BestCities Global Alliance, which comprises a network of 11 convention Bureaus,
has launched a new framework of measurement indicators to quantify the
positive impact of international association meetings.
Typically, post-meeting measurements are clear cut, and includes
media coverage, business opportunities, new investments and number of
local and international attendees. But what about the long-term view?
“For a long time in our industry, we’ve been looking for a way to
quantify the long-lasting legacies that business events can have, and
support our associations to demonstrate their huge worth,” said Lesley
Williams, managing director at BestCities.
Calling it a ‘legacy language’, this vocabulary and measurement toolkit
is the result of over 50 interviews and surveys with both destinations
and associations covering a spectrum of sectors. Using findings from
MeetDenmark’s 2018/2019 study into meeting legacies as a guideline for
current practices, the report includes legacy measurement indicators, as
well as a ‘how-to’ paper to aid members in incorporating these
indicators when it comes to planning their events.
One key finding is the clear line between distinguishing meeting
outcomes versus legacy, which the alliance claims will affect how
meetings are planned and the variables considered to assess long-term
legacy goals. Another interesting point is how the report suggests that
meeting outcomes are in fact the drivers for a meeting legacy.
For instance, a meeting outcome of products and/or services showcase
would drive a meeting legacy of exports and trade; business partnerships
would drive industry scaling; and global visibility drive investments
and attract talents.
Sarash De Wilde, contributor to the report and executive director of
the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME), explained that
these “meaningful indicators” will “hugely benefit [associations] who
may be struggling to articulate clearly their true worth. We’re very
proud to have been a part of its creation and look forward to seeing it
in practise amongst our fellow meeting planners”.
Already looking ahead, the convention bureau alliance is currently
looking at ways to bring the report’s framework of legacy measurement
indicators onto a wider scale, for easy adoption by associations and