An exploratory study of trade show formation and diversity

Jianan Wu, Gary L. Lilien, Aniruddha Dasgupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: To analyze the objectives of trade show participants and to link those objectives to trade show formation and diversity. Methodology/Approach: We conduct an exploratory analysis of trade show formation and diversity and link them to the differences in several seller and buyer interests across industries. We used data collected from a single large trade show to examine the nature of buyer and seller participation goals using multivariate statistical analysis. We then used a data set collected from the entire trade show industry to examine the trade show diversity via an econometric model. Findings: We find that higher selling and buying propensity is linked to more vertical shows whereas higher breadth of product interests is linked to more horizontal shows. We also find that a highly innovative industry is often linked to more horizontal shows. Originality/Value/Contribution: Although trade shows are critical elements of the communications mix in business-to-business marketing, very little is known about how a trade show is formed and why two different types of shows (i.e., horizontal and vertical) coexist in the industry. This is the first study that investigates these issues. Our work should help guide trade show organizers diagnose and improve the appropriate mix of shows in a given industry and help trade show participants select better shows to attend, depending on their show objectives and selling/buying interests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-424
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Business-to-Business Marketing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 25 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing


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