Critical assessment of live music performances in creating a memorable experience : a demand and supply perspective
The live music performance industry is growing tremendously in South Africa, with more and more international artists performing on our shores year after year. Competition is growing and various companies are beginning to identify this as a business opportunity to make money. However, managing live music performances is a complex task which involves managing various aspects (critical success factors) of the event in order to ensure that it is a success. Apart from this, visitors attend these performances hoping that their expectations will be exceeded and the performance is something which can be treasured and is worth remembering once everything is over. This is referred to as a memorable experience. In order to ensure a memorable visitor experience, it is essential for managers to be aware of what the visitors regard as important critical success factors. These are aspects that management can control and improve. Thus, the critical success factors should be implemented effectively in order to ensure that the event is memorable for visitors attending the live music performance. While various critical success factors are familiar to event organisers, they differ from event to event. Thus, the critical success factors of one event cannot be implemented at another with the same expectation of success. This is due to the heterogeneous groups of people who attend these events and who cannot be regarded as being the same, as each individual will have different expectations of the same event. Therefore, it is also important for the managers of live music performances to determine how the visitors to the different genre events regard the various critical success factors that are vital for a memorable experience. This is significant, as various music genres attract different attendees who each have their own expectations of a music genre and which may differ from those of visitors to other music genres. For example, the expectations for a memorable experience of individuals attending a classical live music performance will differ from individuals attending a rock or pop live music performance. In addition, it is also important for management to compare those critical success factors identified by the visitors to their own ideas of what is important for a successful event in order to identify any shortcomings. Thus, it was expedient to seek answers to the questions of what visitors to live music performances regard as important critical success factors as well as what the managers consider to be important for a memorable experience. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the critical success factors for managing a memorable visitor experience at live music performances from both the demand and supply sides. The said factors were subsequently compared in order to establish whether any shortcomings exist. This thesis comprises three articles. Firstly, the research was conducted from a demand (visitors) side. Thus, the aim of Chapter 3 was to determine what attendees at live music performances regard as being critical success factors for different music genres so as to enhance memorable visitor experiences. Surveys were conducted at various genres of live music performances which included classical music (Il Divo), R&B (Usher), rock (Sting), blues (Michael Buble), pop (Roxette) and Afrikaans music (Steve Hofmeyr). A total of 4 110 questionnaires were administered and a general profile of the visitors in terms of the different genres was compiled. A factor analysis was subsequently performed in order to determine the critical success factors for all six genres. Thereafter, an Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was applied in order to compare the critical success factors of the various genres with one another. The results indicated significant statistical differences amongst the different music genres with regard to that which the visitors to the different live music performances regard as being important for a memorable visitor experience. Secondly, the research was conducted from a supply (managers) side and the objective of Chapter 4 was to determine what the managers consider to be important critical success factors in ensuring a memorable visitor experience at a live music performance. A qualitative research method, by means of interviews, was used to obtain the relevant information from the selected participants. All the data collected in the process were transcribed into text and presented in a narrative form. The six step method formulated by Cresswell (2009:185-189) for data analysis and interpretation was used to analyse the data. Four major themes emerged from the analysis where each theme was differentiated in terms of various categories and subcategories. This process contributed greatly towards gaining detailed information regarding the main purpose of organising a live music performance; identifying the aspects that managers consider to be important when organising a live music performance and those aspects that are important in pre-, during- and post-event planning phases as well as how managers define a memorable experience. Lastly, in Chapter 5 a comparison was performed between the demand and supply sides of live music performances in order to establish whether any differences exist amongst the aspects that management consider to be important compared to the critical success factors that the visitors regard as being important to achieve a memorable visitor experience. Both qualitative (supply side) and quantitative (demand side) research methods were implemented in this research. The results of the critical success factors drawn from the first and second articles were used to conduct this research. The results of both the demand and supply sides were subsequently compared with one another where significant differences had been identified. This was the first time that research was conducted from both the demand and supply sides within the live music performance environment. The results of this research contribute greatly to literature and to the music industry. In addition, this was also the first time that both a qualitative and a quantitative research method were applied in research conducted at live music performances and which were subsequently compared with one another. Determining the differences between the critical success factors identified contributes towards event specific education and information for current as well as future live music performance managers. Therefore, results of this research can be employed to educate and inform current and future managers in the live music performance industry regarding important aspects relating to the enhancement of the important critical success factors that contribute to a memorable experience when individuals attend a live music performance.