Boosting local economies with events


The Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE) industry is booming and the vibrancy of the sector is a valuable asset to local economies worldwide.

Events of all types offer a host of social and economic benefits to towns and cities. These occasions attract an influx of both national and international visitors to a local area for anything from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. The increased exposure can not only raise the profile of the area as a result of the event but also promote future travel and tourism.

The economic impact of an event is measured by the total amount of additional expenditure generated within a particular region as a direct result of the staging of an event. The most obvious increased expenditures come from the direct expenditure associated with the event itself. This refers to costs such as venue hire, technology and AV support, event production and catering, which are fed back into the local businesses in the area providing these goods and services.

Besides direct expenditures, hosting an event also delivers a positive economic impact in terms of indirect tourism and attendee spending – events attract visitors and visitors spend money. Throughout the duration of an event visitors and attendees will rack up further expenditure on accommodation during their stay, shopping, visiting restaurants, cafes and bars, and using public transport including trains, buses and even taxis – all of which will have an economic impact on the wider community and area outside of the event.

Steve Bindley, Managing Director at Media 1 Productions said: “We’ve witnessed conferences of all sizes making a positive impact on local economies, in particular for smaller areas that otherwise wouldn’t receive a high level of tourism.

“This is certainly true of Davos, a small town in the Swiss Alps. The town’s modern Conference Centre hosts a number of events each year, including the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. The town itself has a population of little more than 11,000. But thanks to the World Economic Forum, for one week each year the meeting brings in over 2,000 people including business leaders, politicians, diplomats and celebrities – all of whom contribute to the local economy throughout the duration of the event via direct event expenditure, transport, accommodation and leisure time within the local area.”

Hosting an event can be extremely rewarding in light of the boost it gives to local economies both inside and outside of the event. Like Davos, towns and cities that become host to events can enjoy the short term and long term effects of increased tourism and expenditure as well as heightened exposure and awareness that can bring visitors back again and again.

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