Towards the development of an evaluation questionnaire for academic conferences
Each year, academic conferences are held at destinations throughout the world. These conferences provide benefits to the host destination's economy as well as to the conference participants. Involving travel and accommodation, academic conferences can be classified as business tourism. Academics often have a range of conferences from which to choose. The conference experience therefore may be important in the decision to reattend or recommend a conference to other potential attendees. While many conference organizers distribute a "conference evaluation sheet" at the end of a conference, there is no evidence of a standardized questionnaire that evaluates the entire conference experience. The objective of this work is to make such a contribution by identifying the attributes that are deemed to be important to the academic conference attendee and assigning a measurement scale for each attribute. The attributes are identified by way of a review of the services and tourism literature, and through semistructured interviews with academics. In addition to evaluating the entire conference experience, the questionnaire can be used to make longitudinal comparisons of a conference, and comparisons between conferences.
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