ChristchurchNZ Launches The Conference Legacy Project

7th Mar, 2024

ChristchurchNZ has launched a ground-breaking three-year project — The Conference Legacy Project — to evaluate the legacy impacts of business events on Christchurch and the broader New Zealand landscape.

Megan Crum, ChristchurchNZ Head of Business Events says this initiative, launched at AIME 2024 in February, shows the city's commitment to understanding and optimising the long-term benefits generated by business events.

Internationally-recognised business events researcher Professor Carmel Foley from University of Technology Sydney will lead the study. 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.

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.

"We recognise the impact of conferences extends well beyond tourism and should not be measured merely by direct financial contribution," Crum says.

"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," she says.

Large international events for the city, including the 1,100-delegate Asian Seed Congress, supported by ChristchurchNZ and held at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre, will be among the first of the targeted studies.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager New Zealand and Business Events, Bjoern Spreitzer says the new research is a significant step forward for Christchurch.

"Business Events are a key part of Tourism New Zealand's strategy to attract high-quality visitors who positively benefit New Zealand's nature, culture, society, and economy. 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 says.

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