This chapter looks at the role of nature in special events, and the ways event managers integrate nature in the event design. We take the perspective of event managers to explore their awareness of and use of nature as an integral experiential component of their events. Grounded in the theoretical intersection of event studies and nature-based tourism, this chapter contributes with new knowledge on the role of nature in the experience economy. Our findings suggest that nature evokes positive emotional response, enhances the overall event experience, facilitates socio-cultural community, encourages educative and introspective experiences, and provides uniqueness to the event. Based on our study, we argue that actively integrating nature into the event design can be key to authentic, unique and transformative event experiences.
Lusine Margaryan and Peter Fredman
Lusine Margaryan and Knut Fossgard
Visual elements of the experience setting play a vital role in tourism and special events, given the oculocentric nature these sectors. At the same time, nature is an arena of diverging, often competing resource use interests, which underlines the importance of identifying key resources and analyzing their significance for each economic sector. In this chapter we focus on the way nature-based experienscapes are visually staged in nature-based tourism and event sectors by looking at the case of Norway. The visual analysis was performed on a sample of images collected from the websites of nature-based tourism firms and events. We discuss three main avenues of nature experiencescape representation: (a) nature as a view; (b) nature as a self-testing ground; and (c) nature as a hedonic space. It can be argued that nature-based experiencescapes are visually staged primarily according to the pre-existing canon of nature representation in general, which is rather divorced from given spatio-temporal specifics of a tour or an event. Reinforced by the endless circulation of images of ‘typical’ and ‘iconic’ Norwegian nature, suppliers tend to stage their visual experiencescape according to a well-established tradition of nature representation.