The Events Industry Forum has appointed Bournemouth University to undertake a comprehensive review of the outdoor event industry, from festivals to agricultural shows.
The project, which is being funded by revenues from sales of the Purple Guide, aims to establish a better understanding of the size and economic value of the industry as well as the contribution events make to local communities.
“For too long our industry has tended to be overlooked by Government because of a lack of evidence about the economic and social benefits of events,” says Steve Heap, chair of the Forum. “This has resulted in our sector getting little support and events often facing difficult obstacles because they are wrongly seen negatively. Yet we know where research has been done that outdoor events can make an enormous contribution to localities, from employment to increased turnover for local businesses.
“We hope that this research will help to debunk some of the myths about outdoor events and also put our sector firmly on the map as a significant contributor to the UK economy.”
Caroline Jackson, the Principal Investigator on the project, said that “Bournemouth University’s Department of Events & Leisure is delighted to be undertaking this meaningful project with the Events Industry Forum. The outdoor events sector may be a complex phenomenon to research but it is important to understand its economic and socio-cultural significance if we are to value its contribution. The project will require detailed information from outdoor event organisers and their views on the strengths and challenges that outdoor events face. We look forward to their support.”
The project, which will be launched this Spring is expected to take about 12 months to complete. A report will be published and will be freely available on completion.
The Forum, which represents 26 trade and educational bodies across the outdoor event industry, is asking its members to support the project by providing data and information to Bournemouth researchers.