Informations and abstract
Keywords: Evaluation; Impacts; Legacy; European Commission; Event Owners and Hosts.
This paper focusses on the institution of the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) and its evaluation as documented to have emerged in official European Commission (EC) publications that present the event owners' and event hosts' perspectives. Notions of EC Action standards, ECoC evaluation, its indicators and impacts as well as concepts of ECoC legacies are sourced and are hereby presented and discussed in light of event evaluation frameworks' literature. Using qualitative content analysis of documents that cover the 1985 to 2012 period, the research juxtaposes event owners evaluation narratives and those of ECoC hosts to illustrate the nature of concepts employed, differences among them and their evolving character. The paper concludes that rigour in evaluation is present/increasing and at the same time, debates are held on the dimensions of evaluation, ECoC impacts and legacies. The methodologies used to measure them are being redefined, requests are made for incorporating legacy plans to bidding and the bid evaluation process, and calls are made for some structured knowledge management and standardisation of the evaluation process. This is in line with the literature on city festivalisation, event evaluation and the professionalization of event assessment exercises, as well as the literature on the use of event evaluation for public relations and image making purposes of event owners and event hosts.