The findingsalso have significant managerial implications for trade show organizers.Satisfaction with organizers and satisfaction with visitors contributedsignificantly to exhibitors’ positive behavioral intention and are within tradeshow organizers’ control. Organizers can ensure that exhibitors’ concern isheard and addressed. In addition, organizers can provide an environment thatfacilitates exhibitors’ agenda (e.g.
, giving out awards for the best booth) atthe trade show. And, organizers can enhance outcome quality by helpingexhibitors reap what they sow by following up with visitors. The resultsof this study indicated that visitors’ job ranking, job function, purchaseauthority, and community quality all positively affected exhibitors’ positive behavioralintention. Organizers should build on this finding by recruiting visitors withfitting positions and purchasing power and then ensuring that exhibitors willhave plenty of opportunities to interact with them. Organizers could even givemore incentives to high profile international buyers (i.e., visitors) to attendthe trade show to increase exhibitors’ positive behavioral intention.
This studyhas several limitations. First, positive behavioral intention might nottransform into actual behavior. Many factors (e.g.
, budget cuts, time conflict,new management, and change in strategy) might come into play during theone-year or six-month gap between trade shows. Furthermore, some effects oftrade shows are delayed and might influence exhibitors’ positive behavioralintention long after the trade show. For example, securing qualified leadsduring the trade show might encourage exhibitors to return. However, if thesequalified leads fail to convert into actual sales through follow-up activity,the exhibitor might end up disappointed with the trade show and change his orher intention to return. In some industries where the purchase price is veryhigh, it can take months or even years for exhibitors to realize the effects ofa trade show (Seringhaus & Rosson, 2004). Hence, future studies shouldadopt a longitudinal design and study the factors that impact exhibitors’positive behavioral intention for an extended period of time after the tradeshow. Doing so likely would be valuable to organizers interested in ensuringexhibitors’ positive behavioral intention. Second, thisstudy addressed the three key determinants of exhibitors’ positive behavioralintention: satisfaction with self-performance, satisfaction with organizers,and satisfaction with visitors.
The results showed that two out of threeconstructs contributed significantly to exhibitors’ positive behavioralintention. However, there are other factors that could influence exhibitors’positive behavioral intention. For example, previous studies have found thatmembers of the local community, attractiveness, and accessibility of the eventvenue could impact attendees’ participation experience (Oppermann & Chon,1997; Zhang, Leung, & Qu, 2007). Thus, future studies should include thesefactors and examine their significant effect and relative strength onexhibitors’ positive behavioral intention.
Third, themeasurement instrument used in this study consisted of 46 items, which mightnot be feasible for trade show organizers to use because exhibitors andvisitors do not like lengthy surveys. Future research should modify the modelestablished in this study and develop a short-version that is more amenable tothe trade show environment. Trade show organizers could use the model proposed in this study tomeasure and improve their exhibitors’ positive behavioral intention.