Author: Tan, Xiuchang
Title: Evaluating the website functionality performance of convention and exhibition center
Degree: DHTM
Year: 2018
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Web sites -- Evaluation
Congresses and conventions -- Management
Convention facilities
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xi, 158 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Convention and exhibition center (CEC) is a purpose-built complex which is specifically designed to offer flexible spaces for various events. As venue selection process involves extensive long-distance information searching and analysis, an official website plays an extra important role for CECs to communicate with important stakeholders. The Internet enables instant information exchange, reservations and transactions without geographical or time constraints. A majority of CECs in the world have created official websites to communicate, attract and retain clients. While great investment and efforts have been spent in website development, it is crucial to find effective ways to measure the performance of those websites and their contributions to the achievement of business goals and objectives. Current website evaluation studies in tourism and hospitality focus more on hotel and lodging websites, travel operator websites, Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO) websites and transportation websites. Very few studies have been conducted to investigate website application and evaluation in the meeting or event sector. Reserving a hotel room or choosing a tourism destination is usually an individual decision made by consumers. In contrast, selecting a suitable event site is an organizational decision which involve multiple stakeholders with complex analysis. Therefore, the website evaluation framework developed for the hospitality and tourism sector cannot simply be used to evaluate a CEC's website. This study aims to develop an appropriate model to evaluate CEC' websites and understand the overall website performance of the main CECs in the world by applying the developed model.
A mixed strategy method, which integrates both qualitative and quantitative approaches, was adopted in this research. First, attributes relevant to event site selection, along with website functionality attributes, were extracted from the literature for a proposed conceptual framework. Second, focus group interviews were conducted to modify and validate the attributes. A modified evaluation framework with 4 dimensions and 41 attributes for CEC website evaluation was developed. The framework was applied to assess 201 major CECs' websites in the world, with 53.73% in Europe, 34.83% in Asia and the rest from Africa, America and Oceania. In general, CEC websites were performing well with a mean score of 67.96. CECs were ranked by their overall performance scores of their websites. Comparison of CECs from different income levels and geographic regions were also conducted by the Kruskal-Wallis test. In general, CECs located in higher income countries/regions had better website performance than those located in lower income countries/regions. However, in general, no significant difference was found in CECs in different continents. The findings of this study make contributions both academically and practically. The study extends the website evaluation knowledge to the meeting sector by presenting a modified framework with up-to-date evaluation criteria for assessing CEC website functionality. It also bridges the gap of understanding the role and function of a website in a corporate purchase environment which is underexplored by previous studies. Furthermore, the outcome of the study also provides important references for CEC management to build and improve their website to achieve their business objectives.
Access: restricted access

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