Attendee motivation is an extremely important and studied field of event research; however a fixed understanding of specific motives is yet to be defined. Awareness of why people attend events will enable event managers to provide better experiences for the attendees, as well as improving the marketing techniques used (Kim, Uysal & Chen, 2002; Crompton & McKay 1997). On top of this it can produce opportunities for new products/ services to be created. The many theories and information currently available about motivation suggest that each individual will have different motives, dependant on the event type, previous experience and personal feelings and as such there can never be a set agreement of what motivates attendees. However there is a notion that similar needs are wanted by all attendees (Schneider & Backman 1996) and it is these which should be developed and further researched to improve the knowledge in this area.
The following literature review will examine articles from the event sector, as well as psychology, leisure and tourism studies, in order to create an overall understanding of people’s motivations and how it can be applied to events. This should then provide the author with a theory to use as a basis for undertaking primary research, as well as ideas on how to best approach the research method.
Motivation can be defined as ‘a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way’ or a ‘desire or willingness to do something’ (Oxford dictionary, 2010). These definitions suggest that motivation is both internal and external and is the core intentions behind a person’s behaviour. This implies that mankind is constantly being motivated and each new experience/ encounter will alter and change a person’s motivation, and as a result the choices/decisions they make. Therefore to fully comprehend the idea of motivations is complex.
From a psychological point of view Comer & Gould
References: Berridge, C, K., Kringelbach, L, M., (2008) Affective Neuroscience of Pleasure: rewards in humans and animals. Psycho-pharmacology. Vol 199, no. 3, pp. 457-480. Springer-Verlag. Bowdin, G., Allen, J., O’Toole, W., Harris, R., McDonnel, I., (2006) Events Management. 2nd ed. Pp193-197. Butterworth – Heinemann, Elsevier ltd: Great Britain. Comer R., Gould G., (2011) Psychology Around Us. Pp. 351 – 379. John Wiley & Sons: United States of America. Crompton, L, J., McKay, L, S., (1997) Motives Of Visitors Attending Festival Events. Annals of Tourism Research. Vol 24, no. 2, pp. 425-439. Elsevier Science Ltd: Great Britain. Kim, K., Uysal, M., Chen, S, J., (2002) Festival Visitor Motivation From The Organizers Point of View. Event Management. Vol 7, pp. 127-134. Cognizant Communication Corporation: United States Of America. Oxford Dictionary (2010) Motivation. Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. <http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/motivation> [accessed February 24, 2012]. Schneider, I, E., Backman, S, J., (1996) Cross-Cultural Equivalence of Festival Motivations: A Study in Jordan. Festival Management and Event Tourism. Vol 4, no. 3-4, pp. 139-144. Cognizant Communication Corporation: United States of America. Bibliography Nicholson, R., Pearce, G. (2001) Why Do People Attend Events: A Comparative Analysis of Visitor Motivations at Four South Island Events. Journal of Travel Research. Vol 39, pp 449-460. This article focuses on the methodology of using a competitive study in order to generalise the results. It states that other research in a similar area tend to focus on using a single study for their research design which cannot be compared to elsewhere. The question being asked is whether or not event type affects motivations of attending.