The study points to only one strong, consistent connection between associations and destinations in relation to outreach and legacy. And, it affirms what most people in the industry probably knew or suspected; “There is not a lot of measurement happening,” Christiansen says.
Impacts vs. legacies
GainingEdge CEO, Gary Grimmer says that the study is showing that the industry has a long way to go in developing stronger legacies from meetings:
“One thing we are finding is that there is a bit of confusion out there about the differences between meeting impacts and meeting legacies. To me, that understanding is really fundamental to future success in achieving bigger and longer lasting impacts.”
Grimmer says that meeting impacts were more immediate outcomes that could be identified soon after a meeting is over, while legacies are the longer-term lasting benefits that may derive from those impacts. He says that meetings impacts could be legacy drivers, but were not legacies themselves.
“Knowledge exchange is a meetings impact, but you have to look at what people actually accomplish with that knowledge to determine if there is a legacy. For instance, if a convention helps convince local officials to improve a policy, that’s a meeting impact not a legacy. If a meeting helps people form research links or new business relationships, that’s an impact not a legacy. The legacy is more about the effects of the policy change over time or the longer-term results that come out of new business and professional relationships,” Gary Grimmer says.
The Outreach Study involved desk research on 50 international associations and 50 destinations as well as interviews with 20 from each of the two groups.
During 2019, MeetDenmark plans to publish further and more in-depth results from the analysis. For example:
- Comparing perspectives: Association and destination perspectives on outreach and legacy
- Dynamics of successful outreach: How are outreach efforts typically financed, who are the stakeholders involved, what are the key success drivers?
- Synergies in outreach: The dynamics of outreach and how a benefit for an association may relate to a different benefit for the destination and vice versa.
- The business case for outreach: Exploring how the business case changes depending on the ‘audience’.
- Measuring the effects of outreach: Exploring how things are typically measured currently.
To learn more about the study and how Denmark is working to take meeting legacies to a whole new level, please visit the Danish stand at IMEX in Frankfurt (May the 22nd 2019 at 10.30 AM).
MeetDenmark is an alliance of Denmark’s four leading international meetings destinations and the Danish Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs. The four bureau members are Visit Aalborg, Visit Aarhus, Wonderful Copenhagen and Inspiring Denmark, which represents the South Jutland and Funen region of Denmark.
Edge GainingEdge is a specialist firm focused on the international business events industry, offering a wide range of consulting services for the meetings industry. The company specialises in issues related to establishing and managing convention & visitor bureaus, developing and expanding convention centres as well as the broader aspects of the international meetings industry. Read more at GainingEdge's website.
- Bettina Reventlow-Mourier, Deputy Convention Director at Wonderful Copenhagen (Mobile: +45 23 38 30 71)
- Allan Tambo Christiansen, Convention Director at Visit Aarhus (mobile: +45 51 56 65 36)
- Peter Dyhr Andreassen, Head of Stakeholder Relations, MeetDenmark (mobile: +45 29 10 26 07)