This paper analyses how a city can generate instrumental, intrinsic and institutional value from its event-related networks and platforms, based on the Hieronymus Bosch 500 programme in the Dutch city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch). Interviews with key stakeholders traced programme dynamics over more than a decade to reveal processes of network and platform development, encapsulated in a conceptual model of strategic value creation. The results indicate that networks served to generate flows of resources, while programming helped develop platforms for knowledge generation and dissemination, helping to focus attention on the city. The Bosch 500 Foundation managing the programme played an effective role in developing and supporting networks, which in turn generated significant short-term instrumental and intrinsic value. However, the failure to establish a sustainable city-wide platform related to the Bosch programme caused institutional value destruction, which many saw as a missed opportunity. The study of networks and platforms can benefit from a longitudinal approach as well as a broader, contextual view of event networks.