Investigating how aspects of quality at business events contribute to satisfaction from attendees’ perspective
This study aims to investigate how and what aspects of quality contribute to attendee satisfaction in a business event context, by using a qualitative methodology with semi-structured interviews for a more in-depth investigation. Whilst many previous studies have been conducted on the relationship between quality and satisfaction (Jung et al. 2015; Andersson et al. 2017; Theodorakis et al. 2019; Schnitzer and Barth 2019), most of them have focused on sports events or festivals, with little research on quality and satisfaction at business events. Therefore, this study contributes to researching an under-researched area and a fundamental gap in event literature. Moreover, most previous studies have undertaken a quantitative approach, which means this qualitative study contributes to the existing event literature even further. The study was designed to explore the topic together with the participants in a flexible way in order to collect in-depth and detailed data of the participants' past business event experiences, where participants referred to various types of business events from corporate meetings and events to large-scale conferences which varied in duration, purpose, and location. Key themes of event programme, hosting and service, mingling, catering, venue, and décor and design emerged from the study of quality aspects that had impacted the participant’s event satisfaction, which confirms that quality is multi-dimensional (Wong et al. 2015). From the findings, further conclusions could be drawn of what aspects had contributed more significantly to participant’s event satisfaction. To explore various aspects of quality, aspects of catering, décor and venue were discussed with all participants to explore how these applied to business events. Otherwise, the data collection was focused on exploring the topic together with the participants in a flexible way, where the researcher could use clarifying and probing questions to gain an understanding of the relationship between quality and satisfaction in a business event context.