Blog

Which Motivations Drive Visitors For Attending Community Festivals?

Jan 26, 2017

It has been usually agreed that, understanding motivations, or the "internal factor that arouses, directs, and integrates a person's behaviour leads to better planning and marketing of festivals and better segmentation of participants. On the other hand, studying festival motivation is a key to designing offerings for event attendees, a way to monitor satisfaction, and a tool for understanding attendees' decision-making processes.

When we analyse human behaviours, we notice that, attending festivals is an effective way to satisfy one's socialpsychological needs. The connection between individuals' social-psychological needs and their event participation motivation provides a meaningful foundation for planners about festival participation motivations of participants. If planners can clearly identify motivations of attendees, they can fully meet participants' expectations and increase their satisfaction which may eventually turn their event into a success story.

Define your event product first

In order for the event organizers to manage to deliver a great experience, the event product definition is a vital step at the beginning. The event product is a unique blend of activities, which are the tools for achieving the overall event aims and satisfying customer needs. Event design should be customer orientated, and event organizers should create a mix that satisfies the largest number of potential customers. But we notice that, many events lack of a product orientation, which means that they attempt to promote their event with no consideration for what prospective customers need, desire, and are willing to pay for.

Motives driving attendees to attend festivals

  • Your event theme

In all cases, the dominant reason for attending festivals is related directly to the theme of the event and to the specific activities or attractions on offer. For example, around one-quarter of the respondents at a wine – food & music festival say that, they came to "drink wine" or "to taste different wines," while it was an enjoyment or love of country music or line dancing were the key factors at a specific music festival. So, the number one motive is usually about your main event theme, which means your theme has the biggest portion among the motivations of attendees.

  • Social reasons

Although variations occur from event to event, the second motive is social reasons. Thus, "fun – good times – partying or socialising" is given as the second most important factor. Since we enjoy sharing pleasant moments with others, festival attendees usually attend events with their friends or families. By the way, friends and families play a different role particularly on women, indicating they had been "dragged along" by male friends or family members to the event. Yet, there are some festival events at which participants express their motive as supporting their family members or friends who take part in competitions organised during the festival, which is another friend or family motive anyway.

  • Curiosity

A novelty or curiosity element also comes as another motivation type, although the nature of this again varied from event to event. Common responses from participants that fitted this category were like: "I was curious," "it was something new," "I'd always wanted to," and "I wanted to check it out kind of answers. Curiosity usually plays a major role in small town festivals where the life is usually monotonous.

  • Escape factors

General escape factors having a holiday, a break, or a chance to relax emerge as another motive at some events but were only of secondary importance when compared to others. Sure, it's not necessary to mention that, some are attending events only because they work for producing them, but we do not consider this group as participants.

  • Location or free tickets

For some, the location of festival is important, because they see the event as an opportunity to travel the area where the event was held and they've never been to before. But on the other hand past experience or the availability of free tickets can be enough to motivate some other group of attendees.

Results of researches and the Conclusion

In terms of practical applications, one significant implication resulting from the differences in motivation reported by researchers is that event organisers cannot readily and reliably draw on certain motivation patterns by only observing other events, even if these are of a similar nature. Organisers and researchers still need to determine why people are going to a particular event.Nevertheless, two commonly recurring features might be given prominence in the promotion of events. First, the innate uniqueness of the festival and the opportunity it offers to experience a particular phenomenon like the wine & food offered at event need to be highlighted. Second, the opportunities that many events provide for enhanced socialisation could be stressed further, providing care is taken to identify the form that such socialisation takes, whether that be meeting with like-minded enthusiasts or experiencing greater social contact through the festive and celebratory ambience that events may generate.


About the Author

Erkan OGULGANMIS

Posted by Erkan OGULGANMIS

Erkan OGULGANMIS Graduated from Army War College, completed MA degree in Ankara University on Global & Regional Studies, studies law in Istanbul University. Works in MEETINGHAND Online Solutions Co. as Business Development & Sales Manager.