Customer relationship management in the exhibition industry in China: an exploration into the critical success factors and inhibitors
Wang, Y, Moyle, B, Whitford, M & Wynn-Moylan, P 2014, 'Customer relationship management in the exhibition industry in China: an exploration into the critical success factors and inhibitors', Journal of China Tourism Research, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 292-322.
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China’s exhibition industry has experienced considerable growth over the past decade; however, recent studies have identified a number of issues affecting its future growth, including an inability to retain customers. Customer relationship management (CRM) offers a potential solution to this problem. Although anecdotal evidence suggests that CRM has been widely adopted in China’s exhibition industry, there is a lack of empirical research focused on factors critical to its successful implementation. Consequently, the aim of this article is to explore the drivers and inhibitors of CRM implementation in China’s exhibition industry. Reporting on the findings from a series of semi-structured interviews with 18 senior managers from exhibition organizing companies in China, this article identifies a series of underlying drivers to successful CRM implementation, including top management commitment and support, user awareness and training programs, and providing necessary resources and funds. This research also uncovered a number of factors that inhibit CRM implementation, including path dependency, organizational structure, and institutional factors, as well as poor data quality and quantity. Future research on CRM in the exhibition industry should focus on developing a conceptual model of the facilitators and inhibitors for testing in different geographic and organizational contexts.