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The impact of new affective components on museum visitor retention: the context of major city event using SEM and CTree

Aleksei Gorgadze (HSE University, Moscow, Russian Federation) (Institute of Russian Literature RAS, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation)
Anastasia Sinitsyna (HSE University, Moscow, Russian Federation)
Julia Trabskaya (HSE University, Moscow, Russian Federation) (University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia)
To'neill Bala (Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Article publication date: 27 May 2021

Issue publication date: 8 June 2021




The main purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between ranges of affective components that have an impact on the revisit intention of museum visitors, in the context of a major city event. The study reveals the most significant factors that affect decision-making by applying the findings to a structural equation modelling (SEM) and conditional inference tree (CTree).


The paper utilises face-to-face survey research at the “Long Night of Museums” event in Saint Petersburg, 298 questionnaires were completed on the night of the event. The empirical part of the research is based on the SEM and interpreted by using the CTree. The SEM model measures the direct and indirect influence of the cognitive and affective components; the CTree enables the testing of both component and the joint effect they both produce.


This study shows a strong indirect correlation between the cognitive component of the major city event and the revisit intention of museum visitors. When focussing on affective components, both the SEM and the CTree demonstrated that attractiveness and atmosphere are revealed to be the most impactful elements regarding visitor retention and repeat custom. The research allows for a deeper understanding of visitor behaviours, intentions and their decision-making processes.

Practical implications

The results of the study allow museum managers to understand how to create repeat custom amongst visitors, by appreciating the importance of participation in major city events and the role that attraction and atmosphere play when creating intention for repeat visit. The research has uncovered which dimensions are the most important to visitors, and as a result, these particular dimensions should be thoroughly developed by museums in future in order to attract and repeat visits. This study has demonstrated the practical implications for museums participating in city events. When considering policy makers, this particular research provides an opportunity to develop recommendations for future city events, as well as using the CTree to assess and predict the effectiveness of visitor behaviour.


This is an original study which aims to integrate the impact of the perceived value of the cognitive component and a new range of affective elements regarding museum retention in the context of a major city event. The study includes newly developed dimensions of perceived value, as well as a unique focus on affective dimensions such as – atmosphere and attraction. Another point of originality is provided by using a CTree, which captures an in depth understanding of the intention formation process. This study provides an opportunity to advance our understanding of visitor decision-making processes.



The authors would like to express their gratitude to Victor Karepin for his helpful comments in data analysis methods and Laboratory of Cultural Economics for assistance in collecting empirical data.


Gorgadze, A., Sinitsyna, A., Trabskaya, J. and Bala, T. (2021), "The impact of new affective components on museum visitor retention: the context of major city event using SEM and CTree ", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 203-223.



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