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Review of Established Methods in Event Research

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In reviewing 165 of the most prominent event articles, this article provides a timely evaluation of prevalent research methods that have shaped event research in the past 16 years. We adopt critical case sampling and citation analysis approaches to identify 21 journals and the 165 articles. We subsequently analyzed the content of each article to reveal the method(s) used and classified these by journal and by year. To facilitate discussion about the findings, the article initially appraises the character of the event phenomenon and the implications of this for methods selection. This discussion portrays a largely social and contingent character to events that presents specific requirements to researchers seeking to interrogate it. The discussion pinpoints key considerations that should shape event researchers' decisions about their selection of methods. The findings reveal a preponderance of survey-based approaches and also very limited adoption of multiple methods. The findings also indicate a less prominent, but growing, application of subjectivist-oriented approaches, such as interviews, indicating a progressive trend that is discussed as being more favorable to the character of the subject matter. Ultimately we provide six precepts that emerge from this study, to signpost key considerations for event researchers as our discipline moves beyond the early stages of its development toward a more mature phase.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • Event Management, an International Journal, intends to meet the research and analytic needs of a rapidly growing profession focused on events. This field has developed in size and impact globally to become a major business with numerous dedicated facilities, and a large-scale generator of tourism. The field encompasses meetings, conventions, festivals, expositions, sport and other special events. Event management is also of considerable importance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations in a pursuit of a variety of goals, including fund-raising, the fostering of causes, and community development.
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