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Fieldays ripple effect matters


18 June 2007

Fieldays ripple effect matters

As businesses count up their takings at the end of the annual New Zealand National Fieldays spending spree which saw record attendance figures, two University of Waikato Management School researchers say it’s not just the direct spending that counts, it’s the ongoing ripple effect that matters.

Associate Professor Stuart Locke of the Finance Department and environmental economist Professor Frank Scrimgeour, who’s also dean of Waikato Management School, were speaking at the annual conference of the 87-member Association of Australasian Field Days Associations in Hamilton.

The theme of the conference was benchmarking, and Drs Locke and Scrimgeour were invited to speak on how benchmarking, which has been undertaken by the School’s Management Research Centre over the last 27 years, will add value for international Field Day organisations

“The New Zealand National Fieldays is iconic in Australian circles, and delegates wanted to know how benchmarking and economic impact analyses are used here,” said Dr Locke.

“It’s important for Field Day Associations to keep their stakeholders informed as to the full economic benefits of the events. And it’s important to benchmark activities to encourage productivity gains, excellence in performance, and to provide quantitative evidence of these attainments.”

In 2006, Drs Locke and Scrimgeour conducted an economic impact analysis of the New Zealand National Fieldays, using an economic input-output model. “The direct impacts of the Fieldays event in the Waikato were in the order of NZ$10 million,” said Dr Locke. “But that’s just part of the overall picture.”

The analysis showed the national impact of exhibitor sales accounted for NZ$330 million; on top of that was the economic activity generated by providing accommodation, meals, transport and entertainment, plus the resources expended on organising, promoting and running the National Fieldays. Direct, indirect and flow-on economic activity generated by the National Fieldays was in the order of NZ$660 million.

“If this ripple effect is taken into account, our analysis confirms that the National Fieldays is the largest event in the region and one of the largest events in New Zealand in terms of its impact on the economy,” said Dr Locke.

For Field Day Associations to track performance over time, the researchers said it was also important that they benchmark their activities.

“Financial benchmarking adds value,” said Dr Locke. “It allows comparisons between Associations, and having the information is important in terms of credibility and for addressing specific requirements. If you know where you stand, it’s easier to see how you might make improvements.”


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