What motivates individuals to volunteer at events?
Richards, Nia Eleri
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study has been undertaken as part of an MSc in Events Management course at UWIC. As the events management industry has grown, understanding events management has emerged as an academic discipline and there needs to be a better understanding of the impact of the event throughout each stage of the planning process. The majority of events utilise a volunteer labour force and for most they could not run without them. Consequently event volunteers have become vital, not only to the success of the event to which they volunteer, but also to the economic and social development to which events are expected to contribute (Stebbins & Graham, 2004). Purpose: Little research has been carried out to date about the role of volunteers at events and particularly the reasons why people get involved. This study aims to address the following questions; • Are there specific reasons why people volunteer at events? • What benefits do volunteers get from helping at these events? Methods: The methodology used was an online questionnaire distributed by 'Hotbox Events'. The questionnaire contained 30 questions which were grouped into five key areas; Volunteer experiences – Any previous experience of volunteering Event volunteering – Any previous experience of volunteering at events i.e. what, where, why? Motivation – Why did they volunteer? What were the reasons for getting involved? Overall experiences Findings: 107 questionnaires were completed and returned via Survey monkey, an easy to use tool for the creation of online surveys was used to calculate the statistics and graphing the presentation of data. Conclusions: The research answered the study questions stating that the reasons why people volunteer at events was primarily to have fun, to be with like minded people and to be part of a prestigious event. The benefits to the individual was about gaining in confidence and experience, add to a CV, improve communication skills and receive 'free tickets'. From the responses the evidence shows that the majority of reasons for getting involved was about self-interest and not altruism as has been evident in other previous research. Relevance: The study's results may be of particular interest to event organisers, policy makers and volunteer managers who's work involve understanding why people volunteer, and importantly continue to sustain the volunteering input at events. This study is intended to offer a modest contribution to available literature about motivation of volunteers at events.
MSc Events Management
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