Customer-customer interactions (CCIs) at conferences: An identity approach

Wei Wei, Ying (Tracy) Lu, Li Miao, Liping A. Cai, Chen ya Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The dynamic of modern events reflects an increased focus on staging unique and compelling experiences for event attendees. Considering the centrality of customer-customer interactions (CCIs) in conferences, conference experience is greatly driven by attendees’ engagement in CCIs. Anchored in social psychology, organizational behavior, and marketing/branding literature, this study adopts the Self-Concept and Social Identity Theory (SIT) as its theoretical bedrock to investigate the underlying mechanism through which CCIs influence attendees’ experiences at association conferences. Data was collected from 821 former association conference attendees. SEM results suggest a mediating model, which illustrates that attendees’ experience of know-how exchange and social-emotional support during CCIs significantly influences their group-based self-esteem and transcendent conference experiences, while the social-emotional support plays a more significant role. Such relationships are further found to be partially mediated by one's identification with the conference group. Findings yield both theoretical contributions and managerial implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-170
Number of pages17
JournalTourism Management
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has been sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, State Agricultural Experiment Stations grant [Grant No KY010012 ].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • Conferences
  • Customer-customer interactions (CCIs)
  • Emotional
  • Experiences
  • Identity
  • Psychological
  • Social

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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