Karel de Grote Hogeschool (KdG) has over 12.000 students and offers more than 70 study programmes and its research department is growing strongly. In the context of Research and Service Providing to Society, the researchers from the Business Studies and Business Administration department take up the challenge of developing by means of scientific research an ROI methodology for public events. This methodology allows to measure the local impact of public events in a fast and simple way.
Municipalities, and thus cities as well, are important players in the organization and facilitation of public events. A public event that is organized on the public domain and accessible to the large public costs a municipality a lot of money. On the other hand, the number of requests to organize public events increases every year. Fed by the sustained public savings also the municipalities acknowledge to have an increasing need for an easy to implement instrument that allows them to support those public events with the highest Return On Investment (ROI).
During the first research year (2014-2015) the research team developed an evaluation model to measure the local SOCIAL IMPACT of public events after the event has been organized (ex post). This resulted in the development of a first online tool: the (ex post) ROI Analysis. During the second year (2015-2016) research was conducted to how the evaluation model could be translated into a strategic planning model that can also be used by other event organizers to predict the local social impact of the planned event. By using the online (ex ante) ROI Scan, the local social impact of a public event can be estimated and even predicted. These insights can then be used by the municipality to decide whether and to which degree the event should be granted, supported or even organized by the municipality itself.
The third research year (2016-2017) allowed the event sector to also gain an insight into the local ECONOMIC IMPACT of public events (that will be) organized. The economic ROI model calculates the financial costs and revenues for the municipalities which can be explained by means of the social insights gained from the previously developed and complementary social ROI models. Also the online Calculator is free accessible for the sector via the ROI Toolkit of this research website.
Not only due to safety reasons, but also because insights into VISITOR COUNTS are important for an accurate calculation of the economic impact of events, the research team developed an assessment framework during her fourth research year (2017-2018) to be able to advise the event sector also about the different methods to count the number of visitors on public events. Thanks to the online Count Guide organizers of the different types of public events can now also gain an insight into the most appropriate methods to map these visitors’ numbers in an fast and easy way.
As from September 2018, the researchers are also focussing on the development of a typology of VISITOR PROFILES and a research frame to support the different stakeholders in the event sector when mapping more detailled profiles of the visitors of their events. The aim is to develop as well an online tool that can be used by the sector to gain these insights. It will function as an efficient Profiler.
Gathering insight into the local impact of public events will not only lead to a further professionalization and yield increase of the event portfolio for the municipality, but also for the other organizers and suppliers of these events. When applying these ROI models and tools in a uniform matter, benchmarking with other events will become possible and therefore also a greater learning effect. After all, this learning effect will lead to a more efficient and effective way of dealing with the often limited budgets for events.