This paper aims to analyse the quality of experience in the Italian art museum context and to understand the mediating role of satisfaction between museum experiences and visitors' word-of-mouth (WOM) behavioural intentions.Design/methodology/approachThis exploratory study adopted a quantitative methodology. Visitors to Italian art museums were interviewed, and the results were examined using exploratory factor analysis and regression analysis.FindingsThe analysis shows that the following museum experience dimensions were present in the Italian art museum context: aesthetics, escapism and “edumotion”. Further, these dimensions positively affected visitors' overall satisfaction which mediates on WOM behavioural intentions.Research limitations/implicationsThe small sample limits the generalisability of findings, and further research on the topic is recommended.Practical implicationsMuseums should allocate resources to improve visitor experience, visitor satisfaction and museum attractions. Specifically, museum managers should invest in the three dimensions that emerged from this study.Originality/valueThis study enriches the empirical evidence on experiential marketing in the museum context by focussing on the mediating role of overall satisfaction in the relationship between museum experience and WOM behaviours. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study investigating this phenomenon in Italian museums.
The TQM Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 31, 2020
Keywords: Experience dimensions; Aesthetics; Education; Entertainment; Escapism; WOM
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