Many marketing managers who are in a position of influence over their company's trade shows policies find it difficult to choose among the multiplying numbers of options. Furthermore, many are still searching for ways to set goals and assess performance in the chosen trade shows. Some assess sales and number of contacts generated in a given show. Others do not even attempt to quantitatively measure performance, and rely on perceptions instead. This article suggests a model for classifying trade shows that takes into account the types of exhibitors and visitors to the show as well as its geographic emphasis. The article then distinguishes between sales- and nonsales-oriented goals. Finally, two models integrating sales and nonsales goals and buyers decision-making stages are presented and discussed. It is hoped that these three models will improve managerial decision making.
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