K.U.Leuven - Departement toegepaste economische wetenschappen
DTEW Research Report 09646 pages:1-35
Trade shows are a multi-billion dollar business in the US and the UK, but little is known about the determinants of trade show effectiveness. In this paper, we build a model that explains differences in trade show effectiveness across industries, across companies and across two countries. We focus on the differences in trade show effectiveness measured in a similar way across similar samples of 171 US and 135 UK firm-show experiences between 1980 and 1991. While the similarities outweigh the differences, we find evidence that trade shows are viewed differently by exhibitors and attendees in these two countries. We are able to make substantial generalizations about the effect of various show selection (go-not go) variables (booth size, personnel, etc.) on observed performance. We discuss the implications of our research for developing benchmarks for trade show performance and for better global management of the business marketing communications mix.