Exploratory study of the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based features in conference center selection/recommendation by meeting planners
Lee, Seungwon Shawn
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This study examined the perceived importance of availability of ICT-based features and technical support on meeting plannersâ recommendation/selection of a conference center. In addition, this study attempted to explain relationships between meeting plannersâ beliefs (perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use) toward ICT-based features and other factors: personal innovativeness of ICT (PIICT); perceived importance of the availability of technical support; self efficacy; and result demonstrability. A conceptually integrated and expanded model of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) developed by Davis (1986, 1989) was used as a theoretical frame. The subjects of the study were meeting planners who used the selected two conference centers for their meetings or were considering them for their future meetings. A total of 167 usable responses were gathered and the proposed model was empirically examined using the data collected. The results of the model test revealed that the expanded TAM with the integration of key factors provided a systematic view of the meeting plannersâ beliefs in selection/recommendation of a conference center with ICT-based features. In addition, factor analysis of the fifteen ICT-based features revealed three underlying dimensions based on meeting plannersâ perceived importance of the availability of each feature for a conference center selection: 1) high-speed wireless Internet; 2) network backbone; and 3) ICT-based service outlet. Specifically, high-speed wireless Internet was the most important ICT-based determinant of a conference center selection/recommendation to all types of meeting planners. Due to the exploratory nature of this study, the results provided limited facets of the impact of ICT-based feature and technical support on meeting facility selection/recommendation. Nevertheless, this study is the first research effort of its kind to investigate what type of ICT-based feature and technical support impact conference center selection/recommendation by different types of meeting planners the most. The results revealed that corporate meeting planners consider wireless Internet and a fast network more important in selection than other types of meeting planners do. The availability of ICT-based features was less important to association meeting planners when they make a conference center selection. This study also identified that there is a serious lack of knowledge in terms related to network backbones across all types of meeting planners. Technical support, especially on-site technical support, was perceived as very important to all types of meeting planners. This study also identified that meeting planners with high PIICT possess stronger confidence in using and visualizing the advantages of ICT-based features. Thus conference centers should make efforts to measure meeting plannersâ PIICT and use the score effectively for their marketing of ICT-based features. The study also identified result demonstrabilityâ the visualizing of positive outcomes of using ICT-based featuresâ as very important to meeting planners. PIICT and result demonstrability were positively related to perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness which were identified as key antecedents of actual acceptance/usage of technology in previous studies. The results of the current study present an important step toward providing practical as well as theoretical implications for future technology impact studies in the context of meeting facility selection.