COVID-19 and the future of Global Events


  13 April 2021 | 15:00 – 16:30 CEST via Zoom

What's the issue?

Global events, such as Olympic and Paralympic Games, cultural festivals or world expositions, have long been seen as opportunities to re-invigorate local growth and optimise local assets. Candidates and hosts have embedded local development ambitions into their plans and have sought to leverage long-term infrastructure investments, boost tourism and trade, create jobs and promote community development. Still, such events are complex, costly operations that carry significant risks. Creating local benefits means that events must be deliberately designed and executed in ways which fulfil their promises and meet the expectations of citizens. Good governance, policy alignment and rigorous oversight are critical factors to achieving success and enduring legacy.

COVID-19 is heavily affecting global events, pointing to the need for a deep reflection on the future of the industry. Events have been cancelled or postponed around the world. Event organizers have adopted new delivery models, going entirely digital or embracing hybrid digital and in-person solutions. On top of this momentary uncertainty, COVID-19 is also leading to profound, and potentially long-lasting, changes in production and consumption patterns. As governments prioritise policies to boost economic recovery, the imperative to ensure that global events add value and create equitable public goods beyond their duration becomes even more important.

Over a decade ago, the OECD Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED) Programme began work to support governments seeking to ensure that bidding for and hosting global events created long-term benefits. The OECD Recommendation on Global Events and Local Development, adopted in 2018, offers high-level policy guidance to help countries reap greater local benefits from these global events. As pressure on public budgets continues to rise, especially in light of COVID-19, future event hosts and organisers must demonstrate more than ever that public investments lead to public good.

The objective of this meeting is to bring together key stakeholders, including national and local policy makers, event organisers, hosts, experts and influencers, to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on global events and the future of the industry. At this occasion, the OECD presents ongoing and future work in the framework of the OECD Recommendation on Global Events and Local Development. The interactive discussion provides an opportunity to explore areas of common interest and to shape the policy agenda on global events and local development.

 Watch the event:


 Summary report coming soon








The Global Events Toolkit

The Global Events Toolkit turns the OECD Recommendation into practice. It provides concrete guidance to local and national governments, event organisers and hosts. It proposes concrete actions to take into account throughout the life-cycle of global events, including the pre-bidding, bidding, operational and delivery, and evaluation phases. It comes at a time when policy makers around the world are managing the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. This toolkit is meant as a living document and will continue to evolve in order to keep abreast with relevant policy developments.

Download the toolkit and apply it in your work!

 French Version


[email protected]


Karen Maguire
Head of Division Local Employment, Skills and Social Innovation


Alessandro Kandiah (Moderator)
Policy Analyst
Local Employment, Skills and Social Innovation

Kai Hattendorf
Managing Director,UFI
Global Association of the Exhibition Industry


Iain Edmondson
Founding Director, International Association of Event Hosts;
Director, Legacy Delivery Ltd

Kathrin Deventer
Secretary General
European Festivals Association




Irene Basile (Moderator)
Policy Analyst
Local Employment, Skills and Social Innovation


Mariette Risenbeek
Executive Director of the Berlin International Film Festival  



Damien Combredet
Head of Sport and Society, Paris 2024 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 




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