Background: A local organization in the area recently received a grant and was looking to partner with Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) to gather information and estimate the economic impact of a recent festival held in the region. The study specifically wanted to address: (1) how the patrons learned of the event to guide future marketing and PR initiatives; (2) which events they had attended or were planning on attending to drive future scheduling; (3) estimated expenditures at the festival to generate an economic impact figure to drive future funding; (4) ZIP Code of residence for target marketing purposes; and (5) other demographics questions such as age and gender to better understand visitor profiles.

Approach: RMS consulted with the client to develop a one-page intercept survey script which included five questions to encourage timely and allow for a higher volume of survey completes. The in-person intercept survey fieldwork occurred at various times and at various events over the course of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A paper copy was also made available for patrons to fill out if they were not intercepted by an RMS telesurveyor so their data could be captured. A total of 15 hours of interviewer time was spent at the festival to garner a large enough sample size to make estimations. Analysts were also on site to capture digital images and estimate crowd sizes for the statistical model to gauge economic impact.

economic impact study

Use market research to estimate economic impact

Results: Below are a few bullet points of some key takeaways from this economic impact study conducted by RMS:

  • Most commonly, 2013 patrons were aware of the festival because they had attended in past years. This accounted for 40% of the visitors while another 19% of visitors became aware through word-of-mouth, and 17% through the regional newspaper.
  • The festival drew in patrons from a wide array of different ZIP codes from throughout the county, outside counties, and even out-of-state.
  • Average spending at the festival ranged up to $500 with a mean spending figure of $92.29.
  • Patron profiles ranged from age 23 to 85.
  • Based upon the visitor analysis, estimated raw attendance figures, and average spending at the festival, RMS arrived at a specific dollar amount of economic impact for the festival. This figure was used by the client to request future funding for all events.

Are you an organization looking to estimate the economic impact of an event on your region? Contact our Business Development Director, Sandy Baker at or by calling 315-635-9802.