Recognizing events 4.0: the digital maturity of events



Ryan WG, Fenton A, Ahmed W & Scarf P (2020) Recognizing events 4.0: the digital maturity of events. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 11 (1), pp. 47-68.

Purpose The purpose of this research is to explore and define the digital maturity of events using the Industry 4.0 model (I4.0) to create a definition for Events 4.0 (E4.0) and to place various relevant technologies on a scale of digital maturity. Design/methodology/approach In a mixed methods approach, we carried out a qualitative social media analysis and a quantitative survey of tourism and events academics. These surveys and the thorough literature review that preceded them allowed us to map the digital technologies used in events to levels of a digital maturity model. Findings We found that engagement with technology at events and delegate knowledge satisfactorily coexists for and across a number of different experiential levels. However, relative to I4.0, event research and the events industry appear to be digitally immature. At the top of the digital maturity scale, E4.0 might be defined as an event that is digitally managed; frequently upgrades its digital technology; fully integrates its communication systems; and optimizes digital operations and communication for event delivery, marketing, and customer experience. We expect E4.0 to drive further engagement with digital technologies and develop further research. Originality/value This study has responded to calls from the academic literature to provide a greater understanding of the digital maturity of events and how events engage with digital technology. Furthermore, the research is the first to introduce the concept of E4.0 into the academic literature. This work also provides insights for events practitioners which include the better understanding of the digital maturity of events and the widespread use of digital technology in event delivery.

Social network analysis; Technology; Industry 4.0; Festival management; Digital maturity; Event management education

International Journal of Event and Festival Management: Volume 11, Issue 1

FundersNewcastle University
Publication date16/03/2020
Publication date online21/02/2020
Date accepted by journal20/12/2019

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Dr Wasim Ahmed
Dr Wasim Ahmed

Senior Lecturer in Digital Business, Management, Work and Organisation