Friday, September 17, 2010

The Secret Behind The Impact of Events!

Where do they turn, when news outlets (local and national) or stakeholders like Duke University need to obtain or document the $5.9 million in spending related to the big game tomorrow with Alabama?7718_1

By the way, the net impact for the game weekend (lower than spending due to leakage) rivals the value added to the Durham economy by huge events like the six week American Dance Festival or the four week, 32 performance run of touring Broadway’s “Wicked” or the two plus month El Greco art exhibition at Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art.

Of course, Wallace Wade Stadium is a much larger venue and Alabama fans travel like few other universities not only in volume but length of stay.

In Durham, both news outlets and stakeholders like Duke invariably turn to the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) because Durham’s community marketing agency has earned both the reputation and expertise for generating reliable, conservative and highly credible analysis of event impact.

I say earned because DCVB has not only earned its stripes on how to deeply mine data and then employ accurate methodologies but the organization has earned the trust of stakeholders with sensitive, proprietary information. The result makes Durham a best practice.

Of course, DCVB’s deployment of this expertise goes far beyond relevance to the news media or stakeholders like Duke. Reliable data, intelligence and analysis is at the heart of good, efficient, measurable marketing.

If your community and its news media are still just “ball parking” economic impact and/or basing marketing decisions and performance measurement on opinions and anecdotes rather than facts, I’d run, not walk to Durham to see how to turn that around.

Good data upon which to drive decisions isn’t free but it is definitely a whole lot cheaper in the long run than just WAGing or taking the slippery slope to artificially amplifying numbers just to be impressive. It is astonishing how many communities get away with doing both.

Win or lose on the football field this weekend (don’t chuckle, Duke beat Alabama in ‘44,) hosting the game is a huge economic win/win for Durham (including $189,000 to fund local government services) and just one more reason Duke University is a key part of making this community “Where Great Things Happen!

Go Duke!

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