areas, including the management, security and safety, cleaning, finance department, and maintenance departments, among many other. In the safety and security department, people with security training and physical fitness should ensure that proper security measures. These employees are also expected to have basic knowledge in disaster and hazard management so as to minimize the likelihood of extreme losses, in the case of any casualties. The properly trained staff in the cleaning department can improve the image of the venue and its attractiveness for maximum scenic characteristics. In the finance department, specialists in accounting and business management are crucial. The loss of funds should be prevented by all means. In the maintenance department, people with knowledge of construction should be hired so as to deal with the daily issues and maintain the venue in good shape.
In conclusion, the entertainment industry is a good investment if properly managed because people are currently spending a lot of money on leisure activities and entertainment. Therefore, the entertainment providers should strive to manage their facilities and services properly so as to attract a wide audience and increase their revenues.