International trade shows have become a significant promotional tool for exporters. However, little academic research has been used to examine the role of trade shows within marketing. Reviews the extant literature and develops a new framework of trade show participation modes (i.e. exhibitors and visitors) and motives (i.e. selling and buying). Notes that the two perspectives of buying exhibitors and selling visitors have not been discussed in the literature. Applies the framework to an empirical study of Norwegian seafood exporters participating at international trade shows. Finds significant differences in firm characteristics, participation motives and effectiveness between different participation modes and motives. Develops managerial implications and directions for future research.
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