The full results from a visitor survey undertaken by Staffordshire University at the 2017 Stone Food & Drink Festival reports a rise in the number of visitors travelling to the event from out of town, among other interesting findings.
The survey, now in its third year, saw academic staff and Tourism and Events students from the Business School conduct some 574 visitors surveys over three days during the Westbridge Park event; asking a range of questions relating to visitor experience and expenditure. The results have been collated, analysed and presented in a report by BA (Hons) Tourism student, Grace McPherson, as part of her dissertation.
Key findings presented in the report include the fact that 72% of respondents live outside Stone; a significant increase on the 32.9% who said they lived outside Stone the previous year. As well as attracting more visitors from outside town, some 60% of respondents were return visitors to the event and 48% were adult couples.
Visitor satisfaction levels were generally high – among those surveyed, 54% were ‘Very satisfied’ and 40% said they were ‘Satisfied’ and over half said that they would actively promote the event to friends and colleagues*.
And not only does the festival bring visitors into town – but their cash too. Over the past two years, the survey has calculated the event’s annual estimated economic impact to be in excess of £900,000.
Festival Chairman, Richard Stevens, says:
“Once again, the results from the Staffordshire University visitor survey have proven very interesting reading. With a blockbusting gate of over 18,000 coming through the gates at Westbridge Park over the three days last year we had a feeling that we’d attracted a lot more visitors from further afield – and it’s great to see the survey back this up. It proves that we are meeting our dual aims of bringing visitors into Stone along with their money to boost the local economy.
“We’d like to say a huge thanks to the staff and students at Staffordshire University for their support – especially Professor John Fairburn and to Grace for all her hard work on analysis and producing the report.”
Grace, who graduates in July with a First, said:
“The experience was really beneficial and the skills I have developed will be extremely useful throughout my career.
“This survey showed that more people were attending from outside Stone which is an indication that the marketing really worked. It’s good to know that the surveys, carried out by Staffordshire University, are really useful to organisers and helping to inform their marketing.”
The 2018 Stone Food & Drink Festival will take place on Friday 5, Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 October – for more details and to sign up for e-newsletter updates, visit stonefooddrink.org.uk
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*Based on Net Promotor score calculation of 51.9% from the 2017 survey. The Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others. The BBC Good Food Show in London scored 44% (http://riverstreetevents.co.uk/bbc-good-food-show—london.html)