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Social impact

Research period: 2014-2015

PWO project


Every year, many events are organised. The types of events range from local fairs to music festivals. But what is the added value of these events for the city or municipality in which they are organised? How do these events benefit the visitors, inhabitants and traders alike?


To map out the local added value of an event, or rather the local Return On Investment or ROI, we developed the ROI model. We also developed tools to map the ROI of an event yourself.


ROI model


The ROI model highlights eight criteria, divided into four categories. When an event scores high on each of these categories, it is not only considered to be liveable and lively, but it will also connect people.

  • Does an event score high on Shopatainment? Then this event is in some way an economic catalyst for the local trade.

  • An event that is culturally or in terms of content enriching, it scores high on the criterion edutainment.

  • Ideally, the event will also score high on connectivity and provides significant local involvement and collaboration.

  • The event must also be entertaining. Meaning it should be fun, but also relaxing, innovative and experiential.

  • Buzz is also an important criterion: this means that positive communication ideally takes place both online and offline, also by ‘others’ and not only before and during the event, but also afterwards.

  • Preferably, the event should also support the positioning of the municipality in which it is organised. The event will then confirm the municipality is a place that is captivating and lively where people like to live, work, settle and are proud of.

  • And crucially, of course, the event must be well organised and the public order must be maintained.

Scanner and Analyser


We have developed two tools which enable cities, municipalities and other event professionals to estimate the social costs and the proceeds of events beforehand (Scanner) and to evaluate these retrospectively (Analyser). In the preparation of an event the tools can also be used as blueprint or checklist.


The insights can support local governments in deciding whether and to what extent they can or want to permit, facilitate or organise the event themselves.

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