Professor Rhodri Thomas was one of the invited speakers at the Evaluating the Impact of Events: Directions for Research conference organised recently by the Cities Institute and London Metropolitan University’s Business School, as part of a Regional Studies Association initiative. His presentation highlighted important dimensions of the changing environment within which events were organised. He argued that undertaking thorough evaluation, rather than simply seeking policy justifications, was vital if certain kinds of events were to be sustained. He also suggested that much could be learned from recent research on innovation.