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Survey: What are the costs and benefits of hosting a congress

Photo: Martin Heiberg

Are the time and resources spent on hosting a congress worth it in the end? To find out what the real costs and benefits are for a host, Wonderful Copenhagen asked former congress hosts in Denmark to fill out a questionnaire

The questionnaire is part of a study by Ph.D. fellow, Thomas Trøst Hansen, looking at the costs and benefits of hosting a congress, symposium or conference. The questionnaire was sent to 483 former hosts and 309 answered.

The study showed that the overall satisfaction level related to the created value vs. the time spent and resources used was high. Those taking on a chairmanship at a congress believe there is a great positive trade-off. The study also found that the value creation increases along with the degree of involvement so the more involved you are the bigger the value.

Chairmanship and value

Photo:Woco cvb

Looking at benefits, the study showed agreement among all the participating researchers that the involvement in the chairmanship resulted in significant personal benefits such as improved networks and increased recognition.

Did the chairmanship give you some of the following personal benefits?

Photo:Woco cvb

The respondents were asked to elaborate on this. Their answers show that a high number of respondents believed their network with other scientists from the same field was improved (93 %). In terms of scientists from other fields, 40 % of the respondents believed their network had improved, while 37 % and 43% believed their network with key stakeholders and other stakeholders, respectively, had improved.

In addition, the answers showed that young scientists mainly improve their network with fellow scientists, while senior scientists improve their network with external stakeholders such as politicians and organisations.

Elaborating answers Re improved network

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Improved recognition

Elaborating answers re. improved recognition

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The survey also asked the respondents which aspects of the chairmanship they found to be the most demanding.
Among the respondents, there was a strong consensus that the most demanding aspect of the chairmanship was the coordination/planning of the scientific program, which is a task that the city partners (PCOs, Hotels, etc.) cannot assist with. Meanwhile, the tasks involving city partners, such as logistics, administration, communication, and editorial work, were the least demanding. This is presumably because the hosts were able to get assistance.

Demanding aspects of chairmanship

Photo:Woco cvb

The respondents were then asked if the chairmanship had any immediate consequences for the execution of other tasks. Even though 29 % of the respondents stated that the chairmanship did not have any immediate negative consequences, 10 % (especially the local host and the members of the Organising Committee) found that the chairmanship to a great extent had negative consequences (delays or unfinished tasks). 

Did the chairmanship have any immediate negative consequences for your execution of other tasks?

Photo:Woco cvb

On the basis of this, the study came to the conclusion that it is not without consequences to take on a chairmanship for a congress. However, when taking into account the benefits that come with hosting the trade-off is positive.


Facts about the survey:

The questionnaire was sent to 483 people who had within the last eight years: been involved in chairmanship, conducted scientific research, and been working in a research institution in Denmark. Of the 483 people, 309 participated in the survey. This is a relatively high response rate of 64%. 
61% of the participants had a primary role as local host or chair, 30% were members of an Organising Committee and 9% were contributors or in a supporting role without any formal role in the committee structure.

Please do not hesitate to contact Wonderful Copenhagen’s Convention Bureau if you have any queries regarding the survey or would like to know more about how we can help you. 

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