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Lewis, S. (2004). Events made simple. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin

Reviewed by:Tom Watson

Its hard to see where this book fits into the academic teaching or discussion of events management. It is no challenge to the excellent Allen et al. (2005) and Van der Wagen (2004), which are the main trans-Tasman contenders, or to Goldblatt (1997) and Shone andParry (2001) internationally.

Stefanie Lewis has, however, produced a busy 176 pages of useful information that students can use as a companion reference or glorified checklist. Events made simple does not aim to set out the history, typology or theory of events, but it offers sound, practical information. It also uses many examples drawn from events on both sides of the Tasman. The books emphasis is summarised on the cover as 'organise your next function ? on time and on budget' and the publisher Allen & Unwin categorise it correctly as Event planning/practical reference.

The books contents focuses on the detail aspects of minor events:

  • basic planning
  • guests, running order and venues
  • eating and entertainment
  • invitations, handouts and booklets
  • venue plans
  • other issues, such as security and transport
  • final preparations
  • post event evaluation
  • sample forms

Lewis has prepared a wide range of sample letters and invitations, helpful hints and plans for event layouts. There is also a resource of websites covering convention bureaus, government bodies and professional associations.

For those studying or planning festivals, sporting events, concerts and conferences, there are other texts to consider (referred to above) which take a broader and more in-depth view. Event creation and development hardly rate a mention, budgeting is a collection of forms, while risk management and legal/regulatory issues is almost entirely absent.

In terms of writing style, Events made simple is crisp and easily accessible. It has no pretensions to be an academic tome and does not promote any theoretical approach. In summary, it is either an introduction to simple events, a supplementary resource text in a teaching context or a handy set of how to information for novice event organisers.


Allen, J., OToole, W., McDonnell, I., & Harris, R. (2005). Festival and special event management (3rd ed.). Milton: John Wiley & Sons Australia.

Goldblatt, J. J. (1997). Special events: Best practice in modern event management. New York City, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Shone, A., & Parry, B. (2001). Successful event management: A practical handbook. London: Continuum.

Van Der Wagen, L. (2001). Event management. Melbourne: Hospitality Press.

Purchase information: Events made simple retails for AU$35(rec). See it and related titles at the publisher's website:

About the reviewer:

Dr Tom Watson is associate professor and Head of the School of Communication at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia. He has recently developed and introducedundergraduate event management studies in the Schools BA (Communication) programmes. The School has existing postgraduate Cultural Event Management and Cultural Performance programmes.

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