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Agricultural shows: visitor motivation, experience and behavioural intention

Caroline Westwood (Department of Service Sector Management, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)
Peter Schofield (Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)
Graham Berridge (University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Article publication date: 4 June 2018




The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the theory concerning visitor motivations, consumer experience and behavioural intentions at rural events; more specifically, it focusses on agricultural shows, which have hitherto been neglected in the events management literature. These events have successfully broadened their visitor base, but not without the attendant challenges for agricultural events’ designers.


The research adopts a quantitative design using a questionnaire survey. The analysis, using a range of statistical procedures, centres on consumer motivation, experience and behaviour in relation to show features and their influence on future behaviour.


The findings of this paper demonstrates the relative importance to the consumer of the show’s various components and their influence on revisitation, which reflect the significance of social, cultural and personal meanings attached to their experiences. This highlights key motivational variables such as appreciating the shows’ traditions and intellectual enrichment.

Research limitations/implications

The study takes a cross-sectional approach, using a non-probability sample at four multi-day royal shows. Future research should establish the external validity of the findings and their applicability to smaller one-day agricultural shows.

Practical implications

The research provides a managerial contribution by informing show designers about the motivations of an increasingly diverse range of visitors. This will facilitate decisions around the engagement of contemporary design while preserving the traditional elements of agricultural shows.


Few studies have looked at rural events and, in particular, agricultural shows. Moreover, previous research in this area has focussed on rural tourism and place making, while consumer behaviour and experience at rural events has been neglected. This paper provides an insight into the consumer experience and perceived importance of various aspects of contemporary agricultural shows.



Westwood, C., Schofield, P. and Berridge, G. (2018), "Agricultural shows: visitor motivation, experience and behavioural intention", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 147-165.



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