Purpose – Previous studies explored only the direct effect of industry, company and trade show strategy influence factors on trade show performance and left the intervening processes virtually unexplored. The purpose of this paper is to provide one of the first empirical tests of the intervening role of trade show marketing processes (pre‐show promotion, at‐show selling, and post‐show follow‐up) in the relationship between resource allocation and performance of trade shows. Design/methodology/approach – This study used the Directory of Chinese Export Commodities Fair Exhibitors as its sampling frame. From this directory, a systematic random sample of 1,000 firms was drawn. A final total of 444 exhibitor firms fully completed the questionnaires, resulting in a response rate of 44.4 per cent. The hypotheses were tested by regression analysis, the appropriate procedure for assessing interdependent variables, since trade show marketing processes are interdependent. Findings – The results show that the effect of the resources variables on sales and non‐sales achievement for trade shows were not fully, but rather were partially, mediated by trade show marketing processes. Originality/value – By empirically exploring the notion of partial mediation of the effects of firm resources through trade show marketing processes, this study has opened up a fruitful avenue for future research on trade show marketing.
- Promotional methods; Trade fairs; Sales campaigns; Marketing; Resource allocation; Customer relations