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Engaging Volunteers From Regional Communities: Non-Host City Resident Perceptions Towards a Mega-Event and the Opportunity to Volunteer

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Sport events can be leveraged by a number of different stakeholders. The current research positions a mega-event as a leverageable asset within a regional community outside of the host city. Specifically, this study investigated regional community (i.e., Townsville) resident perceptions of a mega-event (i.e., 2018 Commonwealth Games) to be hosted elsewhere in the state (i.e., The Gold Coast). Nonhost city resident perceptions towards the event and towards the potential of volunteering at the event were explored 4 years before the event. Data were collected through interviews and focus groups within the non-host city. The results revealed an existent rivalry between the host and non-host community, and a perceived lack of benefit to the non-host region. Further, non-host city resident perceptions towards volunteering at the event included: travel constraints, lack of awareness, volunteer packages, national pride, once in a lifetime experience, and meeting new people from overseas. The results provide implications for managers and government funders of mega-sport events to provide benefits to regional communities. Further, the results provide implications for volunteer managers at mega-sport events to engage members from regional communities through volunteering.
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Keywords: COMMONWEALTH GAMES; MEGA-EVENTS; NON-HOST CITY; REGIONAL COMMUNITY; RESIDENT PERCEPTIONS; VOLUNTEERS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 13, 2016

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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