A new study published by The Hague & Partners Convention Bureau last month shows that while it is important that event legacy is driven by the associations and not-for-profits hosting events, destinations can provide practical support and unique knowledge to help deliver lasting impact.

The research, which surveyed association-focused respondents working to achieve a legacy or considering it, found that just 22 per cent believed the destination should provide legacy project recommendations. Instead, 52 per cent of respondents identified other practical support as being more important, with funding and investment (22 per cent), staffing and resources (20 per cent), and training and education (10 per cent) being the top priorities. However, the study also found that network development through introductions to relevant local stakeholders was the most important area of practical support providable by destinations, with 25 per cent of respondents identifying this as a priority.

“This research highlights the unique knowledge that destinations bring to the event planning process and their ability to facilitate connections that can help deliver a lasting legacy,” comments Bas Schot, Head of the Convention Bureau. “During the research, destination and venue partners emphasised the importance of working collaboratively with organisers to help them deliver on their legacy goals.  These included the necessary infrastructure to deliver an event and more abstract requirements that might be considered days, weeks, months or even years after an event. Ultimately, this demonstrates the positive role that destinations can play in supporting event legacy, both in the short and long term.”

Overall, the research confirmed that while the responsibility for creating an event legacy lies with the associations and not-for-profits hosting an event, destinations have a vital role in supporting the process. By providing practical support, unique knowledge, and facilitating connections, destinations can help to ensure that events create a positive and lasting impact in line with an organiser’s strategic mission and goals.

The research was conducted in two stages: quantitative research via a workshop with 11 leading international association conference professionals, and quantitative survey data gathered from 70 event professionals worldwide. The 70 surveyed event professionals can be broken down as follows:

  • 64% In-house association PCOs
  • 10% Agency association PCOs
  • 13% Corporate conference planners
  • 2% Charity conference planners
  • 11% Other

Download the full white paper and research results.