Events are a tremendous amount of work – so why do them? Events and festivals help to develop destinations. They can bring an area to life, raise the profile of a place and its people and help to change perceptions. Local communities and businesses benefit. The return on investment is economic, social and cultural. The media coverage alone can be substantial and worth the resource because event preparation provides advance imagery and stories of interest; photo opportunities during event delivery itself and follow-up stories and imagery reporting outcomes.
In 2018, we hosted three very different types of events, which prompted this toolkit. The three events were of different scales and types but the elements of the events and the pattern of planning and delivery were the same – the experiences are useful to share.
The European Championships managed by Glasgow 2018 chose Loch Lomond as the venue for its Open Water Swimming competitions. Over one billion people across the world watched the sports and saw iconic Loch Lomond as a magnificent backdrop to the event. To complement the loch-side activity, Balloch held its first local cultural festival for over 30 years and its first ever carnival parade. In addition, we welcomed the 5th year of the Great Scottish Swim to Loch Lomond, attracting over 3,000 participants.
In September 2018, the Scottish Enterprise Tourism Development Destination Fund supported the National Park’s ‘Events and Festivals’ seminar, held in Balloch for local businesses, to ensure that the experiences from these events and others around Scotland could be shared more widely benefiting local communities and businesses through tourism product development.
The output is this toolkit which looks at: