Take your meeting legacies to a whole new level
The MeetDenmark Outreach Study
During 2018 MeetDenmark, together with international consultancy, Gaining Edge, conducted a major project on outreach. The purpose of the project was to identify how Danish destinations can create significant added value for the international associations coming to Denmark. The objective is to help associations achieve greater impacts in fulfilling their own goals and missions while also strengthening the value of visiting congresses for Danish society beyond the traditional direct economic benefits.
To succeed with the Danish vision of creating a powerful nexus between association and community goals the project amongst other things took a closer look at current international outreach and legacy activities. This was done to create a deeper understanding and to establish the foundations for a new value creating model of strategic partnership between congresses and destinations.
The project involved desk research on 50 international associations and 50 destinations as well as interviews with 20 from each of the two groups.
Among the primary findings are:
- There seem to be no consistent outreach practices in associations or destinations
- Association approaches are proactive, but ad hoc and varied in relation to mission, goals and circumstances
- Destinations are mostly reactive – providing support for the outreach activities that are being pursued by the events. Destinations are still broadly focused on hospitality outcomes. They are thinking legacy, but not organized in defining and pursuing it. The limited effort is often due to scarce budget resources and their traditional sales orientation
- There is limited ongoing measurement of meeting outcomes both by associations and destinations
- Comparing perspectives: Association and destination perspectives on outreach and legacy
- Dynamics of successful outreach: How are outreach efforts typically financed, who are the stakeholders involved, what are the key success drivers?
- Synergies in outreach: The dynamics of outreach and how a benefit for an association may relate to a different benefit for the destination and vice versa.
- The business case for outreach: Exploring how the business case changes depending on the ‘audience’.
- Measuring the effects of outreach: Exploring how things are typically measured currently.
Current Global Outreach Landscape
What do associations, industry publications and destinations focus on when it comes to outreach and legacy? And what are the key drivers?
How Denmark is Working to Take your Meeting Legacies to a Whole New Level
The Danish destinations and Inspiring Denmark is available for dialogue and advice regarding opportunities for – and benefits of – outreach in Denmark.
For international associations, meeting planners etc. with upcoming congresses in Denmark, a process is now being offered, which – if relevant – can include an Outreach Lab. The outreach lab will bring relevant public and private local actors together with the association/meeting planner to identify, develop, and act on common goals for both the association and destination.
Through an Outreach Lab, associations have the opportunity to more effectively integrate the congress into the destination and promote the delegates’ opportunity to gain even greater benefits. New generations of researchers look for more dialogue with local companies, organizations and authorities in their field, in addition to the scientific program and the dialogue with colleagues at the congress. A wider contact with local actors can give researchers new information, networks and a different kind of input for their research. At the same time, the researchers have the opportunity to influence local policy and promote the development of their field at the destination.
At outreach labs focus can be on mission alignment and identification of drivers that can increase the impact for both association and the local stakeholders. It can also be promotion/exposure and corporate/community outreach, government relationship building etc. Concrete activities that may be relevant to promote common goals could for example be local attendance promotion, sponsor development, technical tours, research matching, ancillary events coordination, engaging local business, jobs fair coordination, network clinics, business matching service, government meetings, media support, community event coordination etc.
MeetDenmark will continue to develop the Danish outreach program during 2019. This happens, among other things, through a joint development of the outreach planning process, the implementation and the follow-up of outreach activities. Specifically, models and outreach activities are going to be tested at several congresses at the Danish destinations during the coming months.
Contact us to explore ways to enhance your meeting impacts and turn them into bigger legacies.