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The Conference Legacy Project

Credit: Dice Sales

Long-Term Impact

Business events provide a long-term impact far beyond the economic benefits that come from direct tourism spend. Business events have the potential to contribute to destination knowledge economies, drive industry innovation and bring a range of other benefits to host cities.

The Conference Legacy Project is a three-year study powered by ChristchurchNZ and supported by Tourism New Zealand to evaluate the legacy impacts of business events in sectors of interest for Christchurch and the broader New Zealand landscape.

Led by Professor Carmel Foley from University of Technology Sydney, this New Zealand based project gathers evidence-based information to quantify the value of hosting conferences. With a focus on conferences held in Christchurch and other New Zealand cities, the insights gained will play a pivotal role in shaping future strategies and advancing the understanding of business events' legacy impacts from a unique Aotearoa New Zealand perspective.

Key Focus Areas

The study looks at the ‘beyond economic’ benefits of hosting business events in key focus areas, including:

  • Scientific advancement
  • Industry innovation
  • Attraction of global talent
  • Improved social policy
  • Community well-being
  • Cultural and regenerative initiatives
  • Trade and investment

Sectors Of Interest

Business events will be drawn from sectors of interest and areas of growth for both Christchurch and New Zealand.

  • Aerospace
  • Future Transport
  • Clean tech
  • Food Fibre and Agritech
  • Health tech
  • Medical
  • Resilient communities
  • High tech services / Gaming
  • Antarctic Research
  • Screen
  • Urban development and placemaking


What events will be targeted?
Up to 60 International conferences will be evaluated over the life of the project. Some of the conferences contributing to the study will be held in other
New Zealand cities, however the majority will be held in Christchurch.

How will data be collected?
The data will be collected using an online survey distributed by the conference organisers. All delegates, sponsors, exhibitors and organisers from each conference will be invited to participate with an incentive offered to encourage response rates.

Will the results of the study be shared?
High-level data and insights will be shared here as the study progresses, with final insights due at project completion in 2027. Detailed data and insights will be provided to the organisers of business events that achieve a high proportion of responses.

How can my conference contribute to the study?
If your conference is being held in Christchurch (or another NZ city) in the three-years from March 2024 and it relates to a sector of interest, we would love to hear from you. Please see below to get in touch.

Carmel Foley

Professor Carmel Foley is an internationally recognised expert in the study of business events. High impact research projects include the Beyond Tourism Benefits Series for Business Events Sydney and the global Value of Meetings Case Study Project for the Joint Meetings Industry Council. Her research has influenced public policy and redefined how business events are valued and measured globally. Carmel is author of The Power of Conferences: Stories of serendipity, innovation and driving social change and the Goodfellow textbook, Business Event Legacies." 

Get In Touch

Amie Seymour Tuwhana

Want to find out more, or see if your business event can contribute to The Conference Legacy Project?

Amie Seymour
Business Events Legacy Programme Manager