Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)




Business Administration

First Advisor

Christy Ashley



The restrictions and social concerns that limited social interaction during the first eighteen months of the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the multi-trillion-dollar event industry, which includes large hallmark events like festivals and concerts and business events like trade shows. In addition to the impact made to the events industry, there was a social and mental wellness impact on consumers as they learned how to live a "new norm" lifestyle. As vaccines and reductions in social distancing guidelines opened a path to return to physical, in-person events, event planners and producers faced barriers with people's emotional readiness to engage in face-to-face settings with large groups of people, which was the core inspiration for this dissertation and exploration. Although there is extensive literature based around event studies and mindfulness, a gap in the literature remains regarding how mindfulness activities might possibly influence and create event impact. Affiliative motivations were identified as a motivating factor that is associated with consumer willingness to return to physical events. Emotional barriers to engagement were also identified. Mindfulness activities were identified as a potential factor that impacts emotional barriers. The first essay hypothesizes individual participation in mindfulness meditation will dampen anxiety and increase intentions to attend large-scale events (Chapter 2). It is hypothesized that mindfulness exercises can be used on-location at in-person events to decrease anxiety, increase openness to experiences, and increase the impact of in-person business-to-business trade show events (measured by time spent at the show, interactions with vendors, satisfaction with the event, and intention to return). The findings have implications for events following other types of disruptions that result in fear or anxiety associated with large gatherings, focusing on behavioral intentions and attendees attitude regarding event attendance. Additionally, the goal of this dissertation is to expand on the conceptual and theoretical framework of the events industry, providing social insights and create a framework for event planners and producers to use to best interact with event attendees.

The second essay focuses on how the practice of mindfulness and one-time mindfulness interventions impact consumer willingness to attend pro-social events following the pandemic. The goal was to expand upon earlier studies which explored the impact of implementing mindfulness exercises during events and thus aims to discuss and argue that mindfulness can be positively associated with the attendee's event attitudes and behavioral intentions when threaded through prosocial events. Although one-time mindfulness interventions do influence social influence in attendees, there were no significant differences between the means of the mindfulness manipulation for either behavioral intentions or event attitudes.



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