An exploratory study of attendee activities at a business trade show Academic Article uri icon


  • PurposeAlthough trade shows are a significant part of the B2B communications mix, academic research in the area is sparse. To successfully manage this medium, a careful understanding of attendee behavior on the trade show floor is necessary. Drawing from the rich literature on shopper typologies in retailing (which parallels the trade show atmosphere), this paper sets out to develop a set of attendee metrics that show organizers can track regularly.Design/methodology/approachThrough latent class clustering on unique attendeelevel data from a popular computer trade show, five segments of attendee activity are uncovered that differ along dimensions such as the attendee's involvement and focus and the exhibitor's booth size, booth accessibility, and product display.FindingsSignificant heterogeneity is found in attendee activities on the show floor. There are interesting similarities and differences between the retail and B2B shopper. Implications for trade show organizers and exhibitors are discussed and directions for future research suggested.Originality/valueSince the data employed are becoming more readily available, the hope is that managers and academic researchers might find the suggested metrics and segmentation approach useful in advancing a deeper understanding of the trade show attendee.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing

author list (cited authors)

  • Gopalakrishna, S., Roster, C. A., & Sridhar, S.

citation count

  • 40

complete list of authors

  • Gopalakrishna, Srinath||Roster, Catherine A||Sridhar, Shrihari

publication date

  • January 2010