The Legacy & Sustainability Course ‘Shaping the Future of Business Events’ recently implemented by the Head of VisitBritain Business Events, Paul Black, concluded in Newcastle with 60 stakeholders from the business events ecosystem of Britain in attendance. The subject – Impact Measurement – surely the Holy Grail to identifying and measuring the value creation derived from business & professional events.

In this Iceberg sequel to CATALYSING CHANGE: VisitBritain Invests in Impact Design, Black combines with course directors Genevieve Leclerc (CEO and Founder at #MEET4IMPACT) and Guy Bigwood (Chief Changemaker at the GDS Movement) to illustrate the pathway to effective impact measurement, by design.

#M4I’s BE Impactful Framework is deploying the ‘Capitals Theory’ to measure outcomes & indicators


Using The Capitals Theory, the #MEET4IMPACT measurement methodology – The ‘BE Impactful Framework’ – identifies various dimensions of impact based on 8 forms of societal capital (Cultural / Natural / Built / Financial / Political / Human / Social / Intellectual). Leclerc explains the impact measurement process by breaking down these 8 dimensions of capital gain from events into Outcomes, Refined Outcomes, and Indicators in order to establish the quantitative, and qualitative, metrics which prove an event’s sustainability, legacy, and social license to operate.

The course included a live stream to Maraika Geisterfer-Black, leader of EASL’s Love Your Liver Legacy & Impact Project from the ILC in London’s ExCeL last year which last week was awarded the ESAE Impact Award. Geisterfer-Black, who worked in collaboration with #MEET4IMPACT’s Leclerc on the project, confirmed that it is not possible to retro-measure an impact program post event without designing impact into the event program well in advance of it.

Bigwood reiterated, also, that, “Unless you can demonstrate a bigger handprint, a social or positive impact (beyond the carbon footprint of an event), then you shouldn’t be organising a physical event”, concluding that “You’ve got to have a multiple of that, and you’ve got to have the data to prove that…”

These were ominous words which echo The Iceberg’s recent re-posting of the Gary Grimmer article in Meetings International (see ‘We Need to Care About Our Social License’ in Opinions) confirming the BE Sector’s need to secure social license through impact and legacy measurement – a sentiment echoed by UFI CEO, Kai Hattendorf, also in Opinions.

Black appeared confident that he was navigating Britain’s BE community on the right path in pursuit of relevant events to meet local, and regional, challenges – but also that same social license; “With this course, as well as with our Legacy & Impact Toolkit and Guide, we’re at the start of the process where we’re understanding that knowledge on how you identify the impact, or legacy, from business events working with clients to align with them,” he concluded.

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