ChristchurchNZ launches new study to measure legacy value of business events

Tree planting in ChristChurch.

ChristchurchNZ has launched a three-year project to evaluate the legacy impacts of business events on Christchurch and the broader New Zealand landscape.

Business events researcher Professor Carmel Foley, from University of Technology Sydney, will lead The Conference Legacy Project.

Drawing inspiration from Sydney’s successful eight-year evaluation model, the New Zealand project will gather evidence-based information to quantify the value of hosting conferences.

Key focus areas will include the impact of hosting business events on scientific advancement, industry innovation, attraction of global talent, improved social policy, community well-being, cultural and regenerative initiatives, and trade and investment.

Megan Crum, ChristchurchNZ’s head of business events, says this initiative shows the city’s commitment to understanding and optimising the long-term benefits generated by business events.

“We recognise the impact of conferences extends well beyond tourism and should not be measured merely by direct financial contribution,” she said.

“Christchurch has matured into a premier destination for business events, and the city recognises the importance of assessing the lasting and long-tail impacts of these events.

“The insights we gain will play a pivotal role in shaping future strategies and identifying funding opportunities.”

Large international events for the city, including the 1,100 delegate Asian Seed Congress, will be among the first of the targeted studies.

Tourism New Zealand’s business events general manager Bjoern Spreitzer says the new research is a significant step forward for Christchurch.

“With this project we will advance the understanding of business events’ legacy impacts and foster sustainable growth, not only for Christchurch but across New Zealand,” he said.