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An investigation of how the adoption of event mobile applications influences satisfaction and post event behaviours of business event attendees.

Sangkaew, Purimprach (2019) An investigation of how the adoption of event mobile applications influences satisfaction and post event behaviours of business event attendees. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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The Business Events industry has tremendous economic importance for many destinations worldwide. With increasing competition, it has become crucial for event organisations to find innovative ways to add value and to make their events more distinctive for their attendees and to enhance the sustainability of this industry. There is evidence that the event mobile application is one of the most popular tools that is used to enhance event experiences. However, there is little research as to whether attendees actually use or like this technology. Additionally, it is critical for event organisers to understand the impacts of this technology on attendee satisfaction and future intentions, which helps underpin the sustainability of this industry. Thus, this study attempts to fill this gap by establishing a conceptual framework – namely, the 'Business Events IS framework' - to investigate how event mobile application adoption impacts the business events industry. Employing a sequential mixed-methods approach with a three-stage research design, data were collected in the UK using semi-structured interviews, participant observations and a quantitative survey. Phase 1 employed a semi-structured interview with 13 event organisers, while Phase 2 of the research involved 25 semi-structured interviews with conference attendees as well as participant observation at three conferences. Phase 3 conducted a survey involving 428 conference attendees. Thematic analysis was applied to analyse data collected in Phases 1 and 2, and covariance-based structural equation modelling (CB-SEM) was undertaken in Phase 3.

In this study, findings are divided into three main parts. First, the findings from the interviews with event organisers demonstrated that event mobile applications play an important role in facilitating engagement between event organisers and attendees. This engagement occurred in a variety ways including information provision, excitement creation, engagement with sessions, games, facilitation of attendee networking, evaluation of event sessions and promotion of subsequent events. Furthermore, the findings also identified internal and external factors that shape ICT adoption, particularly event mobile applications in conferences. Attendee apathy and technological issues were found to be key barriers to the adoption of event mobile applications. The findings from this first section were combined and conceptualised as a framework of ‘Event mobile application adoption process – event organiser’s perspectives.

The second part of the findings was based on interviews with attendees as well as participant observations. It was found that perceived engagement benefits motivated the use of event mobile applications. These perceived engagement benefits were perceived usefulness, perceived enjoyment and social benefits. In terms of engagement activities, information searching, planning, engaging and socialising, sharing event experiences, navigating and sharing event contents were identified as activities that attendees usually perform through their event mobile application. This study also identified the importance of event mobile application experience as a key determinant of overall event satisfaction, re-attendance intention and continuance intention. The findings from Phase 2 were then combined with literature relating to the proposed conceptual framework and further investigated in Phase 3 of the study. The key elements that were explored are perceived usefulness, perceived enjoyment, social benefits, event mobile application experience evaluation, overall event satisfaction, continuance intention and re-attendance intention.

Finally, the findings from a survey showed that perceived engagement benefits have a positive influence on overall event satisfaction except for perceived enjoyment. However, these factors have an indirect influence on overall event satisfaction through event mobile application experience evaluation. In addition, it was found that the adoption of event mobile applications influences the long-term of business events in terms of re-attendance and re-use of the event mobile application through overall event satisfaction.

The findings of this study provide an increased understanding of event mobile application usage in the business events industry and how it can impact to the sustainability of this industry. More specifically, this study identifies the factors that motivate attendees to adopt an event mobile application and demonstrates how event organisers and attendees use event mobile applications to engage with each other. The findings also underpin a range of strategies to help event organisers and event mobile application developers to be more successful in using this technology. These strategies include the provision of more IT support (e.g. Internet connection, charging area) and improved event mobile application features (e.g. interaction features, agenda). Additionally, event organisers need to do increase the level of mobile application promotion they undertake in order to increase the event mobile application adoption rate.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Sangkaew, Purimprach
Date : 31 July 2019
Funders : None
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00852071
Contributors :
Depositing User : Purimprach Sangkaew
Date Deposited : 02 Aug 2019 07:42
Last Modified : 31 Jul 2020 02:08

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