A few days ago I saw some news that reminded me of just how important events are. Not just for those directly involved, but for the local community as well.
The material covered the story of a small local community that for the last 30 years was on the verge of bankruptcy. Year after year, the local authorities did their best to bring the small town back to life. With 0 results.
Then, all of a sudden, things started to change. A team of event organizers found the area perfect for a small (at first) Jazz festival. Encouraged by the splendid landscape, they decided to give it a try.
“You are never going to make out here. You are wasting your time and your money”. I wasn’t there, but this is what they probably heard.
I am sure that the team saw disbelieve in the eyes of the local inhabitants. Disbelieve mixed with hope. So they decided to follow their dreams.
Gains for the local community
Fast forward to the present days: the community is thriving. One week per year, thousands of people set camp in this small community. Locals saw the opportunity and transformed their homes to accommodate their new guests. Restaurants and bars have never been so joyful. And local suppliers were facing a new problem: can they produce enough? For the first time in over 3 decades, the problem was too much demand.
This new economic life is not limited to just one week per year. People started hearing about this new town and its surroundings. And started visiting it. A friend of a friend that joined the festival is now a guest for the weekend.
Tourists are spending money in the community. Local businesses prospered, and taxes were paid. Local authorities started investing money in infrastructure. Better roads, better facilities, more tourists. More money. The exact opposite of a vicious circle.
This is a true story, but the name of this small town is not relevant here. Because the same story happens over and over again, all over the world. You just need a brave idea and a community ready to embrace it. This is why we encourage you all to include the local community in your event economy.
Don’t stop making the world a better place!