Managing the sustainability of events
and festivals – Towards an
international classification system
Zero-impact Cultural Heritage Event Network
ZEN project’s approach
• Transnationality (IT, UK, LT, LV, GR, RO, BG, SL,
NL, ESP) and practice-based research
ZEN project’s aims
• European innovation in the development,
management and evaluation of sustainable
cultural events in historic town centres
• Can an event have zero impact on the
2012 pan-Euopean survey festival goers
• 49.8% would pay higher ticket price to make
• 43% had changed behaviour as a result of
festival’s green initiative(s)
• Waste, traffic and noise seen as key negative
• Responsibility for impact – festival organiser
(but also festival goers – 79%)
Sample size: 2,281
Buckinghamshire New University
Why evaluate impacts of events?
• City image (Richards and Wilson,
• Justify public spending (Faulkner
et al, 2003)
• Host communities getting best
possible benefits (Chalip, 2004;
• Lasting legacy for communities
Example of legacy-focused
Sport and physical
2012 Olympic and
Noise and light
DCMS (2012; p. 22)
From monitoring to legacy and … beyond?
• Noise levels
• Light levels
DCMS (2012; p. 35)
• Impact on
Events research and practice
in the UK
2010 and beyond
Social (local) impact
Place experience marketing
Coca-Stefaniak (2012) - on-going research
Review of event management academic
papers in “Festival Management and Event
(adapted from Getz, 2002)
Economic impact (26 articles)
Corporate sponsorship and marketing (14 articles)
Marketing and segmentation (11 articles)
Other management issues (9 articles)
Visitor and participant motives (7 articles)
Education, training, accreditation, research (7 articles)
Politics, policy and planning (4 articles)
Urban renewal (2 articles)
Law (1 article)
Arts and culture (1 article)
Early ZEN project
• Event environmental stewardship as
promotion element (IT)
• Transition from spontaneity to visitorfocused event planning (BG)
• Events closely linked to local and regional
branding campaigns (LV)
• Accreditation of good sustainability
practices (Green Key, NL)
• Identity – heritage-led event transition from
Communism to market-led economy (LT,
• Cost efficiencies and external funding
through environmental innovation (UK, IT)
Towards an international typology of
sustainable cultural events
Coca-Stefaniak (2013), on-going research
So what? …
Moving research forward in
evaluation of sustainable events
Events as test beds for innovation in sustainable
solutions (e.g. EU-wide accreditation system?)
Events as more than standard bearers (vis-a-vis
strategic place branding)
CSR research v. event environmental impact research
Marketing ‘authenticity’ or commoditification of visitor
Experiential marketing strategies?
Government policy impact (e.g. Welsh Assembly
Sustainable Development Bill)
Dr. Andres Coca-Stefaniak
- Coca-Stefaniak J.A., Rinaldi R., Parker C. and Quin S. (2009), “Evolution of town
centre and place management models: a European perspective”, Cities, 26 (2), pp.
- Coca-Stefaniak J.A. (2012), Evolution of international town centre management
models, Doctoral thesis, Middlesex University.
- Chalip L (2004), Beyond impact: A general model for host community event
leverage. In: Ritchie B and Adair D (eds.), Sport Tourism: Interrelationships, Impacts
and Issues, Clevedon: Channel View Publications, pp. 226-252.
- DCMS (2012), London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Impacts and Legacy
Evaluation Framework Final Report, Department for Culture, Media and Sport,
on_Report_1.pdf (accessed 24 August 2012)
- Faulkner B, Chalip L, Brown G, Jago L, March R and Woodside A (2003),
“Monitoring the tourism impacts of the Sydney 2000 Olympics”, Event Management,
6 (4), pp. 231-246.
- Getz D (2002), “Event studies and event management: On becoming and
academic discipline”, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 9 (1), pp. 1223.
- Innes J E and Boother D E (2000), “Indicators for sustainable communities: A
strategy building on complexity theory and distributed intelligence”, Planning Theory
& Practice, 1 (2), pp. 173-186.
- Mega V and Pedersen J (1998), Urban sustainability indicators, European
Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions,
http://eurofound.europa.eu/pubdocs/1998/07/en/1/ef9807en.pdf (accessed 22
- Moore T (2013), Audience attitudes on the environmental impact of events
CM&SS/AGF, http://www.agreenerfestival.com/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/BucksAGF_AUDIENCE_RESEARCH_2012.pdf (accessed 10 May, 2013).
- O’Brien D (2006), Event business leveraging: The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games,
Annals of Tourism Research, 33 (1), pp. 240-261.
- Ritchie J R B (2000), “Turning 16 days into 16 years through Olympic Legacies”,
Event Management, 6, pp. 155-165.
- Richards G and Wilson J (2004), “The impact of cultural events on city image:
Rotterdam, Cultural Capital of Europe 2001”, Urban Studies, Vol. 41, No. 10, pp.
- Wood E. (2009), “An impact evaluation framework: local government community
festivals”, Event Management, Vol. 12, No. 3/4, pp. 171-185.