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What is Legacy?
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The Value of Legacy
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Copenhagen Legacy Lab has developed a structured framework to inspire congresses and events held in Copenhagen to leave a legacy over time.

The value from congresses and events has traditionally been evaluated based on the direct tourism value. However, meetings and events hold – just like the rest of the tourism industry - a potential that goes far beyond the immediate and monetary value creation.

We call it a legacy when the achieved impact from a congress or an event meets the objectives of the legacy project”.

Creating positive and lasting effects from a congress or an event is not coincidental nor random, but the result of a systematic and strategic process. Since the establishment of Copenhagen Legacy Lab, the initiative has cautiously fine-tuned how to work systematically with legacy building.

The ‘Legacy Framework’ is a dynamic process that is based on the European Commission’s approach to ‘Social Impact Measurement with inspiration from the ‘Theory of Change’. The approach builds on close collaboration and co-creation with the association, the destination, and other relevant stakeholders.


Legacy Framework

The Strategy of Wonderful Copenhagen and the Wonderful Copenhagen Event Principles are at the centre of the three-phased legacy process (before the event, during the event, and after the event). Below we will take you through all the phases and their individual steps:

Legacy Framework

Photo:Copenhagen Legacy Lab

Before the event (planning)

Research & qualification: The focus of the first step is to gather relevant information about the potentials of the congress or event. Copenhagen Legacy Lab will investigate key insights and analyse previous and similar events hosted in either Copenhagen or other cities. This knowledge is used to qualify if a legacy project should be initiated or not. Furthermore, it also serves as a platform for future dialogue and decision-making.

  • Congresses: Copenhagen Legacy Lab will focus on understanding and targeting challenges and barriers related to the particular field of the congress topic (e.g., a need for talents within an industry). Copenhagen Legacy Lab will primarily work with congresses that fall under the following strongholds: Life-Science, Green Transition, and Information & Communications Technology (ICT).
  • Events: Copenhagen Legacy Lab will - based on the event principles - focus on identifying unique opportunities related to the event (e.g., utilise badminton’s position in Asia).

Strategic alignment: Throughout the second step, the mutual interests between the association and the destination are investigated. This includes exploring the association’s mission and vision and determine how it aligns with national strategies, policies, and priorities of the destination. Based on this dialogue (ideally two years before), a ‘sweet spot’ is identified.

Objectives: The involved decision-makers from the association and destination formulate one or more concrete objectives of the legacy project. It is important to consider the extent of resources (e.g., FTE, funds, knowledge, etc.) and examine if the legacy project can be coupled to other ongoing local activities that are related to the objectives.

Stakeholder involvement: Based on the objectives, relevant stakeholders are identified and mobilised. To ensure successful mobilisation of key stakeholders, it is important to visualise the exact kind of change that the legacy project aims to create over time. Together with involved stakeholders, concrete activities or initiatives are developed and designed.

Evaluation design: The evaluation design should be determined before the activities are executed to enable a baseline and set up the right parameters for measurement. Furthermore, it is important to clarify who, when, and how the activities are evaluated over time to document the effects and capture valuable learnings.


During the event (execution)

Activities: The planned activities can have many different formats (e.g., development of industry guidelines or a talent-attraction workshop) and are most often executed during the event period either at the event location, in the city, or online.


After the event (evaluation)

Outputs: During or immediately after an activity the direct results are evaluated (e.g., startups have established new and relevant contacts to potential investors).

Outcomes: After 6-12 months it is evaluated whether the direct results have led to a changed behaviour or improved performance (e.g., the established contacts turn into a concrete investments).

Impact: After a year it is evaluated if the changed behaviour or improved performance have a societal value (e.g., investments leading to job creation).

Potential legacy: After more than a year an overall assessment will determine if the potential impact has met the strategic objective of the initiated legacy project and thus, created a legacy.

Gerda Marie Rist GMR

Lead of Copenhagen Legacy Lab

Jakob Kjeldgaard Jensen JKJ
Major Events

Manager - Copenhagen Legacy Lab


Read more about our work with congresses and events which Copenhagen Legacy Lab supports, by ensuring a broader value creation, supporting some of our strongholds here among Life Science, Green Transition, and Information & Communications Technology.