An estimate of the Direct Economic Impact provides an ‘at least’ position, which can be supported by a transparent audit trail of the assumptions used in the calculation process. Depending on the ultimate aspirations of the research and availability of requisite evidence, adjustments can then be made to the Direct Economic Impact in order to calculate the Total Economic Impact. There is a section in the economic section with further information on measuring the Total Economic Impact.
Routes to Measurement
There is broad consensus on the standard approach to measuring the economic impact of an event. The spending patterns of event attendees are sampled, averaged and then upscaled to the overall 'event population'. This is typically combined with an assessment of the net spending in the host economy by the event organiser to determine the Direct Economic Impact. This process typically requires some primary research in the form of surveying event attendees to evaluate peoples' spending patterns at the event. Whilst not excessively complex or longitudinal in nature, this research is normally best carried out by a specialist contractor.
Within this basic approach there is the potential for diverging results based on different interpretations of the stages within the process. There can be varying approaches to: defining the host economy, surveying and sampling parameters, treatment of local residents and measuring economic flows in and out of the host economy. Arguably the biggest scope for error is in upscaling visitor spending patterns to an inaccurate event population - a factor which highlights the importance of securing accurate attendance data.
Points 1 to 5 below give an overview of the key steps in measuring the Direct Economic Impact. Detailed guidance on steps 1 to 5 can be found in the Resources section below.