Exploring repurchase intention in a performing arts context: who comes? and why do they come back?

Margee Hume, Gillian Sullivan Mort, Hume Winzar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Factors such as reduced government spending, increased competition from expanding entertainment markets and shrinking audiences have all placed excess pressure on the ability of performing arts organisations to make ends meet. Many performing arts organisations operate as not-for-profit organisations, so rely heavily on the combined efforts of corporate sponsors, government funds and ticket sales to support the organisation. In order to survive in the market economy, the current strategies need to incorporate a thorough understanding of the drivers of return purchase intent to maximise ticket sales in this setting. The purpose of this paper is to examine consumers' experience of a general performing arts experience to identify the predictors of positive repurchase intention so marketing efforts can focus on drawing consumers to return. Experiential service settings, such as the performing, arts are suggested to challenge more traditional service marketing and management theory that repurchase intention is driven by value, service quality and customer satisfaction alone. It is suggested that in an experiential setting a complex anthology of predictors including the need for affect and goal directed emotional attainment must be considered. Much of the research conducted in this setting approaches the field from an artistic discipline. In contrast, this research approaches the performing arts from a service marketing and management paradigm. By doing this, a set of services strategies applicable to the performing arts will become evident. Exploratory investigation was undertaken with 26 candidates. In-depth qualitative interviews, using open-ended questioning, were conducted to draw thick description of consumer opinion. The findings reported indicate that in this setting, functional factors, especially value and service qualities, are extremely important to candidates when deciding to repurchase. Factors such as emotional attainment and show experience, which have been the primary focus of current performing arts organisations' strategic focus, were found to play a lesser role in overall intent to repurchase. The paper identifies some conceptual target segments evolving from this research. Importantly, these findings are applicable to the performing arts but may have implications for other non-profit service organisations, such as fine arts and museums.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-148
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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