Direct Economic Impact: Basic Measures

What are the Basic Measures?

  • Number of spectators

  • Number of attendees (non-spectators)

  • Percentage of spectators and attendees from outside the 'host economy'

  • Duration of event

Whilst good economic impact measurement requires intermediate-level assessment (involving surveys of people’s spending patterns), the basic measurements listed above have been shown to be relatively strong indicators of economic impact. For example, research conducted in the UK has consistently shown that the key determinant of total economic impact is the number of spectators attending an event. This is highlighted in the resource guidance below.The actual process and key stages to be used in determining a robust economic impact figure is dealt with in the Intermediate Total Economic Impact section.

Organisers/Funders may choose to indicate an event’s economic impact using these basic measures for varying reasons:

  • They may be involved with a large number of events and may not be able to afford to conduct attendee surveys at all of them.

  • The organisers of an annual event may have conducted a full economic impact assessment involving spectator surveys for several years. The organisers may decide that they have enough historical data to make certain assumptions around the spending patterns associated with a typical event, and may choose to rely on basic impacts alone.

The document in the resources section below provides further information on how basic measures such as those listed above can be used to give an indication of the economic impact of an event.

Routes to Measurement

All of the basic economic measures listed here relate to measuring attendance at the event. There is a separate section of eventIMPACTS dealing specifically with Attendance which can be found here.


  • Using Basic Economic Measures to Indicate Economic Impact >

    In 2004, UK Sport consolidated economic impact surveys that it had commissioned across 16 major sporting events to assess trends and commonalities ...

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