Collaborative Planning: The Nelson City Events Strategy

The Brief from Nelson City Council

Nelson City Council approached Business Lab to support the creation of an Events Strategy for Nelson City.

The purpose was to clarify the strategic aim and desired outcomes of events funding. The Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA) had recently been formed, so the timing was ideal to clarify how best the Council could work with this new agency to maximise the value of events for Nelson.

Festival goers at Bay Dreams Nelson, 2019. Image from  Braden Fastier via Stuff

Festival goers at Bay Dreams Nelson, 2019. Image from Braden Fastier via Stuff

Our Solution

This was a short engagement project conducted over five weeks.

We began by interviewing key people from Nelson City Council and Nelson Regional Development Agency. This helped clarify the overall desired outcomes for the strategy.

We then facilitated an Oversight Group meeting to agree the core purpose of the new strategy, the areas of priority to address and the framework for engaging other people in its development. This helped us prepare for an events workshop where participants further developed the strategy.

Working with the Oversight Group, we developed the draft framework for presentation to Nelson City Councillors.

The Results

The Council approved the framework resulting in an Events Development Committee for developing and assessing event opportunities for Nelson. This means there is a consistent approach for deciding which events will be supported in the region.

In May 2018 the Council adopted the Nelson City Events Strategy. It seeks to encourage:

  • A rich events calendar which maximises opportunities throughout the year

  • Measurable economic outcomes for Nelson city

  • An events programme that attracts visitors to Nelson and gives the local community a sense of pride in being ‘Nelsonian’

  • Promotion of the wellbeing and cohesion of the local community

  • A healthy partnership between the events sector, the community and Nelson City Council.

You can view the Nelson City Events Strategy here.


Set a direction that people can get behind

Our approach to strategy development starts by bringing the right people together. The benefits of diverse decision-making include smarter decisions, increased buy-in and more people committed to making it happen.