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Research into festival mobile device usage wins award

May 31, 2017 — 

Some of us use mobile devices and apps everyday. In fact, you’re probably reading this very paragraph off the screen of your smartphone.

For some groups, such as festival organizers, the strategic use of mobile apps is crucial for creating a positive and meaningful experience for consumers.

Dr Christine Van Winkle, Associate Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management

“Given the pace at which mobile devices have become integrated into all aspects of our lives, we need to better understand how individuals and organizations use this technology in varying life domains to ensure it is a benefit and minimize the negative implications,” says Dr Christine Van Winkle, an associate professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management at the University of Manitoba.

“Festivals are typically not-for-profits organizations that must make calculated decisions about how best to use resources to engage audiences.”

Van Winkle led a research team to explore this issue further by asking festival goers about their mobile device usage at festivals.

The research paper, entitled Mobile device use at festivals: opportunities for value creation, was published in International Journal of Event and Festival Management and was selected by the journal’s editorial team as the Outstanding Paper in the 2017 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence.

This study provided the first comprehensive examination of mobile device use in festival contexts and in so doing offered data in support of Korn and Pine’s (2011) Typology of Human Capability (THC). The findings reveal opportunities for modifying the THC to increase its applicability in a range of settings.

This first stage of this mutil-stage study was intended to help festival organizations to identify opportunities to engage audiences through mobile technology to enhance the visitors experience.

“This study identified the varying ways that audiences are engaged with mobile technology and unique opportunities for festivals to enhance their offerings through mobile technology,” says Van Winkle, who focuses on tourism and recreation research and teaching at the U of M.



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