Welsh Dragon

Event Impact Management

As indicated within the sections above, best practice in events management requires a proactive approach to positive and negative impact management.

Through identifying the potential negative impacts of the event and developing strategies to eliminate or at least minimise these, you can reduce the negative consequences arising from the planning and staging of your event. Likewise, through considering the potential and desired positive impacts that could arise from the event, strategies and plans can be implemented to deliver the desired impacts.

Minimising environmental impacts

A common area of concern arising from the staging of events is the negative environmental impacts that can occur. All events will have some form of environmental impact, which inevitably increase relative to the size of the event.

Common negative environmental impacts include: Pollution from vehicle emissions, noise, chemical, sewerage, ammonia, etc. Litter in the area around the event and on the event site. Litter and waste materials going into landfill, composting or recycling facilities. Congestion and corresponding local air pollution from vehicle emissions. Greenhouse gasses from use of fuel / power. Environmental degradation – where events are taking place outdoors in sensitive environments.

In order to minimise the negative impacts of your event following the mantra of reducing, reusing and recycling is a good starting point. Note that you should start with and prioritise the reduction of waste outputs and resource inputs e.g. reducing all waste which goes out and the use of non-renewable energy inputs.

Once all reduction has been undertaken, the next step is to examine where resources can be reused for example, reusable cups and other catering materials are always preferable to recyclable ones. Likewise, where items such as promotional banners are produced, if these can be reused in the future there will be less waste and lower costs. It should be noted, that whilst desirable, recycling is the last option prior to landfill. This is to say that the priority should always be on reducing and reusing materials and it is only when non reusable materials are used that recycling should be implemented. Recycling facilities at events should be simple, clearly visible and regularly checked.

There are a whole host of guides available to provide further details of environmental best practice for example Julie’s Bicycle http://www.juliesbicycle.com provide a range of guides. A Greener Festival also provide lots of guidance for outdoor events http://www.agreenerfestival.com.

Maximising tourism and economic benefits

Events should always strive to generate economic benefits for the host community and surrounding area in which they take place. This is not only best ethical practice, but depending on the extent of the impacts generated it can also open up additional financial resources and stakeholder support which may not otherwise be available.Economic benefits often derive from visitors coming into the area and spending

Economic benefits often derive from visitors coming into the area and spending money therefore, any event which encourages visitors into an area, will deliver an economic benefit. However to maximise that benefit it means encouraging visitors to stay locally and use services/businesses in the local area. For this reason events can be used to attract visitors outside of traditional tourist seasons, encouraging use of underutilised tourist facilities during times of lower demand

Economic impacts can be direct, arising from the staging of the event itself or indirect, for example delivering a positive experience for event visitors will increase the likelihood of repeat visits and positive recommendations on and offline.As mentioned above, the level of local sourcing will also contribute to the economic benefit derived from the hosting of your event, indeed local sourcing of food and drink is one of the priorities of the Welsh Government Local Sourcing Action Plan. Using local suppliers where possible will inevitably generate a better return for the host community than bringing in suppliers from further afield. In addition, using local suppliers can enhance a ‘sense of place’.

As mentioned above, the level of local sourcing will also contribute to the economic benefit derived from the hosting of your event, indeed local sourcing of food and drink is one of the priorities of the Welsh Government Local Sourcing Action Plan. Using local suppliers where possible will inevitably generate a better return for the host community than bringing in suppliers from further afield. In addition, using local suppliers can enhance a ‘sense of place’. Sense of place is about creating a feeling that Monmouthshire is unique and distinctive from other places.Sense of place, as well as including food and drink also encompasses:

Sense of place, as well as including food and drink also encompasses:

  • People: their skills and knowledge, special interests, stories.
  • Local products: arts and crafts.
  • Heritage and culture: local history, traditions, language, folklore.
  • Community activities: agricultural shows, food festivals, farmers markets.
  • Environment: natural and built landscapes, landmarks, flora and fauna.

Minimising negative social impacts

Social impacts are issues which affect the community and should also be carefully considered during the planning and implementation of your event. Negative community impacts can include issues such as traffic, congestion and lack of access to community facilities and resources, which can lead to feelings of community alienation and exclusion. Crime and antisocial behaviour can also arise from events if management strategies are not implemented to tackle issues such as alcohol and substance abuse.

Maximising social benefits requires a degree of community consultation and involvement in the planning process through community meetings, questionnaires, focus groups, etc. Reinvestment and support for local causes and charities can also go some way to compensating communities for the temporary inconvenience that an event may create.

Further information of monitoring and measuring impacts can be found on the following website: http://www.eventimpacts.com

Events Management Toolkit Contents

Part Funded by Welsh Government

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