This study aims to explore virtual site visit adoption patterns of US convention facilities based on the diffusion of innovation (DOI) theory. Additionally, it offers predictive models of virtual site visit tool adoption by applying probability distributions.
The study used content analysis of 369 US convention facility websites. Data collected from the websites recorded the presence or absence of the following tools facilitating virtual site visits: photos, floor plans, videos, 360-photos, 360-tours and virtual reality (VR)-optimized tours. The website content analysis was followed by application of the DOI theory and predictive modeling.
According to the DOI theory, the use of VR-optimized tours (4.34%) is still in the early adoption stage, followed by 360-degree tours (12.74%) and standard videos (17.89%) that have transitioned into the early majority stage of adoption and photos (72.09%) and floor plans (84.82%) that represent a late majority stage. Three predictive models with shifted Gompertz, Gumbel and Bass distributions forecasted that convention centers would achieve a 50% adoption rate of 360-degree tools (photos and tours) in 4.67, 4.2 and three years, respectively. The same models predicted a 50% adoption rate of 360-degree tours in 6.62, 5.81 and 4.42 years.
The research indicates that most US convention facilities have not taken full advantage of their websites as a sales and marketing tool.
This study is the first comprehensive attempt to evaluate the adoption rate of VR and other technologies enabling virtual site visits by using content analysis of US convention facility websites. Additionally, it is the first attempt to apply probability distributions to predict technology adoption in the convention industry context.
Soifer, I., Berezina, K., Ciftci, O. and Mafusalov, A. (2021), "Virtual site visits for meeting and event planning: are US convention facilities ready?", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 183-204. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTI-09-2020-0165
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