New tool will measure societal impact that conferences have in Edinburgh

Edinburgh-based event professionals have pressed the button on a new tool to measure the societal impact that conferences and business events have in the city.

The Business Events Shaping Tomorrow (Best) tool has been developed to evaluate the positive outcomes from the hundreds of business events hosted in the capital each year. It works by inviting those involved in the conference to provide qualitative data and content which relates to how the conference performed in areas such as wellbeing, food choices, volunteering levels and social interactions. This data is collated and verified with organisers awarding an accreditation based on their positive contributions to the city.

The tool has been created by a collaborative group comprising Convention Edinburgh, the EICC, The Kimpton Hotel, Edinburgh Airport, The University of Edinburgh Hospitality and Events Collection, Assembly Rooms and the National Museum of Scotland. By sharing good practice, and encouraging collaboration, innovation, and wellbeing, the group believes the initiative will drive positive societal impact.

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The project has been supported by the Scottish Government’s Tourism Leadership and Recovery Fund via Scottish Enterprise.

Stephanie Lee, cluster director of sales, InterContinental Edinburgh The George and Kimpton Charlotte Square, said: “The new initiative is a platform which awards businesses for contributing to a responsible Edinburgh, through their conferences and events. It has been designed to bolster the city’s business events sector by recognising the positive contribution of events within the community.”

Using software developed by Edinburgh tech firm Cenefits, supported by Edinburgh Napier University associate professor Martin Robertson, Best has been designed to aid event organisers so that their conferences adhere to the UN’s sustainable development goals.

The data is collated and verified with organisers awarding an accreditation based on their positive contributions to Edinburgh.

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