A three-component framework for trade show performance evaluation

Open Access
Lin, Yeqiang
Graduate Program:
Recreation, Park and Tourism Management
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
June 17, 2014
Committee Members:
  • Deborah Lee Kerstetter, Dissertation Advisor
  • Deborah Lee Kerstetter, Committee Chair
  • Alan R Graefe, Committee Member
  • Benjamin Daniel Hickerson, Committee Member
  • Donald C Hambrick, Committee Member
  • trade shows
  • evaluation
  • framework
  • stakeholder theory
  • satisfaction
  • & behavioral intention
Satisfaction is one of the most studied subjects in the field of tourism, yet there have been few studies of satisfaction with trade shows, which represent a sizeable and increasingly important segment of the industry. Efforts to address satisfaction with trade show performance at the theoretical level have been quite limited or nonexistent. Furthermore, previous studies have failed to recognize the three key stakeholders in the trade show industry (i.e., visitors, exhibitors, and organizers) and the outcomes (e.g., satisfaction and behaviors) of their interactions. This dissertation fills this gap by 1) proposing a trade show performance evaluation framework that accounts for the relationships between visitors, exhibitors, and organizers; 2) constructing a measurement scale on exhibitors’ satisfaction based on the proposed conceptual framework; and 3) applying the scale at multiple trade shows to examine its reliability and validity and the relationships between the three dimensions and behavioral intention. The results of the dissertation are spread out across three chapters (i.e., Chapter 2, 3 and 4), each of which is written as a separate manuscript. In the first manuscript (Chapter 2) I proposed the Visitor-Exhibitor-Organizer (VEO) framework, which could be used by trade show organizers to measure their customers’ (i.e., exhibitors and visitors) satisfaction and positive behavioral intention. Based on the VEO framework, an exhibitor and a visitor performance evaluation model were constructed. The results validated the VEO framework by indicating that it is not adequate to focus on one stakeholder when evaluating trade show performance. The second manuscript (Chapter 3) focused on exhibitors’ satisfaction. This manuscript outlined how I constructed and validated a measurement scale that accounts for the significant roles of all three key stakeholders through a pilot test, scale purification and validation. The final instrument consisted of 46-items that represented 12 sub-dimensions and 3 dimensions of exhibitors’ satisfaction. The resulting instrument was found to be superior to existing instruments in that it comprehensively measures exhibitors’ performance at a trade show and explains a large portion of exhibitors’ overall satisfaction.