The purpose of this paper is to focus on: first, what major impacts do organizers perceive special events to create, and how do they measure an event’s success? second, do these perceived impacts align with the major themes of economic benefits, social impacts, and community cohesiveness revealed in the existing literature? and third, why do event organizers perceive these major impacts?
In order to gain a better understanding of the types of community impact event organizers anticipate from, and attempt to solicit through special events, this study makes use of a survey with open-ended questions. Such questions enable a broader discussion between interviewees and interviewers, giving interviewees greater response leeway and generating more material for the researcher’s analysis.
Findings suggest that bringing the community together, producing economic benefits for local businesses, and creating socializing and educational opportunities for visitors are the primary impacts anticipated by interviewed event organizers. In particular, providing a positive experience by getting the community involved proves to be the key element to the success of any special event discussed.
There are a couple of limitations to the study. First, the study presented a relatively small sample. Second, these results may relate to the institutions located along Lake Erie where parks and recreation have long been viewed as an integral part of community life.
This study represents a first attempt to complement the quantitative data in the former research with a qualitative study. Through in-depth interviews, it sets out to create a dialogue from the event organizers along Lake Erie in the USA to help better understand the impacts of special events prepared by Parks and Recreation Departments.
Xie, P. and Sinwald, A. (2016), "Perceived impacts of special events by organizers: a qualitative approach", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 50-65. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEFM-05-2015-0023Download as .RIS
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