What Makes an Event a Mega-Event? Definitions and Sizes
Müller, Martin. 2015. ‘What Makes an Event a Mega-Event? Definitions and Sizes’. Leisure Studies 34 (6):627–42. doi: 10.1080/02614367.2014.993333. (Open Access CC-BY)
Posted: 6 Jul 2014 Last revised: 19 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 1, 2014
There is considerable ambiguity about what makes an event a mega-event. Intervening in this debate, this paper develops a definition and classification scheme for mega-events. On the basis of a review of existing definitions, it proposes four constitutive dimensions of mega-events: visitor attractiveness, mediated reach, costs and transformative impact. The paper develops indicators for each dimension and maps onto these four dimensions a sample of the latest editions of nine large events: Expo, Summer and Winter Olympics, Football World Cup, European Football Championship, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games, Universiade. From this, it develops a multi-dimensional, point-based classification scheme of large events according to size, distinguishing between major events, mega-events and the recently emerging class of giga-events. Concluding, it identifies the need for more systematic data on the size, costs and impacts of a broad range of large-scale events over time.
Keywords: mega-events; giga-events; hallmark events; size; impact; Olympic Games; World Cup
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