Legacy: A New Concept in The Global Meetings Industry Conversation


The Copenhagen Legacy Lab maps out a strategy for international congresses and conventions to have long-lasting impact.

With the goal of helping international meetings held in Copenhagen to create positive social impact, the Copenhagen Convention Bureau’s Legacy Lab was awarded the 2022 IMEX-EIC Innovation in Sustainability Award at IMEX in Frankfurt. The award recognizes meeting industry innovation that supports environmental, social and economic success and long term resilience.

The Copenhagen Legacy Lab’s concrete strategic initiative was recognized for being both innovative and timely, said Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group. “As a result of the pandemic, the approach to legacy has elevated from optional to fundamental,” she said. “The ongoing monitoring and measuring in the methodology not only benefits clients and partners, but also helps to drive the conversation at a local and national government level about the enduring economic impact of events.”

Copenhagen Legacy Lab’s carefully designed process, aimed at identifying activities that leave a lasting, positive and sustainable impact on both the association or corporation and the destination, is a roadmap for the emerging concept of legacy in international convention planning. Four main steps in the process were developed in 2019:

1. Aligned Vision Statement

An initial dialogue with decision makers, including international associations and corporations, to explore their purpose and ambitions, leading to a vision statement on legacy.

2. Stakeholder Engagement

Based on the vision statement, and the desired positive outcome, the legacy lab staff works with international associations, corporations, and local organizing committees to identify and engage with the most relevant stakeholders.

3. Co-Creation of Outreach Activities

The relevant stakeholders participate in an ideation workshop to engage in co-creation of outreach activities that support the desired legacy and positive outcome.

4. Follow-up and Monitoring

Following the co-creation workshop, Copenhagen Legacy Lab staff follows up with stakeholders who have committed to lead outreach activities.

An expanded seven-step legacy methodology that dives even deeper into planning and measurement details is being beta tested on selected conventions and congresses meeting in Copenhagen in 2022 and 2023.

“It is great to see the Copenhagen Convention Bureau commit to a long term and positive methodology with sustainability at its heart,” said Amy Calvert, CEO of the Events Industry Council.

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