Conceptualisation and operationalisation of event and festival experiences: creation of an event experience scale

S de Geus, GW Richards, V. Toepoel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: Experiences are becoming increasingly important in events and festivals, which are prime manifestations of the experience economy. However, research on event experiences has generally been concerned with economic impacts and visitor motivations [Gursoy, D., Kim, K., & Uysal, M. (2004). Perceived impacts of festivals and special events by organizers: An extension and validation. Tourism Management, 25(2), 171–181. doi:10.1016/s0261-5177(03)00092-x]. Few studies have attempted to operationalise and quantitatively analyse experiences, and there is no consensual definition regarding the essence of experiences [Walls, A. R., Okumus, F., Wang, Y., & Kwun, D. J.-W. (2011). An epistemological view of consumer experiences. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 30(1), 10–21. doi:10.1016/j.ijhm.2010.03.008]. This article develops an Event Experience Scale (EES) for event experiences. In this exploratory study the item generation and selection for this scale are presented in three phases: specifying the domain of construct and generation of items, item selection, and scale purification. An 18-item scale, comprising four dimensions – affective engagement, cognitive engagement, physical engagement, and experiencing newness – with satisfactory values for Cronbach's alphas (.83,.86,.86, and.87), emerged. Implications for theoretical and practical research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-296
Number of pages23
JournalScandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • event experiences
  • events
  • experience measurement
  • festivals
  • leisure experiences
  • scale development


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