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Consumer behavior at an industrial travel show

Laura M. Milner (Associate Dean and Professor of Marketing based at the College of Business, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington, USA)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 23 October 2009




The purpose of this paper is to examine the behavior of consumers in an industrial trade show context – the ITB tourism trade show.


The current study addresses whether it is strategically astute to allow final consumers into an industrial trade show. Using a mall intercept method, questions were designed to elicit whether final consumers mimic industrial segments of current, potential or nonusers? Are they repeat or first time? How serious are they? Where in the search process are they? Are they product specific or simply engaged in information collection? How do they search? How are booth choices made?


Participants are current or potential and typically repeat. They are motivated and directed with booth choices being pre‐planned.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of convenience samples apply here. Study should be repeated. Future research should address whether consumers be allowed into other types of industrial trade shows.

Practical implications

This study addresses the utility of free promotional gifts and the strategic implications of allowing consumer access to an industrial event.


Only one other study was uncovered which examined consumer trade shows and it focused on vendor behavior.



Milner, L.M. (2009), "Consumer behavior at an industrial travel show", Tourism Review, Vol. 64 No. 4, pp. 4-11.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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