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EMAC 2023 Annual

The specificities of word-of-mouth creation through events

Published: May 24, 2023


Olivier KOVARSKI, EM NORMANDIE; Julian Hofmann, EM Normandie Business School


Existing literature has mostly identified positive effects of word-of-mouth on sales and consumers’ attitudes. However, literature is more scare on the effects triggered through communication initiatives such as events. Based on semi-structured interviews and a consensus on the findings from industry experts, we identified four drivers of word-of-mouth induced through events lacking so far in the literature on word of mouth and events communication: (1) the communication event must be congruent with the brand values to be promoted, (2) it must facilitate immediate communication of participants, (3) it must generate relevant surprise and (4) it should “shock” consumers. As the first three drivers were already reported by researchers on communication in general, we are first in confirming them also for events as a very special communication means. Shocking consumer to cause positive word-of-mouth had not been pointed out yet in general as well as for events in more particular.