Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Communication at Tradeshows—Face-to-Face versus Online
by Powers, Megan C., M.A., Gonzaga University, 2014, 97; 1558792
Abstract (Summary)

The question is regularly posed within communication academia as to whether computer mediated communication (CMC) is a "richer" form of communication than face-to-face (FtF). Similarly, the necessity of meeting FtF with regard to business has been repeatedly called into question since the downturn of the economy in 2008-2009. One reason professionals gather FtF is for tradeshows.

This thesis looks at the quality of the communication that takes place at FtF tradeshows, and reveals attitudes and opinions with regard to the importance of the relationship-building and commerce that occurs in person and/or online. The results inform what we can and cannot accomplish in these different environments.

331 professionals who have worked in tradeshows as a planner, an exhibitor, an attendee, or an executive took an online survey designed to reveal how they felt about the relationship-building and commerce that occurs in the tradeshow environment. The questions were focused on whether FtF, CMC, or a combination of the two is the solution, exploring the value and necessity of tradeshows. Additionally, an autoethnography highlights some personal experiences, having served within each of the professional roles with regard to tradeshows.

The results showed the respondents felt that CMC is not a replacement for the FtF communication that occurs at tradeshows, but it is a useful supplement to the FtF experience. The autoethnography echoed these sentiments, in addition to echoing the short answers of many of the respondents.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Caputo, John
Commitee: Crandall, Heather, Misner, Josh
School: Gonzaga University
Department: Communication and Leadership
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: MAI 53/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Business administration, Marketing, Communication
Keywords: Cmc, Communication, Conferences, Events, Face-to-face, Tradeshows
Publication Number: 1558792
ISBN: 978-1-303-99091-5
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