Event experiences through the lens of attendees
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This study takes a holistic approach to investigating customer experience at a food and wine event. Drawing on an ecosystem concept from service design and the concept of cocreation of value, the authors develop a conceptual framework to capture the complexity of customer experience. Using photo elicitation methodology to combine customers' in situ experience as reflected in photos, narratives, and attribute ratings, the authors identify five main themes, of which sensory experience, discovery, and entertainment/fun demonstrate a high level of impact on customer experience. The photo elicitation method provides insight into fluctuations in customers' emotions over a 1-day period and captures various customer experiences, from ordinary to extraordinary, which created the overall customer experience at the event. Results show that both positive and negative customer experiences are affected by the ecosystem, especially with respect to whether components of the system are functioning in a harmonious manner. The study's findings demonstrate that when designing event programs, event management should be aware of the importance of balance within the ecosystem.
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