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Reconceptualizing and repositioning festival exhibitors within tourism research

Michelle Mosely (Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies, School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA)
Rasul Mowatt (Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies, School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Publication date: 11 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Researchers studying festivals have overlooked exhibitors as a population within tourism research. Instead, researchers focus primarily on examining festival visitors' economic impacts and motivations for attending. Festival exhibitors have been overlooked because they are considered a part of the overall festival product. The purpose of this paper is to propose a research agenda for festival exhibitors by analyzing embedded relationships created from their festival participation.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was conducted to explore why exhibitors have not been studied in festival research. A search of publications in other relevant fields was also conducted in order to review how exhibitors have been studied. An analytical framework was developed to analyze embedded relationships within festival exhibitors.

Findings

The analytical framework developed revealed that the exhibitor relationship with the festival can be divided into three dimensions: the festival, the market place and the business. In total, nine major lines of research topics were suggested to understand the relationships uncovered within festival exhibitors.

Practical implications

The academic researcher is introduced to the potential research opportunities in examining festival exhibitors and is pointed in the direction of relevant research questions and disciplines that would equip them with the practical tools of investigation.

Originality/value

This paper makes an original contribution to knowledge in the study of events and festivals because festival exhibitors are not studied. By alerting the reader to the applicability and value of exhibitors to understanding festivals, this paper aims to encourage scholars to empirically investigate exhibitors. This will thereby lead to a more diverse literature on festivals and will provide a further understanding of the contribution festivals make to local and regional economies.

Keywords

Citation

Mosely, M. and Mowatt, R. (2011), "Reconceptualizing and repositioning festival exhibitors within tourism research", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 254-270. https://doi.org/10.1108/17582951111170317

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited