• Hannah Walker

‘Flipping the Tin’ podcast episode 3: Insights into Attendee Motivation

Updated: Jul 2

We are bringing you the third episode of our podcast ‘Flipping the Tin’ where we chat with industry specialists, policymakers, and conference attendees on the future of events! This one really had us thinking about the psychology of event attendees, thanks to our incredible guest Dr Miguel Moital, and how we can do more to create valuable experiences.


Dr Miguel Moital is a Principal Academic in Events Management in the Department of Sport & Events Management, Bournemouth University Business School, UK. He is an experienced educator teaching topics related to consumer behaviour, marketing and new product development in events. His areas of research interest focus mainly on consumer psychology applied to the marketing of events.



1. What would you say are the most important reasons people attend events in terms of consumer value?


Miguel: That's a question that is actually challenging to answer, because it depends on the event and on the person...If we go to the personal side of events, I would say one key reason is the entertainment element together with socialization. If we go to the business side of things, socialising through more than networking, what we call the networking element. Also the learning element, obtaining new knowledge and skills. So if you look, for example, at horse racing events, you will have those who are there for the horse racing and therefore they are there for the emotional side of it, maybe the betting side of it. A lot of them don't even have any interest in horse racing. They go there for self expression, for the prestige. The opportunity to live a lifestyle on the day that usually they don't enjoy in their regular lives.


2.How have virtual events changed consumer psychology?


Miguel: The interactions are very different, and the ability of the person to immerse in the experience is also very different. So if we look at the factors that influence one's experience, we have four of them. One is the setting, the other is the consumer interaction with the staff, and the consumer interactions between themselves, and then the state of mind of the consumer themself. We can see that in those four areas, there are substantial changes. So the experience, if the inputs change, the output is going to change, there's no other option here...But opportunities to interact are much more reduced, they can still be facilitated, but they don't happen in a spontaneous way...The interaction between participants themselves I think is where it's more difficult to provide value in a virtual context...What we have here as an industry is how we can make things more spontaneous.


3. What does your research conclude about hybrid events? Do hybrid events fulfil a certain value?


Miguel: The hybrid element looks great on paper. You have the best of the in person experience, mix it with the virtual experience and create something of value to everyone. However, in practice it is not that straightforward. When you think about hybrid it is not just an independent in-person element and an independent visual element. You need to integrate them, otherwise it's just two separate events with very little synergy in terms of cross engagement between participants...But it's early days. A year ago, we wouldn't even hear about them, and today we already see a lot of opinions, a lot of discussions and a lot of experiences of having a go at organizing the hybrid element. I think it's an area where the industry will move forward quite quickly.


4. What are your theories of the future of events?


Miguel: I'm going to use the word hybrid, but in a different context. So it's hybrid participation, not hybrid production. You know, we use the word hybrid in a production perspective, but I'm going to use it in a consumption perspective. In the sense that we are going to be hybrid consumers because we are going to jump from attending in-person events to virtual events to in-person events. I think we will move towards a hybrid consumption, where people will balance and try to attend in-person from time to time and compliment with virtual attendance when it's not desirable or possible.



Click the link below to listen to the full discussion with Dr Miguel Moital on understanding consumer psychology for the future of event participation: Flipping the Tin (buzzsprout.com)


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