An investigation to identify the most effective use of promotion tools that could be implemented at trade shows to benefit the organisation as an exhibitor
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The nature of this research project was to critically review the role of trade shows as an effective marketing tool, with a specific focus on how the most effective promotion tools can be implemented to ensure organisational aims and objectives are achieved. The research project explored the reasons why organisations attend trade shows, identified the benefits of exhibiting, and the ways in which any disadvantages or potential challenges can be overcome. The rationale of the research project was derived through a combination of two topics the researcher is passionate towards; marketing and trade shows. The research was conducted on a range of previous trade show exhibitors and two industry professionals who are highly experienced and involved with the organisation and production of trade shows. This researcher was able to gain access to the relevant individuals due to contacts made whilst personally working at trade shows as part of a family run organisation. A literature review was conducted to explore the most relevant theories regarding marketing, and to identify the variety of promotional tools that can be utilised as an exhibitor at a trade show. The methodology was also discussed and justified, and both qualitative and quantitative approaches were selected; interviews and questionnaires. Exhibitors who had previously attended trade shows completed the questionnaires, whereas industry professionals were interviewed to gain further in depth responses based on their knowledge, experiences and personal opinions. The findings of the research emphasised how promotion is key to maximum performance at trade shows, and organisations cannot expect return on investment if they do not undertake efficient planning and selection of the most suitable and effective promotion tools. The research project concluded with recommendations reflecting the importance of remaining up to date with on trend promotion activity, innovations and competitors. Trade shows can be utilised as a key promotion tool, however the event is a promotional process itself and involves careful research and planning throughout every aspect.
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