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Although trade shows constitute a major portion of the marketing mix in the industrial market place, very little has been researched on their function in industrial marketing. This study assessed the role of trade shows in the communication mix of textile companies, the extent to which firms engaged in pre-show, show and post- show activities, and exhibitor's opinions on the organisation of trade shows. Data were collected through a structured questionnaire using face-to- face interviews. Exhibitors listed several advantages for trade show participation including the identification of new customers and the enhancement of company image and goodwill. Disadvantages included the high costs and the difficulty of quantifying results from trade shows that made executives uneasy about the large expenditures. Findings also revealed that the size of the firm did not influence objective-setting and the extent to which firms engaged in trade show activities. Overall, exhibitors need to take a market-orientated approach to their exhibition activities.