|Title||Olympic Experiences: The Significance of Place|
|Authors||Smith, A., Brown, G. and Assaker, G.|
Many studies analyse how events affect places, but few examine how places affect events. Existing research suggests that the physical qualities of a venue affect event experiences, but these studies often ignore more subtle dimensions of place such as symbolism, affect and identity. By narrowly focusing on venues, existing research also tends to neglect the fact that event places are perceived at a wider scale too (e.g. the host destination). Whether these wider place factors affect event experiences is the main question addressed by this study. The research involved a quantitative study of spectators who attended the London 2012 Olympic Games. The authors developed and tested a complex model that hypothesized the effects of place on satisfaction using partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM). After permissions were gained from the International Olympic Committee and the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, data were collected from over 600 people attending Olympic events. Research was undertaken at three different types of venue: the Aquatics Centre (a purpose built venue), Greenwich Park (a temporary venue) and Wimbledon (an established venue). The findings showed that both venue attachment and place defined at the wider scale (at the destination level) had significant positive effects on event satisfaction. In addition, we found evidence that the different types of venues - purpose built, temporary and established - moderated the relationship between venue attachment and event satisfaction. The results support venue attachment as a second-order factor and demonstrate the role of place symbolism within a four dimensional conceptualization of place attachment. Ultimately, the research suggests that where an event is staged does affect event satisfaction, and this has important implications for the ways the Olympic Games and other large-scale events are staged.
|Keywords||mega-events; attachment; satisfaction; venues; symbolism|
|Journal citation||21 (3), pp. 281-299|
|Publisher||Cognizant Communication Corporation|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.3727/152599517X14942648527518|
|Published||11 Jul 2017|