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Many different stakeholders are involved in the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Identify and group these stakeholders, and explain their relationships with the festival and importance to the success of the event.

According to Rutherford & Goldblatt (2012), stakeholders are any individual or a group of individuals who are associated with an initiative or a project and play a pivotal role in ensuring the success of the project. Polonsky (2005) claims that stakeholders are interested in the outcome of the project; as a result, they are affected by the initiative. In this regard, stakeholders can be grouped according to their interest and involvement, and how they relate with the project, which results in two broad categories of stakeholders: primary (internal) and secondary (external) stakeholders. Parker & Craig (2008) define primary stakeholders as individuals or groups that are directly affected by the project outcome; whereas secondary stakeholders are indirectly affected by the outcome of the project. From this classification, a number of primary and secondary stakeholders can be identified with regard to their involvement in the Tamworth Country Music festival; they are discussed in the subsequent paragraphs.

The primary stakeholders in the Tamworth Country Music Festival that play a pivotal role in the success of the festival include BAL Marketing, Radio 2TM, Tamworth City Council, Artists and the Australia Music Industry, Telstra Country Wide brand, and fans. BAL marketing and Radio 2TM played an integral role in the management of the Tamworth Country Music Festival and promoting the event. From the case, it is evident that Radio 2TM and BAL marketing have a role of coordinating the event, and setting up and running the promotional activities associated with the festival. The effectiveness of BAL marketing and Radio 2TM were instrumental in determining the success of the Tamworth Country Music Festival, which makes them a key-stakeholder of the festival. In fact, Radio 2TM is behind the conception of the Tamworth Music Festival.

The Tamworth City Council is another primary stakeholder that plays a pivotal role in guaranteeing the success of the festival through its involvement in the festival via unofficial coordination and facilitating public relations, which are central to the success of the festival. Artists and the Australia Music Industry are considered a primary stakeholder because of their direct involvement in the festival through performances. The Tamworth Country Music Festival would not have existed today if there were no artists to perform at the event; in fact, the commitment by the artists is the primary reason behind the success of the event, besides marketing and promotional efforts. The Telstra Country Wide Brand is also considered as primary stakeholder because of the role it plays a corporate and naming rights sponsor of the event since 2003. Fans are also the primary stakeholders of the Tamworth Country Music Festival because of their direct economic involvement with the festival through ticket sales. In fact, the promotional and marketing activities target country music fans, which imply that their involvement is central to the success of the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

The secondary stakeholders in the Tamworth Country Music Festival include the local business community, media and the tourism industry; this is because of their indirect involvement with festival and that they are likely to benefit from the festival. The local business community is an indirect beneficiary of the festival as well contributes to the success of the festival indirectly. For instance, organizations and companies such as talented quest organizers, and registered club and hotels are often incorporated when coordinating the festival. Clubs and hotels offer accommodation to the visiting fans, which implies that their involvement, although indirect, plays a role in ensuring the success of the festival. The media is also involved indirectly with the festival through various avenues such as telecasting the awards each year and live coverage of the festival among others.

Provide Recommendations for better stakeholder management

For a project to be successful, a high level of stakeholder management is needed (Kuenkel, Silvine & Frieg 2011). In this regard, it is imperative to have an understanding of the stakeholders’ values and issues in order to respond to them during the course of the project. Jörg (2002) asserts that stakeholder management involves managing their expectations with the aim of forging positive stakeholder relationships. According to a framework outlined by Hammer et al. (2010), better stakeholder management can be achieved using a fivefold process that comprises of indentifying the stakeholders, prioritizing them, understanding their needs, engaging with the stakeholders, and monitoring the stakeholder engagement efforts.

Regarding stakeholder identification, Freeman (2010) points out that, identifying one’s stakeholders precedes stakeholder management, and is a vital prerequisite for the latter. Identifying stakeholders entails classifying the interested parties who are either internal or external to the project and their respective interests; this can be done using a stakeholder map. For the case of Tamworth Country Music Festival, it is imperative for the organizers to list all the potential stakeholders that are likely to be involved with the festival (Brittain & Lamb 2009).

After identifying the stakeholders, Bourne (2009) recommends that prioritizing them in accordance with the importance of their needs and then degree of their involvement in the project. This helps in distinguishing between the primary and secondary stakeholders, which can be achieved using a stakeholder matrix (Archie & Buchholtz 2011). The third step involves identifying and understanding their needs so that stakeholder communication can be targeted and personalized. It is imperative to note that stakeholder needs should be in line with their prioritization and the project goals and objectives. The fourth step in bettering stakeholder management is through stakeholder engagement, which has the main purpose of discussing and agreeing on the stakeholder expectations regarding communication and the principles and values that all stakeholders are supposed to observe (Brittain & Lamb 2009). It is also imperative to track and monitor the stakeholder engagement efforts in the course of the project or event; this involves keeping the stakeholders up to date regarding the progresses made (Archie & Buchholtz 2011).

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