Have you got a spare minute of your time? – by Simeon Katsarov

imageBy Simeon Katsarov

You hear this question nearly every time you are out and about in town. But if you heard it this summer in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and you saw a smiley person asking the question in a bright yellow t-shirt with a GDIF logo, I hope you spared us a moment of your time!

This year the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival was bigger, better and brighter than ever.  But the world of arts funding has changed a lot since the economic crisis began and it is important for the festival to show exactly what economic impact it has on the local economy.

This is where we step in. We have been kindly asked by the festival to find the direct and indirect economic impacts of its events. The project team consists of programme leaders at the University of Greenwich and Tourism and Events Management students. It is led by a team of four researchers – the project leader James Kennell and researchers Dr Denise Hawkes, Emma Abson and Paul Booth. They contacted us, their students from their programmes to come and help them out with some field work. I, Simeon Katsarov, am a team leader of the student group, making sure everything runs smoothly and report all activity to the researchers.

Getting involved in this project has been a great opportunity for me to develop my skills in research and to be part of a ‘real-world’ project. I’m just finishing my MA studies and completing my dissertation, all the time trying to find a job in the tourism and cultural sectors – getting this experience is great for my CV and for the other six students who I worked with during GDIF.

The project uses a short questionnaire to find out the economic impact of visitors to the festival.  This survey is still open, so there is still time for you to contrbute to this research if you attended GDIF this year!

The questionnaire is anonymous, the most personal question that we need from you is your postcode. The main body of the questionnaire is the spending pattern – it asks how much you spent during your visit to the festival. It has subcategories and is very easy to fill in.

The report that will be written at the end of the festival summer will provide vital information to the festival on visitors’ expenditures whilst attending these events, and will hopefully help GDIf to attract funders and sponsors in the future. So if you care about your local event in Greenwich, please complete the questionnaire and share it with your friends!


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