The Festival Impact Monitor is a Fusion supported project that is intended to develop the following:
1) An approach to evaluating the impact of events using data from social media.
2) Reusable Learning Objects that can guide future researchers seeking to apply social media data.
3) Individuals with experience in conducting research with social media data
Overall, the project intends to develop approaches to evaluating festivals using online narratives of event stakeholders. FestIM can deliver significant benefits for funders of events and event organizers as understanding the characteristics of online audiences can help them create new types of sponsorship products to fund event activity . Further, it enables the evaluation of social impacts, an area that is difficult to assess using conventional qualitative and quantitative approaches. Finally, for events located over a large geographical area, the costs of evaluation can be prohibitive. FestIM can provide a cost effective alternative to traditional evaluation approaches. To achieve the second and third objectives, the project is working with a group of Level H dissertation students. At this stage in their research, these students have completed their literature review and secondary data analysis of online engagement at festivals. FestIM provided the opportunity for these students to deliver their research at the International Festival & Events Association of Europe conference in Nice, France to an audience of academics and industry professionals. The team is shown below along with Dr Phil Long, Associate Dean and IFEA Member and Dr Debbie Sadd and Dr Nigel L. Williams of the project.
The students listed below presented their research to festival organisers from across Europe and the USA and by all accounts delivered a fantastic performance:
Sarah Ardin: community conversations which examines the impact of small rural and urban festivals using social media.
Emma Craig: evaluating the impact of Notting Hill Carnival using social media.
Ryan Kulikowski: the use of Social media as an engagement tool by Festival support organizations
Courtney Lee: the core FestIM process itself and its application to the Love Luton Festival
Doreen Mbagwu: the engagement of the Nigerian and Ghanaian community with Notting Hill Carnival
Rogan Sage: Glastonbury as a platform for engagement with social issues
Jasmine Waddell: post purchase evaluation of Festivals using Glastonbury as a case study.
In addition to presenting their academic research, the students had the opportunity to get an exclusive look behind the scenes of the Nice Carnival which was celebrating its 130th birthday. They participated in workshops with the leading carnival historian Annie Sidro and met the Deputy Mayor of Nice. They then attended the major events of the weekend including a Battle of the Flowers, Main carnival procession and Rock and Roll 10 mile road race. It wasn’t all work as the students were able to take a quick hop down the coast to see Monte Carlo and Monaco. The students will continue to develop their research and will present their completed dissertation findings in our workshop in July at the School of Tourism.
By: Dr Nigel L. Williams and Dr Debbie Sadd