Research sets CIAF apart from other events in delivering broad range benefits  

[by Pip Miller]


Image: supplied

Research by one of Australia’s leading business consultancies sets Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) apart from other standalone events in its ability to provide a broad range of benefits for Cairns and the wider Queensland community.

Specialising in performance measurement in the sport and entertainment industry, research consultancy, IER has found CIAF to be important to the local community as it not only impacts the economy from a tourism sense but also promotes social connectivity and health outcomes.

According to the report, CIAF’s estimated combined economic and social value benefits for 2021 are significant at $8.3 million for Cairns and $10.9 million for Queensland. 

The report also delivers a forecast benefit analysis for the next five years which shows the trend will continue on an upward trajectory with a cumulative total of $44.3 million for Cairns and $56.9 million for Queensland.

In overseeing the research and findings, IER partner Glenn Hardy said the results were significant in the way they identify CIAF as being a driver of both fiscal and social outcomes, including mental health. 

“Many events perform to fulfil either one objective or another, however CIAF’s strength is delivering both economic and social benefits, particularly in a hyper-local sense,” Mr Hardy said.

In terms of CIAF’s ability to promote health and wellbeing, the report uses substantive research to demonstrate how participation in the creative arts improves mental and physical health and general wellbeing.

CIAF General Manager Darrell Harris (pictured) said results put paid to the organisation’s 2020 COVID response transitioning the physical event to an online, digital platform themed The Cultural Evolution presented over 10 days in August.


“A year ago, we were faced with a decision to proceed with developing a digital platform for our event.  We felt we knew the importance of CIAF to artists, performers and community – and it was with this insight that we went ahead to deliver an art fair online with e-commerce galleries, cultural sharing activities and presentations, art awards, a fashion performance, music entertainment and lots more.  


"From an engagement perspective, the results were outstanding, showing the event accessed by 2.5 million devices across 85 countries worldwide.  However, what this study does, is provide confidence in our work as event producers and with the fortune of being able to return to a physical event, albeit with a complementary online presence, we have the information to strategically guide the organisation towards a sustainable and successful future,” he said.


According to Mr Harris, what this study also does is provide CIAF with a strategic focus to program and plan an event that benefits the whole of community.


Entitled Social and Economic Value of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, the IER research report analysed findings from an online survey of 544 respondents in addition to assessing the data collected (406 respondents) for Tourism and Events Queensland at CIAF 2019.  


To view a full copy of the Social and Economic Value of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair report, click here


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