Wednesday, 07 February 2024 00:45

Conference benefits go beyond the economics – Business Events Wellington

Conference benefits go beyond the economics – Business Events Wellington

Business Events Wellington talks to Meeting Newz about its new legacy programme, and how it will help the industry capture the positive outcomes generated by conferences that are additional to economic benefits.

Business Events Wellington (BEW) has officially launched its legacy programme, with the development of resources to help industry formulate individual legacy projects.

"In the business events world, there's been a lot of talk about legacy and impact over the last 5-10 years, but it's really ramped up more recently with lots of international organisations from around the world looking at the wider benefits of conferences and being less focused on only measuring the value of our industry by economic benefits,” BEW Manager Irette Ferreira tells Meeting Newz.

“Historically, the easiest way to measure the value of conferences is to look at delegate spend, the value of venue hire etc., but there is so much more benefit than just the economic side of it, but it is difficult to measure that,” she says.

"We can help highlight those real tangible outcomes and start creating a programme for showcasing the additional benefits of conferences over and above the economic spend.

“Conferences have the potential to create something meaningful for the community and drive wider socio-economic gain.”

As part of the launch, a new specialist conference advisor has also been appointed to guide organisations through the process. Organisations looking to implement legacy projects from their conference can receive support from BEW on how to transform intention into actions.

“We provide advice and connections locally. Once a legacy project has been completed, we can also explore opportunities to maximise its impact,” says Ferreira.

Ferreira says the legacy programme aims to be quite deliberate when identifying what a client is hoping to achieve.


"It's about making sure the actions we've identified with the client are put into place during an event, and afterwards coming back to find out what the short, medium and long term impacts are that can come from these activities,” she says.

"For example, what connections have been made that have led to business opportunities? Have there been further conversations, have any business deals taken place? We gather that information so we have tangible results that we can say are a result of having this conference in Wellington."

Ferreira says a lot of international conferences are for associations and academic groups, who are often running with limited resources.

She says the legacy programme is designed to help with this.

"A recent client needed to promote their conference to an audience that they just didn't know how to connect with. They didn't have access to the general public in a city they were not based in. They didn't have a database of people.

"That's a common challenge for associations and academic groups. They are focused on finding the speakers, making sure the quality is really good, but because they have limited resources, they often don't get around to doing the other things that can truly make an event.

That's where this programme comes in, Ferreira says.

"We have communication channels that can be accessed, we talk to others organisations, we have those databases. So as long as we are identifying those opportunities and keeping in contact with the client throughout the planning process, that's where we can really support them."

The new process was trialled in November when several international conferences were held in Wellington.

“It was the perfect opportunity to work with clients across a range of disciplines and subjects and capture a variety of positive outcomes directly attributable to the host organisations,” says Ferreira.

While the legacy programme is focused on international conferences, BEW is also working with domestic conferences with long-term agreements anchoring them to the city.

“Conferences are a powerful platform where knowledge and ideas are exchanged and discussed, and where new solutions are born out of collaboration,” says Ferreira.

“Business Events Wellington want to capture these outcomes and support our clients in achieving their legacy goals leading to social and global change.”