Festivals' ability to trigger emotional engagement and its consequent impact on consumption habits in real and delayed time has not been studied so far. The purpose of this research was to study the inputs and outputs of emotional engagement as perceived by professionals in the Italian Week Festival in Australia. The design was grounded on real-life experiences via a qualitative study based on 32 semi-structured interviews with professional experts involved in the production and execution of the festival. This generated key dimensions of emotional engagement. Results indicate that Italian Week does generate emotional engagement which in turn changes consumption habits during the Festival and at the same time, enhances its the residual effect. A better understanding of the underlying key components of emotional engagement can represent a competitive advantage to Festival producers. We contribute with a conceptual framework for emotional engagement and implications for both academics and practitioners.
Festival, grounded theory, emotional engagement, identity, hedonism, typicality