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    Engaging Visitors of Science Festivals Using Augmented Reality: Asymmetrical Modelling

    Olya, Hossein, Jung, Timothy ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8594-6641, tom Dieck, M ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8765-8969 and Ryu, Kisang (2020) Engaging Visitors of Science Festivals Using Augmented Reality: Asymmetrical Modelling. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 32 (2). ISSN 0959-6119

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    Purpose: This empirical study explores a complex combination of four realms of the experience economy in formulating memories and satisfaction among festival visitors using augmented reality (AR), thus engaging visitors in the physical science experience. This study also identifies necessary conditions to achieve desired responses from visitors. Design/methodology/approach: Asymmetrical modelling with fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) was used to investigate causal recipes of two configurations of the experience economy and evaluation of experience leading to both high and low scores from visitor engagement. Necessary condition analysis (NCA) was applied to examine necessary predictors in visitor engagement. The proposed configuration model was tested using data obtained from visitors to science festivals in the UK. Findings: Five causal recipes explained the complex conditions in which visitors were more likely engaged in AR. Aesthetics, education, entertainment, and satisfaction were necessary for high engagement among festival visitors. Research limitations/implications: Results from fsQCA and analyses of necessary conditions help festival organizers improve visitor satisfaction and engagement in a memorable AR experience. Originality/value: This empirical study deepens current festival understanding of how visitors experience AR by exploring combinations of complex configurations of the experience economy and evaluations of visitor experience based on memories and satisfaction. Unlike symmetrical approaches, asymmetrical modeling using fsQCA can explore recipes for both high and low scores of visitor satisfaction and engagement. This is the first empirical study investigating necessary predictors of festival visitor behavior.

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