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Events - Impacts and Legacies

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Events: An Introduction

The Event Manager has to foresee all the impacts that events can have, both positive and negative. They must tackle these negative impacts and turn them around. This can be done through awareness and intervention as early as possible.
The Events Manager must be very organised, a good planner and communicate effectively with the community and stake holders. They must also keep tight control of the budget. Overall, they must balance the good with the bad so as to achieve the best outcome for all involved.

The major impacts that events have on their stakeholders and host communities are that they could be a catalyst for urban renewal or for the creation of a new tourism infrastructure. New jobs can be created, giving the communities a new lease of life and prospects.

Social and Cultural: All events have a direct social and cultural impact on their participants and sometimes the wider communities. A shared experience can be a positive impact an event can have on its participants. Other positive social and cultural impacts can be revitalisation of traditions, the building of community pride and increased community participation. Communication with the local community is vital as the impact upon them could turn to a negative if not addressed correctly. The alienation of the community and negative community image are negative impacts, so getting the community on board from the start by offering incentives, hearing their issues, compromising and planning for problems can turn these into a positive.

Physical and Environmental: Positive impacts of physical and environmental can be the showcasing of the environment (the unique characteristics) and increasing environmental awareness. The event manager should carefully consider the likely impact of the environment. Major issues may include wear and tear on the natural and physical environment, heritage protection and disruption of the local community. Again, the events manager should communicate and consult effectively with the local community and appropriate authorities to resolve some of these issues. Other negatives can be traffic congestion and noise disturbance.

Political: International prestige, improved profile and social cohesion are examples of positive impact. The risk of the event failure, mis-allocation of funds and loss of community ownership and control, which could be addressed by the event manager are examples of the negative impacts.
Tourism and Economic: The impact of tourism and economy can be the promotion of the destination and increased tourist visits and extended stays. The increased tax revenue and business opportunities can boost the economy. Governments are increasingly turning to tourism as a growth industry capable of delivering economic benefits and job creation. In addition to their spending at the event, external visitors are likely to spend money on travel, accommodation, goods and services in the host city/region. Negative impacts can be the loss of authenticity on the host city or region, inflated prices and community resistance to tourism. These negative impacts can be turned around by the event’s organisers by communication and consultation and pre planning.

Governments have become involved in events due to the fact that the events industry has grown. Events are now seen as a way to deliver economic benefits through the promotion of tourism, increased visitor expenditure and job creation. Therefore, government sometimes play a role in funding or underwriting these events so that these benefits may be obtained, because not all small organisations would be able to have the same impact if they were running them themselves.

The use of Economic Impact Studies in measuring event outcomes is appropriate as government needs to identify the expenditure involved in the staging of events, and to determine their impact on the wider community. This gives them a better picture of who they should fund and the level of funding which is appropriate.
The impacts of an event derive from three main sources:
1. Expenditure by visitors from outside the region
2. Capital expenditure on facilities required to conduct the event
3. Expenditure incurred by event organisers and sponsors to stage the event.

Some methods for identifying community perceptions of the impacts of events are:
Surveys – for identifying and addressing community concerns in the planning of the next event.

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