International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

The Effectiveness of Trade Shows and Exhibitions as Organizational Marketing Tool (Analysis of Chosen Companies in Mombasa)
Sasaka Peter Situma

Trade shows could not be underestimated as important marketing tools that were able to reach a huge target market at one go. Over the years organized trade shows had provided an even playing field in which small business and large ones came together to determine the trade show effectiveness. The objective of the study was to determine organizations’ views towards effectiveness of trade shows and exhibitions as a marketing tool. The problem statement was that most organizations were operating in budgetary constraints and therefore the need to ensure that their objectives were met became critical. Majumder (1996) noted that great issues that marketers were faced with were severe recessions, reduced purchasing power, reduced growth rate, increased competition, consumer awareness and pressure on pricing. Organizations were therefore constantly looking for the lowest cost effective methods to promote their products and services and the effectiveness of trade shows as a marketing platform to meet their objectives was not known. The results of this study was useful to:- potential exhibitors who might wish to use the trade shows for promotion of their products and services, participants to the show who were in a position to determine whether shows were appropriate to ensure that the exhibitions fitted into their overall strategy and exhibition organizers who used the results to formulate strategies that added value to participating organizations and ensured its continued existence. In the literature review summary, trade shows at their most effective could be important marketing tools for business. They were vital parts of the marketing mix as they combined the mass – reach of advertising, the targeting of direct mail, direct selling and the networking benefits of the internet. Shows created a unique environment in which a wide range of sales and marketing objectives were pursued. The shows brought buyers and sellers together to a central location. According to Reeds Exhibitions in new and emerging markets, shows were direct catalyst for industrial and commercial development. They drove industrial development and technology transfer, boosted regional and national industry by providing a shop window for goods and stimulated foreign investment. The survey was carried out using descriptive study. Stratified random sampling method was used in choosing the sample elements. The qualitative data was analyzed using qualitative analysis while SPSS was used to analyze the quantitative data. Qualitative analysis sought to make general statements on how categories of themes of data were related, Mugenda & Mugenda(2003). The population of the study was drawn from firms which had participated in trade shows. The study used semi-structured questionnaires to collect primary data. The instrument was dropped and picked later. The respondents were managers responsible for handling the show activities. The data was presented, analyzed and interpretations given. In findings and conclusions, this study made some contributions to the understanding of the trade shows and exhibitions factors affecting organizational marketing media.

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