Recommendation one: Long-term impact and a clear plan for ‘what next’ must be the driver for the decision to bid or host a major event.
Publicly funded events should have a shared vision agreed by national and local stakeholders to ensure each event catalyses wider social and economic change.
Government, funders and event organisers must commit to a small number of realistic and genuine long-term goals, which drive decision making and delivery.
Where public funding is being used, government, funders and event organisers should consider how these goals contribute to the wider social and economic goals of the areas and communities in which the events are held.
National and local governments must curate an events strategy, across arts, sports and civic life, ensuring that the collective impact of their events programme is greater than the sum of its parts.
Organisers of large-scale events must prioritise partnership working, across public and private sectors and civil society, in order to optimise the delivery of these long-term impacts.
Recommendation two: The long-term impact of events must be underpinned by demarcated funding, accountability and governance.
Funders and event organisers should adopt a model which sees events as long-term projects, with funding allocated accordingly.
Government, national lottery distributors and other funders should take an open and collaborative approach to their funding strategies for events, striving for greater clarity for host locations about what they should expect.
Event organisers should design large events with a delivery cycle that gives equal footing to post-event legacy activities.
Responsibility for long-term impact must be with those who are around to deliver it, such as local and combined authorities. There should be clear responsibility and accountability for delivering these impacts.
Event organisers and funders should measure the impact of events through independent evaluations undertaken over much longer time periods.
Recommendation three: Greater attention must be paid to who benefits from events and who is left out.
Event organisers should explicitly set out how they will reach and remove barriers for groups of people who are traditionally less likely to participate, and where possible how they will act on emerging attendance data to address gaps in participation.
Event organisers should undertake inclusion audits to make sure that disabled people are able to attend, making reasonable adjustments where necessary. These audits should include a review of transport.
Funders of community events should prioritise low social capital neighbourhoods, recognising that there may be additional costs per participant to deliver activity in places with weaker voluntary sector infrastructure.
Event organisers should consider where they are holding events. Public and outdoor spaces tend to be accessible and approachable, and can attract a more diverse group of attendees.
Organisers of large sporting and cultural events should work with business partners, colleges and other training providers to improve progression routes in the events industry and the hospitality and retail sectors.
Independent evaluations of events must give more attention to the distributional impact of the event on different sections of society. The intelligence generated about participation during major events – including what was less successful – must, as standard, be passed on to local organisations who can use it to support ongoing efforts to extend their reach.
Recommendation four: More events should be designed and curated with a broad range of stakeholders to build common ground across divides.
The DCMS and the Palace should maximise the potential of the Coronation to unite people across divides, undertaking rapid research to identify effective messaging that helps to reach groups who traditionally feel excluded from ceremonial events.
The UEFA Men’s Football Euros 2028 should be used as an opportunity to harness the power of sport to promote social contact between people from different backgrounds. The Government, governing bodies, football clubs, community trusts, supporters, schools, grassroots sport and volunteers need to make the most of this opportunity.
The Government should back the move to make the Windrush 75th anniversary a national moment working with the organising committee, mayors, councils, faith and community leaders, the NHS, business, the armed forces, broadcast media, sports and culture to do this.
Major funders of community events, including NLCF and Arts Council England should better support grant-holders with simple, proportionate tools to understand to what extent their events are inclusive, and how successful they are at bringing people together from different groups and building understanding.
Event teams in local authorities and at cultural, sporting, recreational and community organisations should review their event calendars, to ensure that their programme not only caters for different communities of interest, but also include moments that bring people together.
Event organisers must nurture the local and community elements of national scale events. National events hold a particular power in instances where they can be celebrated and interpreted locally, with a common thread between the national and local.
Funders and event planners should pay attention to unifying factors like using neutral outdoor spaces and food.
Recommendation five: Events that use volunteers should have a clear strategy to boost longer-term community volunteering.
- All large events that use volunteers should have a volunteer legacy plan. This should make provision for those that want to continue to volunteer to share contact details with other organisations that work with volunteers. It should also set out how to sustain volunteers’ interest in giving their time.
- Event commissioners must decide, based on local consultation, who will have the remit for the volunteer legacy programme in advance of the event, and there should be demarcated funding and data protection processes at the outset to support the transition of volunteers in post-event activities and to new organisations. The long-term volunteering strategy should also be responsive to the motivations and ideas of the volunteer cohorts themselves, and adapt plans accordingly.
- Event organisers working with volunteers need to address the barriers that prevent people volunteering, including those faced by disabled people and people on low incomes.
Community organisations should aim to use events to increase community volunteering post event, and ensure they have permission for follow up contact with volunteers, proactively signposting them to other similar opportunities or retaining them for ongoing volunteering within their own organisation.
- Major event organisers should continue to collaborate with the existing volunteering organisations to identify how the event, and associated training, can address gaps in capacity. These gaps may include targeting people from underrepresented groups who could be inspired into long term volunteering, to mapping organisations in need of particular skills.