The Project

The eventIMPACTS Toolkit aims to provide key guidance and good practice principles for evaluating the social, economic, environmental and media-related impacts associated with staging major sporting and cultural events.

Hosting major events is widely believed to be inherently good because of the enjoyment and excitement they bring to those who attend them and those who follow them in the media. There is a well-developed body of evidence which shows that events have the potential to generate positive economic impacts. There is also a variety of established approaches to quantifying the media impact of events, including the benefits of place marketing.

Now acknowledged is the wider social impacts benefits which events can deliver, such as the development of community and the advancement of skills.

Furthermore, as environmental issues become increasingly important, event organisers should be mindful of the potentially adverse environmental impacts of events.

eventIMPACTS is designed to help event organisers move towards more developed approaches to measuring, monitoring and managing the impacts of their events.

Keeping it simple

Many of the monitoring and evaluation methods contained in the Toolkit are concerned with producing quantitative data and/or are survey-based. To some extent, this can be explained by our desire to provide the events industry with some reasonably inexpensive, simple and easy-to-use tools that can help to get it started on the impact evaluation pathway. However, although qualitative methods such as focus group discussions and face-to-face interviews are likely to be more resource intensive, costly and require specialist input, the contribution that such approaches can play is not in doubt.

To help event organisers and others make informed decisions about the kind of impact assessment they should be undertaking given the nature of their event and the budget they have available for research, we have in each case separated the impact areas and associated evaluation tools into three types

• Basic impacts - impact assessment can probably be undertaken using existing ‘in-house’ or event organiser data. Cost likely to be minimal.

• Intermediate impacts - impact assessment is likely to require some research, but could be organised by event organiser or generalist research company. Moderate cost depending on scope.

• Advanced impacts - impact assessment is likely to require a significant piece of work using a specialist contractor/research company. Likely high cost.