The Return on Trade Show Information (RTSI): A Conceptual Analysis

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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to analyze the need for developing a return on trade show information (RTSI) index; this index would be used to measure the impact of information gathered at trade shows on long-term decision making within the organization. Also, the paper aims to suggest differences in how exhibitors and visitors perceive tangible versus intangible benefits that accrue as a result of utilizing new information acquired at trade shows. Design/methodology/approach - The paper utilizes a conceptual approach, employing the market orientation framework to develop a model for the return on trade show information (RTSI). It incorporates the acquisition, dissemination and utilization of new trade show information, suggesting that perceived information quality acts as a moderator in this relationship. Findings - The return on trade show information (RTSI) index describes both tangible and intangible benefits that accrue to the organization as a result of information acquired at trade shows. However, in some cases the same information that is acquired at trade shows is also available from alternative sources, potentially making it difficult to determine true RTSI. Originality/value - The manuscript offers an innovative perspective for estimating the value of new information acquired at trade shows, suggesting differences in the way in which exhibitors and visitors perceive, as well as utilize, trade show information. This opens the door to future research in the area of trade show information value; in addition, this can benefit practitioners by providing a different method for evaluating the investment value of trade show participation.