Events have the power to inspire and change people’s lives in a number of different ways. They can generate economic growth, international and domestic profile as well as a wide range of social and cultural benefits for their hosts, both through their immediate impact and through any subsequent legacy or long term development.
Measuring and reporting the impact of an event are fundamental when evaluating the success of an event, and is vital for any future planning.
Recognising the importance for the need for a good evaluation tool for the UK events industry, partner organisations worked together to develop eventIMPACTS.
Launched in 2010, the online toolkit comprises of key guidance and good practice principles to help event organisers improve their evaluation of the outcomes – attendance, economic, environmental, social and media impacts - associated with staging sporting and cultural events. It caters for events of all sizes and categorises impacts into groups based on their potential complexity and cost to measure.
eventIMPACTS was created out of the belief that no event should be staged without an accompanying commitment to measure its success against the objectives initially set and since its launch it has proven itself to be a leading resource for the events industry. Through the use of the tool, consistent evaluation methods, measures and impact assessments provide the ability to model event outcomes and make better forecasts, which in turn improve the industry.
However, just like events must evolve and respond to customers’ needs and changes in technology, so too must the way they evaluate them. Recognising this need, eventIMPACTS has further been developed and now includes updated guidelines relating to social and media impacts. The new guidelines now allow organisers to measure how events positively impact peoples’ behaviour and quantify exposure across a range of media platforms.
These additional resources will allow event organisers to measure social impacts in areas of satisfaction, identity and image, participation and volunteering and skills. Advice on how to measure the media impacts has been extended to include volume of coverage, engagement and tone and value.
These improvements mean organisers across the UK are now better equipped to calculate the overall impact of their events and we know they agree. A survey on the new resources has revealed overwhelmingly positive feedback from the events industry. In particular, it was widely agreed that eventIMPACTS provides a clear structure for assessing the benefits from events.
The co-founder of FOCUS Wales Festival, Neal Thompson, said “eventIMPACTS is now easier to use and reveals much more information on the actual overall contribution our events make. It is such an important resource for highlighting how integral events are, both to the economy and society itself in the UK as a whole.”
The positive response from the industry shows the toolkit fulfils a need in the market and is helping ensure event organisers can see if they achieve the level of impact they desire from their event.
Just as advances in technology will continue to impact on event delivery, so too will it impact what we measure. Going forward, eventIMPACTS will continue to evolve with the changes within the industry, technology and society, to ensure it continues to be a tool that allows best practice.
To see the toolkit and find out more, visit www.eventimpacts.com