Hamilton should focus on unique events celebrating the region and drawing the community in, say business and community leaders as they wave goodbye to the V8 Supercars after next April.
Wiremu Puke, from Nga Mana Toopu O Kirikiriroa, said the city should focus on having a regional public holiday which, with the backdrop of a Kowhai Festival, could include the Great Race rowing event and some rugby matches which wouldn't cost the city a lot.
"It could centre on an annual rugby fixture where you have Hamilton East vs Hamilton West and then Auckland vs Waikato on the next day. Bring all the events together and the community together," he said.
"Focus on who we are as a region and, for Hamilton, have some community events to get community participation going again."
Supporters of the city's art and creative sectors Sarah Nathan and Mark Servian called on smaller events, unique to the city.
Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival and Fuel Festival director Mrs Nathan said the council should develop events out of the "hot-house of creativity that already exists in the city".
She felt there was room for another one or two big events a year which were rock solid, cost-efficient and had long-term Hamilton City Council involvement.
"We have got the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival but there's certainly room in the city for a city-wide arts festival."
Mr Servian, who brought the Riff Raff statue to the city, said imaginative, interesting and zany events could showcase Hamilton's diversity.
"The V8s confirmed we were a bogan town and I don't think there's any future in being a bogan town," he said. "We need events people don't expect and the V8s are what people expected, that's why it was never a good idea."
Waikato Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wayne Walford said the city should leverage off the already great events around the city such as Parachute and Fieldays.
Fielddays was a celebration of Waikato, "and we could add some breadth to that."
He also thought it important to support events that maximised existing infrastructure such as Claudelands Event Centre, Don Rowlands Centre at Lake Karapiro, Mystery Creek Events Centre and Hampton Downs.
Hamilton Central Business Association chairman Greg Wills thought it was time the council reviewed its strategy as being an "events city" and needed to look at other options.
Hamilton City Council is reviewing all its services and spending, including funding as it sets its 2012/22 long-term plan.