15 August 2017

By Jade Lowe

Whilst I was studying at university, one major topic kept coming up - what is event legacy?  

The general idea is that the legacy of an event is the long term positive impact it has on the host area culturally, economically and physically (such as the improvement of infrastructure). 

One of the best examples to discuss the legacy of events is the Olympic Games, in particular London 2012. Generally, the ways we can measure the legacy of an event is through tangible evidence - figures that can be measured or impacts that we can see and take as fact. Physically, it provided London with new venues, improved infrastructure and an increase in housing and amenities in the areas surrounding the Olympic Park, with regeneration of those areas still continuing 5 years later. Of course there was also the economic impacts - the UK economy had a boost of £14.2bn in the two years after the London 2012 Olympics. Oxford Economics estimates that the gross value added economic impact of the Olympics will be £28-£41bn by 2020. 

But how do you create an event legacy?

Legacy planning involves identifying the stakeholders and discussing with them what legacies are possible, how to enable them and who they will impact. The legacies should aim to help the local community, with strategies then put in place as to how they will be delivered, including creating a financial plan for funding the legacy, and encouraging the host community to support the event. 

Now event legacy planning doesn't apply to everyone - it's most widely associated with large sporting events, such as the Olympic Games of FIFA World Cup. However, it is important to consider the long lasting impacts your event will have, no matter how big or small. Your event needs to stand out from the crowd and fight for a long-lasting future, ensuring your attendees have something to remember for years to come. Legacy planning can be the key to succeeding in an ever more demanding industry.