Event Assessments/Economic Impact Analysis
Events are part of the cultural fabric of most towns, especially Main Street communities. While some wrap their identity around a single festival, others strive to have something happening every weekend and multiple weekdays. Wherever your city falls on this spectrum, events have the ability to play a key role in shaping your community’s character and sense of place. They also have the potential to create a significant economic impact.
Think of the Kentucky Derby, SXSW, or the Boston Marathon. These annual events are considered among the most successful and well-known in the U.S. and are woven into the identities of their host communities. But successful events are not limited to big cities.
Butte, MT (population 33,000) is home to the Montana Folk Festival, a free, multi-day music festival that covers most of the Uptown area. Starting as the National Folk Festival, this event has grown into an annual tradition. Like many events, the MT Folk Festival has struggled with fundraising, recruiting volunteers, and the weather but because the committee was willing to get past “we’ve always done it this way” and explore new options, the 140,000 attendees don’t know this. They simply experience exceptional performers in a stellar setting and spend $8 million+ annually.
A MUST HAVE tool for anyone conducting festivals! The Economic Impact Analysis from Cygnet Strategies offered phenomenal data to fully understand our positive economic impact on our community and region.– Laura Mitchell, IOM, President, Lake Travis Chamber
Brady, TX (population 5,425)
Home to the World Championship BBQ Goat Cook Off for the past 44 years. Over time, attendance and revenues dwindled and in 2016 the local Chamber of Commerce was faced with a decision—continue to watch the event decline or make bold changes. Cygnet Strategies provided an honest assessment of what was working and what wasn’t and then reviewed every aspect of the event with them. Difficult decisions were made, forming the foundation for a challenging, but productive, year of re-invention.
In 2017, this one-day event brought 10,000 people to Richards Park (double the attendance in 2016) and created nearly $500,000 in economic impact. There is still more work to do, but the positive feedback from attendees, cookers and vendors showed the board they are moving in the right direction.
The event went off way better than I expected. I honestly expected to lose not only money but long-time event goers with the changes. I am extremely proud to say that I was a part of a great team that put on one of the best Goat Cook Offs to date and look forward to making it even better next year. I am very thankful for Vicky’s guidance and support in our event. She not only helped us move in a great direction, but she got very involved in working the day of the event. Thanks!– J.T. Owens, Brady/McCulloch County Chamber of Commerce Board Member
Special Event Assessments
Events have a natural lifespan. Without regular efforts to revamp and revitalize, they often die a slow painful death. This can lead to negative self-worth feelings within communities, especially small towns. By performing a comprehensive and in-depth assessment of your event, the Cygnet Strategies team can provide recommendations to breathe new life into your event. We can also continue to work with the community over the next few years, to help your team bring these new tools and initiatives to life.
Our assessments include:
- Attending and participating in the event
- Conducting surveys (including an Economic Impact Analysis, if desired)
- Presenting findings
- Developing recommendations
- Assisting with implementing changes, including on-site during the next year’s event
Event Economic Impact Analysis
You see the crowds, you know the bottom line on receipts and profit, but does your event have a positive effect on the community? Some organizers need the information to support grant funding via lodging tax funds. Others are required to provide documentation about what the economic impact of their event actually is.
Cygnet Strategies can help with:
- Direct, indirect and FTE impact of attendee spending on lodging, food and beverage, other visitor attractions, gasoline/transportation, and retail (other categories are also available)
- Where attendees are coming from
- Positives and negatives from attendee perspective
- Attendee suggestions for the future
- How attendees heard about the event