Purpose. This paper contributes to the paradigm shift towards event design predominant research by presenting an analysis of how the concept of event design has developed in the events literature and by exploring a new perspective based on its contribution to value co-creation. Design/methodology/approach.
Theory from design management and service design is discussed to provide insights on the role of event design as contributing to the creation of value in social systems.
Findings. A new framework for categorising the role of event design is proposed, called the Event Design Ladder. Event design is no longer considered as a problem solving activity, but as a contributor to value creation and an ongoing pursuit carried out over time and space. Stakeholders become co-designers of value systems.
Research limitations/implications Service design and design management literature offer interesting potential for event researchers to advance the conceptualisation of event design. Considering events as platforms for long-term stakeholder engagement implies that the concept of design becomes strategic. Design as strategy is identified as a new area of event research.
Originality/value This paper proposes a new perspective on events considered as catalysts of value systems, where the role of design is not only to orchestrate meaningful experiences but to facilitate collaboration across projects, integrating resources and building on stakeholders’ skills and knowledge. Theories of practice are explored as a way to theorise and carry out research on how value is co-created by actors.