ROLE OF SOUND AS AN ELEMENT OF GUEST SATISFACTION WITHIN TH E. EVENT INDUSTRY
A SPONSOR PERSPECTIVE
The field of event management recognizes that events are more than the featured action; they encompass the sum total of the experiences that the customers and employees experience while at that event. Therefore, while there might be a limited number of purposes for an event, the different variables that contribute to an event mean that there are an infinite number of ways that an event can occur. One of the emerging ideas in event management is the idea that these secondary characteristics can contribute as much to the event as the actual purpose. Moreover, successful event managers have to be aware of the competition that occurs because of these secondary characteristics. The environment of an event is often referred as the Servicescape. One part of the Servicescape is the sound of an event. Sound and sound quality can make up an important part of an event, even for events that do not obviously depend upon sound quality and acoustics.
This paper involves an extensive literature review looking at the impact of sound on an event. Not surprisingly, the results suggest that sound is an integral part of events, even those events that are not based on sound (such as concerts). Moreover, sound is critical in different areas of events. Sound can help crowds hurry up or slow down, which can encourage purchasing decisions and wait times. Moreover, sound can help set the tone for an event. The sound in a waiting line can literally help determine a consumer's experience at an event.
The findings and analysis section of this paper focus on an interview with an individual event consumer. The consumer was asked to detail how ambient sound helped impact the event experience. Not surprisingly, the consumer did not even realize how much of a role these secondary sounds played in the experience, until asked to focus upon them. However, once attention was placed on the sounds, the consumer concluded that sound played a major role in tone-setting for the event.
One of the more interesting aspects of the findings was how much sound was linked to the individual's experience. For example, the interviewee described how a sound evoked a feeling of nostalgia. Therefore, it is critical for event managers to realize that the same sound may evoke different feelings in different audiences. Therefore, the recommendation is that event managers consider specific target audiences when developing the Servicescape for specific events.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background Information
1.2 Aim and Objectives
CHAPTER 2: Literature Review
2.1 Definition of Servicescape
2.2 The importance of the Servicescape
2.3 The importance of physical evidence
2.4 The impact of sounds
2.5.1 Relationship between music and event selection
2.5.2 Relationship between music and event experience
2.6 Summary of Literature Review
CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY
3.2 Research Philosophy
3.3 Research Method
3.4 Research Strategy
3.5 Research Sample
3.6. Research Limitations
3.7 Ethical Considerations
CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS
4.2 Guest Responses
4.3 Employee Responses
4.4 Guest Interviews
4.5 Overall Findings
CHAPTER 5: ANALYSIS
CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Appendix 1: Guest Survey
Appendix 2: Employee Survey
Appendix 3: Guest Interview
Appendix 4: Guest Interview
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background Information
An event is a structured circumstance such as a meeting, incentive, convention, exhibition, etc., in which people are brought together for a specific purpose. Just as there are an infinite variety of purposes, there are an infinite variety of events. However, it would be a mistake to assume that events are defined merely by their purposes. Instead, it is more appropriate to view an event as the sum total of the experience, not simply its original purpose. In fact, according to Getz (2005), "Every such event is unique stemming from the blend of management, program, setting and people." What this means is that the event has taken on a life of its own, so that factors such as venue, refreshments, crowd-control, and other seemingly intangibles can impact the experience in ways that are even more significant than the event's actual purpose.
In addition, in modern days, events have become even more popular. Additional leisure time and flexible time spending have led to an increase in public events. This has also led to a more discerning group of customers, who are able to demand better service from event venues. In fact, since the demand for events increased, competition within the industry has rapidly increased, as well. The industry realized that the service environment is a key part of their marketing mix and overall value proposition. Considering the increase in events throughout the last few years, event organizations are also trying to find ways in the environment of the event to create a long lasting impression on the guest.
One of the seemingly intangible parts of the event experience is the sound. In some ways, sound and sound quality seems like a given. Take, for example, events that are concerts or otherwise provide music for the customer. Those events obviously depend on sound quality and acoustics. However, it is not only audio-specific events that require appropriate sound planning and sound quality. Sound contributes to the atmosphere in events that are seemingly unrelated to sound. Take, for example, a carnival. The sounds of whirring rides, carnival workers hawking wares, and familiar carnival music all make up the background of the carnival. None of those sounds is specific to a carnival, and not one single sound makes up the entirety of the carnival experience. However, it is difficult to imagine a carnival that does not have those background sounds.
1.2 Aim and Objective
The aim of this paper is to investigate and understand the role of sound as an element of increasing guest satisfaction within the event industry.
To study principles relating to the use of the Servicescape
To understand the impacts of pleasant and unpleasant sounds
To justify the positive aspects of sounds and sound enhancement in the event industry
To analyze the current research, draw a conclusion, and give a recommendation based on the research
To address the research question, an overview of the literature about the role of sound in the Servicescape and how it has been considered as part of the event and how they have been considered in the effectiveness context would be provided. After that, the research methodology is presented, followed by findings and analysis. The paper ends with a discussion of the results and recommendations. The next section will outline the current status of research on the sponsorship activities through critically review of the existing literature regarding sound and the Servicescape.
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter focuses on the first objective of the dissertation, which is to review theories and contemporary literature associated to sound as part of the Servicescape, in order to expand the understanding of the topic as well as develop the theoretical framework for the paper. The literature review section outlines numerous purposes. First, it provides definitions and understanding for the concepts, terms, context, and industry significance of sound as a part of the Servicescape by examining the currently available literature including academic textbooks, industry journals, articles, and website. Second, it critically reviews theory in order to identify those theories that are relevant to this study and highlight how the study will use existing theories and research. Third, by examining the currently-existing literature, the literature review allows the researcher to understand the type of research that has already been done in this area, so that the researcher may then conduct primary research in the field.
2.1 Definition of Servicescape
"The 'Servicescape' is a term popularized by Zeithaml and Jo Bitner, two American researchers in the field of services marketing"(Nargundkar, 2006). However, the Servicescape is known by other names as well. For example, Philip Kotler has used the term "Atmospherics" in one of his papers to describe the effect of a Servicescape. The Servicescape consists of the entire atmosphere of an event. The feelings reminded in a customer can be affected by the physical aspects of the ambience, its level of cleanliness, the dress worn by the employees and even the number and type of customers present when the person enters or avail of the service being provided. Obviously, the Servicescape or the design of the service facility has the maximum impact when the customer physically uses the facility. However, the Servicescape can be important even when a customer is simply being passive. The Servicescape is similar to a landscape, though the Servicescape would actually encompass the landscape of an event as well. Like a landscape, the Servicescape creates a mood, a longing an attraction or a desire to visit the service provider, in the context of a service purchase.
2.2 Importance of the Servicescape
Services are often intangible and it can be difficult for customers to evaluate the value…