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About motivations – what the participants of events desire?

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For event managers, understanding what are the motivations of potential event participants becomes an absolute necessity. Diversity of event offer creates a  possibility to choose a training course or a conference that meets participant expectations in almost 100%. Your event must, therefore, be designed in such a way as to best meet these needs. So every professional event organizer should be assessing expectations and motivations of the participants of events, as well as changes taking place in the conference and training industry on an ongoing basis. Our today’s post is about the motivations of people participating in most often organized events.

Sporting event participants

As the studies show, participants of sporting events, such as local mass running, cycling, marathons, and similar types are looking for the opportunity for sports activity in the company of friends, the possibility of relaxing or simply maintaining good sport condition. Events often attract participants by their popularity and social status they offer. Participants often want to identify with this status and the idea it brings with. While the motives of participation in such events are quite obvious, the reasons why people who are interested in the event don’t join it seem to be interesting.

The surveys showed that the first reason for withdrawing from participation in the event is simply another equally attractive event taking place at the same time, or personal issues that prevent participation.

Another interesting reason is unattractive/problematic race site (i.e. far away from parking and or restroom facilities) or too challenging course of the race (for example in case of cross-country runs) which can bring the fear of injury. As an event organizer, what can you do?

First of all, make sure that the date of his event doesn’t interfere with another – although it can be difficult in high season – pick a date that will have as few conflicts with your race as possible. Confirm that the course of the race is designed in a way, taking full advantages of the terrain, but at the same time make sure it guarantees safety for the participants. Make sure that your team including volunteers know when and what to do, their assistance during the run will be assessed by the runners.

The specific type of participation in sporting events is cheering. Participants–fans don’t participate in actual physical activity (such as mentioned earlier runners) but accompany their teams as spectators. What motivates fans to be in the stands regardless of the weather?

Die-hard fans often overcome half the globe to witness the match of a favorite team! What motivates them? As in every social event socialization with other people with similar views is a very important factor. There are also historical reasons, loyalty to the club or team is often indicated.

Research confirms the existence and significance of “communitas” meaning a kind of group identity sometimes having the character of a “neo-tribal” community. In this case, each match is not only a sporting event but also a celebration of subcultural values.

A special group of sports events are charity events. Their goal is not directly related to the sporting event itself, but the collection of funds for a noble purpose. Organizers of sporting events related to charitable activities, in order to raise funds for a given purpose, must attract participants, so they need to understand the reasons why people may want to take part in them.

Motivations of this group of participants will not be limited to sporting sensations. Some people will want to personally get involved in achieving the noble goal, some will want to socialize with others. It has been shown that participants of such events are willing to pay higher fees for participation in the event if the event itself has a high status.

So as you can see the promotion of the event is a key. Let the event have its ambassadors – famous faces supporting achieving the noble goal in the media campaign. Create the concept that being there is a must! It is important that sporting events of a charitable nature create a chance to meet such needs as the opportunity to get involved, socialize with other participants and the feeling of attending in something important and necessary. Don’t forget about the proper landing page – it’s a powerful tool to convert visitors into participants.

Participants of festivals and concerts

Participants of concerts and festivals are certainly music lovers who want to listen and watch their favorite artists. What are their other motivations? What makes them travel to the other end of the country to participate in a musical festival lasting for several days? Among the motivations of the festival’s participants are, inter alia, the prestige of the event. There are simply events on which you must be! Why?

To feel a part of a larger community, experience something new, have a feeling of participation in something special, meet new people. Smaller concerts offer the possibility of relaxation in close proximity to the home, a free entry can be an additional bonus. A very important factor is an interesting venue of the event. For music event organizers, choosing the right place is a must – music lovers once disappointed by acoustic deficiencies or questionable service, less willingly return to the given venue, especially if they paid a lot for the ticket.

Participants of training courses, workshops and conferences

Participants of training courses, workshops and conferences, making a selection of a specific offer, are certainly guided by its substantive value. Therefore, in order for a given offer tempted them, it must respond to specific substantive needs. Importantly, the training course value must reflect the previously presented plan of the event. If the participant, intrigued by the program of the workshop, appears on the event and does not quite receive what the organizer has promised, you can be sure of negative opinions about the event or worse – you will have to handle participan’s dissatisfaction on-the-spot.

One of the most important motives of participants of training courses, workshops or conferences is the possibility of establishing interesting contacts (networking) and being among new people seeking similar knowledge (socializing). Satisfying the needs of this group of participants may involve the necessity to design events in a way that creates space for the possibility of social interaction. This can be achieved, for example, by organizing additional social events, or providing a place like a cafe offering refreshments and drinks during the event. To attract participants for whom this aspect of the event is important, don’t forget about emphasizing it during promotional activities. However, it’s worth remembering – overloading the event program with attractions is one of the 7 most common “sins” being committed by event organizers.


As social beings, people want to be with others, be in a group of people with similar preferences. It is not surprising, therefore, that among the motivation of the participants of events, regardless of the type of event, the desire to socialize and willingness to interact with other participants is invariably manifested. The contemporary challenge of event organizers is to create events that wisely offer space to meet this need.