The influential role of promtions: A study of how promtions affect event perception and influence the decision to attend a public special event



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Events are consciously planned happenings designed for patrons’ enjoyment and to achieve the goals of the organizers. An event contributes to a city’s tourism industry, is a unique happening, occurs infrequently, and is of a limited duration. Regardless of whether the event is corporate or social in nature, it needs promotion to attract attendees’ and sponsors. The Roswell UFO Festival is an annual special event in Roswell, New Mexico and served as the testing site for this study. Festival organizers used national, regional, and local advertising and promotions to create awareness about the Festival. Television, radio, print/flyers, magazine, newspaper, and online marketing tactics were used. This study sought to (1) determine whether perception was affected by prior encounters with promotional materials and the accuracy of the portrayal of the event and its activities and entertainment, (2) establish which media source influenced attendees’ decision to attend the Festival, (3) determine which media source promoting the Festival was most frequently encountered by attendees, (4) and demographic differences in relation to overall event satisfaction. The results showed that promotions influence the decision to attend an event and attendees’ perception of an event. Patrons ‘like” Internet promotions and rely heavily on WOM marketing techniques. Television and print mediums are still an effective advertising buy. Additionally, demographic differences do not have an effect on event perception.