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Outcomes of the sport event volunteer experience: examining demonstration effects on first-time and returning volunteers

Jordan T. Bakhsh (School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada)
Erik L. Lachance (School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada)
Ashley Thompson (School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada)
Milena M. Parent (School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Article publication date: 26 March 2021

Issue publication date: 8 June 2021

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine if sport event volunteers were inspired by their event experience to volunteer in the future.

Design/methodology/approach

A postevent questionnaire was administered to 161 professional golf tournament volunteers, in which 93 respondents were identified as first-time volunteers of the event and 68 as returning volunteers. A moderation analysis was conducted to assess if previous event-specific volunteer experience moderated the relationship between volunteers' inspiration and future volunteer intentions.

Findings

First-time event-specific volunteers were significantly more inspired to volunteer again than returning event-specific volunteers. Findings indicate volunteers can be inspired from their event experience toward future volunteer intentions.

Research limitations/implications

This study offers conceptual understandings and new application of inspiration–behavioral intentions by examining sport events' (in)ability to inspire first-time and returning event volunteers to volunteer in the future. Findings are limited to the sport event volunteers' intention discussion.

Practical implications

This study demonstrates how event stakeholders can create positive future behavioral intentions for community members through hosting sport events. By positioning first-time event-specific volunteers within roles that can elicit inspiration (e.g. interacting with athletes), event managers can foster stronger future volunteer intentions.

Originality/value

This study extends the understanding of demonstration effects by moving beyond the traditional sport event spectators and sport participation intention foci. It demonstrates that sport events can inspire different spectator groups (i.e. event volunteers) toward different future behavioral intentions (i.e. volunteer intentions). Findings address previous sport event volunteer assumptions regarding intention, inspiration and volunteer segments.

Keywords

Citation

Bakhsh, J.T., Lachance, E.L., Thompson, A. and Parent, M.M. (2021), "Outcomes of the sport event volunteer experience: examining demonstration effects on first-time and returning volunteers", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 168-183. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEFM-09-2020-0057

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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