Social networking is a key benefit derived from participation in conferences that bind the ties of a professional community. Building social networks can lead to satisfactory experiences while furthering participants' long- and short-term career goals. Although investigations of social networking can lend insight into how to effectively engage individuals and groups within a professional cohort, this area has been largely overlooked in past research. The present study investigates the relationship between social networking and satisfaction with the 10th Biennial Conference of Research on the Colorado Plateau using structural equation modelling. Results partially support the hypothesis that three dimensions of social networking – interpersonal connections, social cohesion, and secondary associations – positively contribute to the performance of various conference attributes identified in two focus group sessions. The theoretical and applied contributions of this paper shed light on the social systems formed within professional communities and resource allocation among service providers.
Additional publication details
Understanding how social networking influences perceived satisfaction with conference experiences