Measuring the Economic Impacts of Events

Posted on June 7, 2014


This is a presentation that I gave at last week’s Tourism Society event – The Tourism Symposium 2014, in Liverpool in the UK. The  symposium was a great event to be a part of, with a set of fascinating speakers and a really strong focus on understanding the contribution of culture and events to tourism and the way that these three sectors can work together to promote economic growth.

Merseyside Maritime Museum - where the symposium was held

Merseyside Maritime Museum – where the symposium was held

My talk was about the problems of measuring the economic impacts of major events.  The picture on my first slide is of what I call the ‘Economic Impacts Machine’.  The point of the EIM is that no-one really knows how it works, or what it is for, but we like what it produces – in this case gold coins and kit-kats.  In my talk I tried to explain that measuring the economic impacts of events is a very imprecise process, in which we make lots of assumptions.  Events and their settings differ so hugely that it is very hard to make meaningful comparisons between them.  Despite this, we can construct an EIM for any event and tourism destination that will be meaningful locally – we just need to be very clear about what we are measuring, why we are measuring it and what we are doing with the results.  The most useful EIMs will be transparent, locally specific and will be tools in creating support for the hosting of events.  You can view the presentation below.  As always, get in touch if you’d like any more information.