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Review of Survey Methods in Events Management Research

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Questionnaire-based surveys are a common data collection tool in events research as established by earlier reviews of methods within the literature. This article examines and critiques the historic development, current position, gaps in knowledge, and future implications for survey-based research. Two-hundred eighty-six articles from four events-specific journals were reviewed. Some diversity is found within survey-based research; however, the majority was carried out: as a single method (86%), in physical proximity to the event (67%), during the event (49%), using paper-based forms (65%), designed for self-completion (94%). The most common events targeted were: sports (43%) festivals & celebrations (20%), and music (12%). The stakeholders targeted were: audiences (54%), nonparticipants (16%), and managers (12%). Sampling methods, where stated, were likely to be random (23%) or convenience based (22%). Despite the predominance of this data collection tool, numerous areas are ideally in need of further understanding and experimentation. Mixed methods, multiple surveys, and more deliberate approaches to sampling are required. Despite an audience focus, "before and after" studies are lacking. Electronic surveys and other emerging technologies undoubtedly provide options but these do not appear to have been investigated or adopted with sufficient rigor. Targeting stakeholders other than audiences, covering a broader range of events, and longitudinal studies would also be desirable. The use of survey-based research by policy makers and funders is discussed as it potentially orients towards what the authors term "operationalized knowledge management." A brief but comprehensive typology of survey methods is established to aid future researchers.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 7, 2020

This article was made available online on November 7, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "REVIEW OF SURVEY METHODS IN EVENTS MANAGEMENT RESEARCH".

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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