By: Stephanie Auslander
The Event Impact Calculator, now in its tenth year has seen optimal growth since its beginning in 2011 adding new modules, countries, and nuances with input from the subscribers. Throughout the ten-year period the calculator has added four different modules: Meetings, Sports, Festivals and Events, and Local and Public Events. At the time of writing, the calculator subscriptions comprise half of the membership, currently at 294 subscribers. In addition to the United States our subscribers represent twelve countries including Australia, Canada, and Europe. Over the years, subscribers have been able to choose a wide range of combinations with the three modules combination of Meetings, Sports, and Festivals being the one most frequently selected. The Local and Public Events module is the newest offered to subscribers highlighting local events including food and beverage events, public and consumer shows, and community events.
For new users of the tool, the webinar referenced the importance of measuring net new money coming into a community because of the event. Notable features of the tool include its flexibility to work with a wide range of information, localized to include city specific modeling, comprehensive in that it provides a full impact analysis report on spending, jobs, taxes and return on investment, credible based on multiple data sources, and is considered the industry standard with currently 294 destinations using the tool. Moreover, the calculator works with underlying data points including national surveys, CRM data, local tax information, Bureau, and labor statistics, Longwoods syndicated traveler surveys, and sports and festival research.
Within each module, there are distinct event types each with different calculation methods, visitor reaches, and other characteristics aimed to highlight the uniqueness of each event. The event impact calculator can calculate the impact of the event utilizing five distinct characteristics; type of event, how long the event will take place, attendees/participants/tickets sold, overnight share, and room rate. Users looking to refresh their skills have support from monthly training webinars, recorded boot camps, and the Online User Community.
Chris Pike from Tourism Economics was on hand during the webinar to demonstrate the use of the tool and highlight best practices. Additionally, subscribers can find more detailed information about the use of the tool on our Event Impact Calculator Online Community that will become the main resource hub for all questions related to the calculator outside of email. Subscribers are encouraged to log into the Online User Community to connect with peers who are using the tool and get advice on best practices.
For those who may have missed the May EIC Webinar we have highlighted one of the questions and its answer below. To see the other questions and answers, visit our Event Impact Calculator Online Community.
Total Visitor Days
I have a question regarding the definition of Total Visitor Days that is a demand metric in the Festivals & Cultural Events module. I realize the explanation is “the total number of visitor days generated by the event, including overnight and day visitors.” But what does that mean? If the Total Visitor Days figure is lower than the sum of Overnight Attendees and Day Attendees, does it mean that not all attendees contribute to Total Visitor Days? What does a “Visitor Day” represent?
Tourism Economics - Visitor days can be an important metric for understanding the overall daily visitation level of an event. Its calculation is: overnight attendees * length of stay + day visits * .75
Key things to note – as any attendees staying in some sort of paid overnight accommodation at least one night is what the EIC is asking for as that entry, then the calculation needs to multiply by the model’s assumed length of stay to get to the total number of visitor days of the overnight attendees. The assumed length of stay will be dependent on the destination, event type and length of the event. It is NOT equal to the length of the event and, especially for longer events, the length of event may be shorter than the length of the event. Day visitors, the normal treatment of those visitors is to multiply that number by 0.75 – as they do not stay a full day, we do not want to count them as a full day visitor but, as they are traveling to a destination for an event and not just for a lunch or attraction, they are assumed to have spent much of their day at the destination.
One other thing to remember – these are VISITOR days. Especially for festivals, if you have a percentage of the attendees assumed as local attendees, their attendance at the event is 0 visitor days – their attendance at the event is ignored.
So, several reasons potentially for visitor days to potentially be smaller than attendance, among them being local attendance not adding to visitor days, day attendees only as a portion of a day in the calculation and the consideration of length of stay vs. length of event in the calculation.