Events Management Research: Attendee motivation, Festivals and Economic Impacts

Posted on November 19, 2016


Along with my colleagues Denise Hawkes, Emma Abson and Paul Booth, we’ve recently had a new book chapter published which looks at the relationship between motivations to attend events and the spending that takes place at them.  This research was carried out over three months during a series of festivals held in an area of London, in the UK and it has been published in the book ‘Impact Assessment in Tourism Economics’


The findings of this research indicated that there was a significant relationship between attendees’ motivation to attend the events in the festivals and the amount of money that they spent during the events.  We used Beard and Ragheb’s ‘Leisure Motivational Scale’ to categorise attendees by their motivation and we found that the highest spenders were people who had come to the event to meet new people and socialise.  The lowest spenders were those attending events to spend time with their families.  If you would like to read this research, but you can’t gain acess to it, please contact me.

The conclusion of this chapter suggests:

“The literature on event motivations focuses on the marketing of events and on attendee satisfaction with events. Such studies…have made recommendations for event development, market segmentation and promotional activities. Linking motivations to expenditure, as we have attempted in this paper, suggests a range of new approaches to these areas of successful event management.

For example at these events, segmentation by motivation has allowed for the identification of a high-value segment, those who are attending ‘to meet new people’. Meeting the needs of this segment could be suggested as an area of event development such as the creation of opportunities for social interaction and the provision of enhanced food and drink retail opportunities at the events. Attracting this lucrative segment would require the promotion of the social aspects of the events and a significant change in approach from the current marketing approach [of many public sector-supported events], which concentrate on local media and emphasises the inclusive, familyfriendly and low cost aspects of the programme.”