Exclusive experience: Examining the VIP experience at UK music events

Beddows, Abigail and Grebenar, Alex William orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2684-4370 (2024) Exclusive experience: Examining the VIP experience at UK music events. In: Events and Infrastructures: Critical Interrogations. Routledge, London. ISBN 9781003369165 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003369165-8


A mainstay of the modern event industry for decades, the concept of the VIP experience is ubiquitous, yet it lacks a clear conceptual and commercial definition. This research seeks to address this by exploring the experience of two event managers well versed in designing and delivering VIP experiences at music events. The exploratory nature of this research offers a literature of associated issues to bridge the current gaps in event studies scholarship regarding VIP experiences. The research also contains empirical primary qualitative data from two semi-structured interviews, which is subject to thematic analysis and then synthesised with Grebenar’s Event Experience Mapping Model (EEMM). This application of Grebenar’s model attempts to quantify the VIP experience, and the results demonstrate a number of available experiences. These are based, in line with the EEMM, on four key elements of experience, but the research also offers an original conception of the VIP guest by noting four consumer types: A-Listers, Friends and Family, Repeat Clients, and Once-in-a-Lifetimers. Experience maps are provided for these four consumer types, and these, along with the associated discussion, are intended as a means for event professionals and academics to better understand the expectations, experience, and profile of VIP guests.

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