An exploration of events research: Event topics, themes and emerging trends

Judith Fiona Mair, Michelle Whitford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to identify and examine emerging trends in event and festival research and also in the themes and topics being studied in this area. Design/methodology/approach - Taking an innovative approach, this paper used an abridged version of Q methodology to seek the opinions of events experts on the topics and themes that will underpin the future development of an events and festivals research agenda. Findings - The results of this research revealed that events experts feel that there are several areas that have been comprehensively researched and where further research is unlikely to provide any new information. These include definitions and types of events, and events logistics and staging. Directions for future events and festivals research include the need for studies on the socio-cultural and environmental impacts of events along with a better understanding of the relationship between events and public policy agendas. This research has also highlighted a lack of research in the area of Indigenous events. Research limitations/implications - The identification of these gaps in our current knowledge provide opportunity for further development of a research agenda for events and festivals, which will have substantial implications both for academia and for the events and festivals industry. Limitations include a relatively small sample size, and the resulting abridgement of the full Q methodology. Originality/value - This paper represents a comprehensive overview of existing studies, providing vital information for events researchers in all areas of the field. Further, the research highlights research gaps that would benefit from future study, and also identifies those areas where further study is unlikely to provide new knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6 - 30
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Event and Festival Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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