When filling the questionnaire, indicating ones professional position was left optional for the respondent. Although some of the respondents left the part blank, a majority of them felt the need to indicate their profession or the positions they hold in their respective careers. Evidently, the positions range from across a wide array of professional occupations.
Filling in gender was also optional for the respondents. Some of them indicated their gender while others ignored this part of the questionnaire.
The participants were required to indicate their age when filling the questionnaire. All the respondents indicated their age brackets on the form. Over 90% of this population was aged 35 years and above. Only two were between the ages of 30 and 34. Such a trend can be attributed to the fact that individuals over the age of 35 have already established themselves as professionals in their respective fields. Individuals below the age of 30 do not necessarily indulge in business activities, particularly trade fairs since most of them are still pursuing their studies.
Level of Education
All the respondents that participated in the survey have varying levels of educational accomplishment. 9 of them have high school diplomas but are doing well in the corporate world according to the professional positions indicated. 4 have college diplomas, 4 have undergraduate degrees, 2 have masters’ degrees, and 4 of them have postgraduate degrees. Despite their varying levels of educational achievement, they all indulge in different businesses or have background knowledge in business relationships.
Notably, the number of fairs attended also varied from one respondent to another. 4 of the participants indicated that they attended less than 5 trade fairs, 4 of them had attended between 9-10 fairs, 1 had attended between 10-15 fairs, 12 of the participants had attendant more than 15 fairs, while 1 had attended over 30 trade fairs. Despite their different career paths and occupations, it can be noted that a majority of the respondents have taken part in over 10 trade fairs either as exhibitors or visitors.
The Approximate Average Cost of the Trade Fairs as a Percentage to the Organization Annual Budget for the Trade Fairs Attended
13 of the respondents indicated less than 10% while 3 indicated between 10-19%. One of the respondents filled exactly 20.29% while other two indicated over 30%. Three of the respondents completely ignored this part while one failed to fill it citing a lack of understanding as to what the question was trying to ask.
Do you Believe Trade Fairs Improve Business Operations?
The questionnaire has a table which included questions that were aimed at determining the perspective of the participant on whether trade fairs have been able to improve business operations. The measures used in the inquiry included strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, and strongly disagree. With regards to whether trade fairs improve the marketing ability of the business, a large percentage of the respondents agreed with this through while some indicated that they strongly agree. Notably, a considerable number of the respondents remained neutral on when asked whether they believe trade fairs improve the financial ability of the business. The rest of the participants with the exception of one indicated that they agreed or strongly agreed with this premise. One of the participants disagreed with the perspective that the financial ability of a business is improved by trade shows.
About 90% of the respondents agree that attending trade fairs improve the social ability of businesses. Trade fairs bring people together, both retailers and consumers. During these events, the attendees interact socially in ways that lead to the development of fruitful business relationships. Interestingly, over 70% of the respondents in this survey believe that trade fairs are avenues that generate communicating new ideas and concepts that promote business growth. The other 30% remain neutral on the issue. Moreover, 80% of the respondents disagree or strongly disagree with the argument that trade fairs are not important to business activities. 20 % remain neutral on this issue. However, no one agrees with this issue. In particular, a majority of the respondents also remain neutral on the fact that trade fairs enhance the trust of the community towards business organizations. Likewise, the viewpoint of most of the respondent is neutral on the argument that trade fairs improve the commitment of the community towards business organizations. It can also be noted that a small number of the participants disagree with this premise.
Furthermore, it can be noted that all the respondents agree or remain neutral on the argument that trade fairs enhance the satisfaction of the community towards the business organization. None of the feedback provided disagreed with this premise. Moreover, all the participants either agree or disagree with the fact that trust, commitment, satisfaction and rapport developed in the community trade fairs improve the firm’s quantity of sales. In this regard, although the responses provided by the survey varied in different ways, the fact remains that all respondents appreciated the significance of trade fairs in improving the business relationships between exhibitors and visitors.
Why do you believe companies still attend trade fairs despite the fact that it returns cannot be directly quantified? Please give 3 reasons.
The answers provided to this question varied from one participant to another. However, despite some of the responses not being framed in the exact same way, they were still similar to each other. Three of the most recurrent responses include:
A majority of the respondents in the survey believe that improving social ability is among the major reasons why companies still attend trade fairs. Business professionals who attend trade shows get the opportunity to interact with each other sharing their expertise and experiences in the industry. Through such events, like-minded individuals get to spend much time together. In such a way, these people get to borrow insights from each other and to learn to perceive things from different points of view. In the process, their vision is broadened in ways that can potentially contribute towards enhancing their businesses. Almost all the respondents feel that exhibitors also get an opportunity to exchange contact information for future references. The element of a personal connection is vital in any fruitful conversation. Indeed, technology has created new and advanced methods of communication (Berne & Garcia-Uceda, 2008). To exhibitors, it is a great avenue to promote products. To the visitors, nevertheless, it is an opportunity for them to interact with the professionals in the industry and possibly come away with some great contacts (Borghini, Golfetto & Rinallo, 2006). It is the perspective of numerous respondents that a trade fair would be perfect for a smaller company or a new business that is yet to capture the attention it desires. Hence, the networking potential that is associated with attending trade fairs cannot be disregarded.
Improving Brand Marketing
Chiefly, it is noted a majority of the respondents believe that companies still attend trade fairs in an effort to market their brand to potential consumers and interested business partners. Trade fairs present a great face to face marketing regardless of the individual’s purpose at the event. Both exhibitors and attendees are presented with the opportunity to introduce a brand in front of existing or potentially new consumers. Indeed, there are various approaches through which an exhibitor can attract the attention of consumers at a trade fair (Hansen, 2004). With an attractive design, a business can be able to pull the attention of the attendees to the brand. Subsequently, the exhibitors can present the product or service to the interested parties. In addition to design, the placement of a booth in a trade fair also contributes to the branding process of the organization. When placed at a strategic point where interested parties can easily access, the number of people that will inquire about the brand will likely be high. In this regard, it is imperative for exhibitors to consider some aspects before the trade show in a bid to realize its set objectives. Exhibitors and managers get to interact in show trades. Such an opportunity would otherwise have not occurred if the company would have opted for another promotional method (Blythe, 2009). Hence, the results of the survey show that trade fairs are an essential part of creating a business relationship between exhibitors and attendees by building the element of trust between the two parties and displaying the reliability of the brand in the process.
Research and Surveillance
A majority of the responses provided by the participants signify that companies still attend trade fairs as a way of researching for new ideas or conducting surveillance on how competitors are doing in the market. Unlike in the past where a huge company would monopolize a market as the sole producer or a particular product or service, the market is more dynamic now with numerous firms offering a single product or service. Hence, for a firm to remain competitive in the market, it has to ensure that it stays on ahead of competitors. Trade fairs offer companies the opportunity to conduct market surveillance (Kirchgeorg, Jung & Klante, 2010). In this regard, a firm has the opportunity to look into the plans of a competitor to determine whether or not the new product can affect its number of sales in the market. If yes, then the company might as well come up with an innovative product or service that can assist it to retain its customers. Through the interactions in a trade fair, the consumers visiting the event can communicate their needs and preferences to the manufacturing companies exhibiting their products. In the process, the firms can determine if or how to enhance their products or services in a way that would potentially enhance the profitability of the business. In this regard, it is evident that the role played by trade fairs in building a fruitful relationship between exhibitors and visitors is crucial.
What are your purpose/approaches of visiting/attending this trade fair?
Most of the responses obtained from the survey suggest that different people attend trade fairs for various reasons. Some individuals attend these events to network and socialize on a professional level with other professionals in their respective industries. From the perspective of individuals who attend trade shows as retailers, they have the opportunity to meet potential new suppliers and business partners. Moreover, small businesses can get an opportunity to present their products and services to potential consumers. Finally, people can develop new ideas for products and services by visiting such events that are filled with entrepreneurial opportunities. Hence, despite there being numerous reasons why different people attend trade fairs, these remain the most prominent causes.
What do you think of business relationship quality built from a trade show? Is it more trustworthy than any other ways, e.g. people introduction, promotional email..?
Almost all of the responses yielded by the questionnaire propose that a business relationship built from a trade show is trustworthy. From their perspective, establishing trust between these two parties may form the foundation of a great business relationship that can enhance the performance of business while at the same time meeting the needs of the consumers and leaving them satisfied. Hence, trade shows are an essential part of creating a business relationship between exhibitors and attendees by building the element of trust between the two parties and displaying the reliability of the brand in the process.
Do you think that trade fairs also act as primary business meeting points, engaging social interactions between buyers and sellers?
Despite some of the respondents not believing that sales deals are closed at trade fairs, almost all of them are of the opinion that good relationships and built and some strengthened at this events. Indeed, some of the participants argue that retailers are more likely to use suppliers they meet and feel that they can trust. The reverse is also true. In a case where one party feels that they do not have an understanding of the product, service, market, or technology, then they are likely to avoid the business. In this regard, it is apparent that trade fairs are meeting points where buyers and sellers can interact socially.
Do you think that trust between the parties is also enhanced at trade fairs?
Chiefly, over 90% of the respondents believe that trust between business parties is enhanced at trade fairs. Most of them strongly agree with this premise. According to the data collected from the survey, a considerable number of respondents believe that trust can be built between the exhibitors and the attendees, especially in cases where the parties have not yet met in person. In such a way, it can be established that this is a popular opinion among many business enthusiasts.
When products of similar prices and quality seems to be close to the acceptable levels, what matters for you to make the decision regarding company choice/product choice?
When responding to this question, the participants had a vastly wide range of reasons. Some of these reasons include support, past experiences, longevity, reputation, trust, availability, honesty, good marketing materials, service, and quality.
Berne, C., & Garcia-Uceda, M. E. (2008). Criteria involved in the evaluation of trade shows to visit. Industrial Marketing Management, 37(5), 565-579.
Blythe, J. (2009). Trade fairs as communication: a new model. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 25(1), 57-62.
Borghini, S., Golfetto, F., & Rinallo, D. (2006). Ongoing search among industrial buyers. Journal of Business Research, 59(10-11), 1151-1159.
Hansen, K. (2004). Measuring performance at trade shows: scale development and validation. Journal of Business Research, 57(1), 1-13.
Kirchgeorg, M., Jung, K., & Klante, O. (2010). The future of trade shows: insights from a scenario analysis. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 25(4), 301-312.