Furness, Jordan (2021) Developing an Events Strategy to encourage Technology Adoption within Small and Medium Enterprises. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) make up a large percentage of businesses within the United Kingdom, many often struggle to successfully maintain a competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive economy. One method of creating this advantage is the utilisation of new technologies within their organisation, however there are often barriers that an SME will face in the process of adopting a new technology. This study aims to examine how events can be used as a tool to overcome these. There is a significant level of research into the impact of ‘mega-events’ but research that looks at small business focused events and the impact they can have is limited.

The literature review examines the barriers to technology adoption that a SME faces and looks at the impact of business-focused events upon those who attend. Interviews then took place with five event professionals who have years of experience in event management. With the data from the interviews analysed, a questionnaire was then distributed to several SMEs to collect responses from those who were likely to attend business focused events. An analysis of the data collected highlighted that the main barrier to technology adoption was a lack of knowledge with regards to new technologies and their capabilities. The results of the questionnaire highlighted that the individuals attended events to increase their knowledge base and it could be suggested from this that events can be used as a positive tool in overcoming barriers to technology adoption. Data collected from the event professionals played a key role in developing a framework that can be used to organise business-focused events for those who work for SMEs.

The outcomes of this thesis can be used to gain a better understanding of the barriers to technology adoption facing SMEs and provide useful recommendations for event organisers to use whilst planning events. Further research could include a study to test the effectiveness of the framework developed. Additional research could also use the methodology to see how/if attendance motivations change depending on the size of the organisation that the individual works for.

FINAL THESIS - Furness.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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