Evaluating and designing for experiential value: the use of visitor journeys

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Evaluation and monitoring have become major issues for cultural events. On the one hand, more detailed information is needed to satisfy event sponsors, on the other hand, the nature of events is increasingly developing towards inclusive concepts (from consumer-oriented delivery to more experiential and social values). The focus on visitor experience presents event organizers with a need to go beyond traditional measurement instruments to evaluate their events. Qualitative approaches are therefore increasingly valued for the insight they provide into visitor experience. The use of visitor journeys and thematic analysis for evaluating, monitoring and improving cultural events will be discussed on the basis of research in cooperation with ‘Rotterdam Festivals’, an umbrella organization for festivals in the city of Rotterdam. On the basis of these results, the visitor journey method allows for better insight into consumer experiences. Apart from contributing to knowledge about the event experience, the method has also proven to be a powerful tool for event design (i.e. developing new strategies and concepts), and thus it can bridge the gap identified in the literature between event evaluation and design. This paper will serve three goals: to present the outcomes of the visitor journey approach, to discuss strengths and weaknesses when compared to other evaluation approaches, and discuss the value of visitor journeys for evaluation and event design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-149
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • event design
  • event evaluation
  • experience design
  • visitor journey


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