Events have the power to inspire and change people’s lives in a many different ways, however it is not a straight-forward process to capture and evidence all of these impacts.
UK Sport has worked with a number of national and regional partners to develop the eventIMPACTS project - a toolkit of resources to help event organisers improve their evaluation of the impacts associated with the staging of sporting and cultural events.
In the past the success of an event has generally only been measured in economic and/or media returns on investment such as the economic impact to a region or the level of media exposure an event received.
It has been much more difficult for event organisers to demonstrate and evidence all the additional benefits that can occur as a result of an event taking place. A relatively new agenda is that major events can deliver directly, or act as catalysts for, wider social impacts or environmental impacts. The social impact of an event concerns its effect on the people and communities around which it takes place and include, amongst other things, the development of skills and volunteering, inspiring participation and delivering satisfaction.
Major events can also have a variety of environmental impacts in the areas of waste, carbon and sustainability. It is increasingly important for event organisers to understand the scale of these impacts, in order to best develop systems that manage them.
The eventIMPACTS Toolkit has been developed by UK Sport, Visit Britain, Event Scotland, the London Development Agency, the North West Development Agency, Yorkshire Forward and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau. It comprises some key guidance and good practice principles for evaluating the social, economic, environmental and media-related impacts associated with staging major sporting and cultural events.
The significance of ‘home advantage’ at World and European Championships has been addressed for the first time in a study which highlights that host countries receive an average performance boost of 25% in their results.
‘Home advantage’ has often been cited as a performance boosting factor in the sporting world, with the familiarity of venues and support of a rousing home crowd often credited as pushing an athlete to a personal best or medal-winning performance. It is a concept that is intuitively understood and accepted, but until now, little or no work existed to evidence any kind of correlation at major single-sport international championships.
The study, commissioned by UK Sport, analysed historical results from the World Championships of 14 Olympic sports, in addition to European Championships from three of these sports. The headline figure of a 25% increase** in performance for the host nation has been determined after studying 10,000 ‘top eight’ placings across 99 major events around the world and using a points system to provide a standardised measure of the results.
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