chapter  14
Events management for the end of life
Mortality, mourning and marginalisation
WithChantal Laws, Katie Deverell
Pages 20

The rituals, ceremonies and celebrations marking end of life are a vital aspect of human society. There is a diverse literature associated with this life stage, yet much of this sits outside the events management body of knowledge. Whilst such occasions clearly meet accepted definitions of an event, there remains little research into the meanings and management practices associated with events at the end of life. In this way, marginalisation is expressed both through prevailing attitudes and in the absence of research from an events perspective. In this chapter the authors address both concerns using a critical event studies approach to draw together key concepts, issues and links to professional practice. It emerges that wider societal trends such as secularisation, personalisation and co-creation are present in the contemporary funeral event. Furthermore, there will be increased demand for tailored services as more people move into the ‘death demographic’. The professional experience of the second author is used to illustrate how this affects current practice. What is apparent is that by adopting a design approach to the total experience environment, events professionals are well placed to meet the growing demand for customised experiences at the end of life.