Embracing the Power of Event Legacy: A Guide for Event Organisers

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Event legacy has become an increasingly important topic in the world of event planning, with organisations, attendees, and host cities all looking to maximise the long-term benefits and positive impacts that events can bring. In this Guide for Event Organisers, we will explore the concept of event legacy, why it is essential, and how event organisers can embrace this new mindset to create memorable, impactful, and sustainable events for all stakeholders involved.

What is event legacy?

Event legacy refers to the long-term positive impacts an event can have on the host city, local community, attendees, and other stakeholders. These impacts can be social, economic, environmental, or a combination of all three, and they can extend well beyond the actual event’s occurrence. In essence, event legacy is about creating a meaningful and lasting contribution that benefits all parties involved.

Legacy vs Impact

While the terms ‘legacy’ and ‘impact’ are often used interchangeably, it is essential to distinguish between the two. Impact refers to the immediate outcomes and effects of an event, while legacy focuses on the long-term consequences and benefits that stem from an event. In other words, legacy is the ongoing ripple effect of an event’s impact.

Types of Event Legacy

Event legacy can be classified into different categories, including:

Economic: The direct and indirect financial benefits generated by an event, such as increased tourism, job creation, and revenue for local businesses.

Social: The positive effects on the local community, such as enhanced social cohesion, increased volunteerism, and improved quality of life.

Environmental: The long-term benefits to the natural environment, such as reduced carbon emissions, improved air quality, and increased green spaces.

Professional: The benefits to the event’s stakeholders, such as enhanced industry knowledge, skills development, and networking opportunities.

Cultural: The long-lasting effects on the host city’s cultural landscape, such as increased arts participation, preservation of local traditions, and promotion of cultural diversity.

Examples of Legacy in Large-scale Events

Large-scale events, such as the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, and major conferences, often leave a significant legacy due to their size, reach, and investment.

The London Olympics left a lasting legacy in terms of infrastructure development, economic growth, and increased sports participation. The event also inspired several sustainability and community engagement initiatives, such as the creation of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Despite facing numerous challenges, the Rio Olympics also left a legacy of improved infrastructure, increased tourism, and enhanced awareness of social and environmental issues in Brazil.

It is essential to recognise that not all large-scale event legacies are positive. In some cases, events can leave negative legacies, such as abandoned infrastructure, environmental degradation, and social displacement. Event organisers must carefully plan and manage their event’s legacy to maximise positive outcomes.

The Role of Event Planners in Creating Legacy

Event planners play a crucial role in developing and implementing legacy initiatives. By considering the event’s long-term impact from the early planning stages, event organisers can ensure that their event delivers lasting benefits to all stakeholders. 

If you are organising events, here are some tips that you can apply to create legacy.

Identify legacy goals: Event organisers should work with stakeholders to establish clear, measurable legacy goals that align with the event’s objectives and the host city’s priorities.

Develop a legacy strategy: A comprehensive legacy strategy should be developed, outlining the specific initiatives, resources, and timelines required to achieve the event’s legacy goals.

Engage local partners: Collaborating with local partners, such as convention bureaus, universities, and non-profit organisations, can help event organisers access local expertise and resources to support their legacy initiatives.

Monitor and evaluate: Regular monitoring and evaluation of legacy initiatives can help event organisers track progress, identify challenges, and adapt their approach as needed to maximise the event’s long-term impact.

Incorporate sustainability principles: Event organisers should incorporate sustainability principles into their event planning and execution, ensuring that the event minimises its environmental impact and maximises its social and economic benefits.

Promote corporate social responsibility: Event organisers should actively promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, such as community engagement, employee volunteering, and fair labour practices, as part of their event’s legacy strategy.

Measuring Event Legacy

Measuring event legacy can be a complex and challenging process, as legacy outcomes are often long-term, multi-faceted, and difficult to quantify. However, some general guidelines for measuring event legacy may be applied.

Event organisers should use recognised metrics and frameworks, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) or the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to measure and report on their event’s legacy performance.

Challenges of Event Legacy

Event legacy planning is not without its challenges and pitfalls.

Achieving a positive event legacy requires balancing the interests and priorities of multiple stakeholders, including attendees, sponsors, host cities, and local communities. This can be a complex and delicate process, requiring careful negotiation and compromise.

Event organisers must manage the expectations of all stakeholders regarding the event’s legacy outcomes. This may involve setting realistic goals, communicating progress transparently, and addressing concerns as they arise.

Events can be subject to unforeseen challenges, such as political instability, natural disasters, or global pandemics, that may impact the event’s legacy outcomes. Event organisers must be prepared to adapt their legacy planning and initiatives in response to these challenges.

Wrapping Up

Embracing the power of event legacy is essential for event organisers looking to create memorable, impactful, and sustainable events that benefit all stakeholders involved. By understanding the concept of event legacy, event organisers can maximise the long-term benefits of their events and contribute to a better future for all.

Whether planning a large-scale conference, an intimate incentive trip, or a virtual event, it is crucial to consider the event’s legacy and strive to create a positive impact that extends well beyond the event itself. By doing so, event organisers can not only deliver memorable experiences for attendees but also contribute to the social, economic, and environmental well-being of their host cities and local communities.

About Eventscase

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