Understanding Our Methodology

Positive Impact Events tells the story of the power of the event industry and to do so we need to tell stories with numbers.

There are limited resources on the sustainability impact of the global event industry so here are some things to know about how we identify the impact:

  1. We take a common sense approach based on our 15+ years knowledge of the global event industry and when we estimate we tend to do so on the low side!

  2. We consider ‘events’ to be business, cultural and sport events

  3. We use data from the Event Industry Council 2018 'Global Economic Significance of Business Events' report which includes the data of 1.5 billion people attending a business event every year and from Meeting Professionals International Economic Impact Reports.

  4. We use recognised sources for any data on sustainability

  5. We may be completely wrong and we will never know until the industry is measuring and we encourage the industry to measure at every opportunity we have.

Listed below are some examples of the impact we have shared and the methodology behind it.

1. One action was to provide incentives for event attendees to use public transport. 371 respondents choose this action.

Let’s assume that each respondent runs events for 500 people a year. Let’s assume 50% of the event attendees are inspired by incentives and use public transport. Let’s assume the average journey to an event is 20 miles.

371 x 500/2 x 20 = 1,855,000

1,855,000 miles of travel avoided by use of public transport travel to events.

Then lets take the same assumptions and expand this across the reach of 1.5 billion (annual business event participants according to Event Industry Council Global Meetings Significance Report) and assume everyone commits to this action because they have the education, engagement and support they need.

1,500,000,000 x 500/2 x 20 =18,750,000,000 miles of travel avoided by use of public transport.

The average car produces 1.7kg of CO2 emissions per mile (Source: Vehicle Certification Agency). If all 1.5 billion event professionals avoided driving to events and took public transport instead.

18,750,000,000 x 1.7 = 31,875,000,000 kg of CO2 emissions will be avoided.

2. 371 respondents we reached said they would commit to serving a plant based menu at an event.

Let’s assume that each respondent runs events for 500 people a year.

Let’s assume every person attending the event eats a meal with 75 g (0.75kg) of beef. (Average portion size for cooked meats source: The Association of UK Dieticians). Let’s assume the carbon footprint of 0.75kg of beef is 7.7 CO2 kg eq. (Source: BBC News).

0.75x500 x7.7 =2,887.5 CO2 kg eq.

We can assume that with the creation of education and social media engagement campaigns the event industry can reduce their emissions by at least 2,887.5 co2kg eq. in the next 12 months.

Then let’s take the same assumptions and expand this across the reach of the entire event industry, 1,500,000,000 and assume everyone commits to this action because they have the education, engagement and support they need.

1,500,000,000 x 500 x 7.7= 5,775,000,000,000 co2 kg eq.

Read our 2017 report Telling the Story of the Power of Events During the United Nations Year of Sustainable Tourism.