Mayor's column Februay 2017

(Posted on: February 9)

The power of events

2017  has kicked off with a great mix of local, national and international events being hosted in Feilding and Manawatu. Events are part of what makes Manawatu a great place to live. Events foster community pride, teach us new things and strengthen our relationships. Besides being fun, informative and motivating, well managed events offer a host of economic and social benefits to our community.

By definition events attract visitors. In addition to events, visitors come here to spend time with relatives, on business, a family reunion, weddings and funerals. Most visitors spend money while they are in town, contributing to our local economy. This spending stimulates the growth of our tourism and business opportunities, which in turn benefits our entire community.

Events provide free marketing for our community and advertising for local businesses because visitors talk about and share their fun experiences when they go back home. The economic benefits of successful events held in ‘our patch’ ripple positively throughout our local economy. Therefore it makes sense to capitalise on events, giving our visitors a great experience and offering them goods and services that make them want to spend.

The social benefits of events are less visible, but they are just as important. Particularly local events, such as the recent Rongotea Auction and Gala and the Sanson Blokarting, as they provide the opportunity for our community to come together, build on community pride, meet new people and strengthen relationships. Residents with community pride are much more likely to speak positively about our town and region to others, and are more likely to volunteer their time with organisations and activities that support the common good.  I have seen a tremendous increase in local pride in our communities over the last 25 years.

Another social benefit of event sponsorship is stronger relationships within our community. Connections are formed among public and private businesses, organisations, groups and individuals and these benefits go far beyond the event itself. These connections are what hold communities together - without them a community will stagnate and the quality of life declines.

Think about the last time you visited another town or city for the first time. Usually that visit was because of an event being held there. Given that the event experience was a positive one, you connect to that place, plan to visit that place again and recommend it to your friends. Sometimes it is even the catalyst for people choosing to move to that place to live.

Events help grow our District!  So get out and support the upcoming NZ Rural Games, CD Field days, AgriFood Investment week and many more events right here on our doorstep.

Helen Worboys