The purpose of this study is to explore the effectiveness of digital and experiential marketing in attracting customer participation in the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival. This study explores the evolution of theories and models of digital and experiential marketing, and how they account for participation in a specific event. Findings show that variables related to media have moderate to strong relationship to customer satisfaction: owned media - HKTB Facebook, paid media - search engine, earned media - word-of-mouth, experiential marketing - escapist, experiential marketing - entertainment. Customer satisfaction also has a moderate relationship to customer loyalty. To boost the number of visitors, it is critical to better utilize the owned media – HKTB Facebook, paid media - search engine, and earned media – word-of-mouth to provide information and get positive feedback from visitors. The experiential marketing seems to be equally important and the marketer/organizer should consider providing escapist and entertainment experiences for visitors.
A major limitation is the cross-sectional nature of this study. Future research could adopt a longitudinal approach by exploring issues related to promotional tools and types of experience over say three consecutive years. Another limitation is the sample size and type. Numbers are moderate and the snowball sampling adopted is non-probabilistic, which means that findings are suggestive rather than generalizable to all similar events.
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