This paper aims to analyse the quality of experience in the Italian art museum context and to understand the mediating role of satisfaction between museum experiences and visitors' word-of-mouth (WOM) behavioural intentions.
This exploratory study adopted a quantitative methodology. Visitors to Italian art museums were interviewed, and the results were examined using exploratory factor analysis and regression analysis.
The analysis shows that the following museum experience dimensions were present in the Italian art museum context: aesthetics, escapism and “edumotion”. Further, these dimensions positively affected visitors' overall satisfaction which mediates on WOM behavioural intentions.
The small sample limits the generalisability of findings, and further research on the topic is recommended.
Museums should allocate resources to improve visitor experience, visitor satisfaction and museum attractions. Specifically, museum managers should invest in the three dimensions that emerged from this study.
This study enriches the empirical evidence on experiential marketing in the museum context by focussing on the mediating role of overall satisfaction in the relationship between museum experience and WOM behaviours. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study investigating this phenomenon in Italian museums.
We kindly thank Peter Aufreiter, Director of the National Gallery of the Marche (Urbino), Peter Assmann, Director of the Ducal Palace of Mantua and Sylvain Bellenger, Director of the Museum of Capodimonte (Naples), for giving us the opportunity to undertake this study.
Vesci, M., Conti, E., Rossato, C. and Castellani, P. (2021), "The mediating role of visitor satisfaction in the relationship between museum experience and word of mouth: evidence from Italy", The TQM Journal, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 141-162. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-02-2020-0022
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