Advances in Tourism Economics 2014 – Event motivations and attendee spending

Posted on May 19, 2014


Last week, I presented a paper on event motivations at the 5th Biennial Advances in Tourism Economics conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa campus

The Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa campus

The paper was written by four of us and my co-authors were Denise Hawkes, Emma Abson and Paul Booth.  It was an analysis of the relationship between motivations to attend events that were part of a festival, and attendee expenditure.  We carried out quite an extensive review of the literature, and found that this relationship had not really been explored before; most published research looks at the relationship between motivations and attendee satisfaction, or how to target marketing towards motivational segments.  This is the presentation that I gave at the event:

The abstract for the paper is below, if you’d like to read more, then get in touch.  We’re hoping that the paper will be published in one of the post-conference publications.

This paper explores the impact of motivation factors on spending at a local authority’s programme of cultural events.  This paper takes a closer look at the motivational and demographic data collected as part of the study and, using regression analysis, it identifies large variations in spending by different motivational groups of attendees. Attendees motivated to attend to ‘meet new people’ were found to be the highest spending group by some margin. In addition, the data shows that local audiences are the lowest spenders at these events and that there is no link between previous attendance and event expenditure.   We identify a significant relationship between event attendee motivation and event expenditure, which suggests ways in which these public sector events can be developed and marketed in the future, as local authorities balance the competing priorities of local inclusion and generating local economic impact, through their event programming.