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Trade Shows in the Globalizing Knowledge Economy$
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Harald Bathelt, Francesca Golfetto, and Diego Rinallo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199643080

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199643080.001.0001

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Knowledge Dynamics in Export Shows: The Affirmation of the Italian Furniture Industry

Knowledge Dynamics in Export Shows: The Affirmation of the Italian Furniture Industry

(p.245) 14 Knowledge Dynamics in Export Shows: The Affirmation of the Italian Furniture Industry
Trade Shows in the Globalizing Knowledge Economy

Harald Bathelt

Francesca Golfetto

Diego Rinallo

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the history of Salone del Mobile, an international furniture trade show in Milan that is now recognised as the industry's leading event, despite its origins as an export show for Italian manufacturers. Using a longitudinal research design, this chapter illustrates how the event was able to affirm local/national industries, products, and styles by improving knowledge sharing practices among exhibitors, linking furniture making to design, and attracting international media coverage. Since the 1990s, the trade show has also spun off hundreds of spontaneous cultural and commercial events in Milan that extend well beyond the confines of the exhibition centre and attract designers and other trendsetters. These fringe events create a vibrant cultural environment that provides further opportunities to learn about emerging trends in design and consumer culture.

Keywords:   country-of-origin effects, export trade shows, Fuori Salone, furniture industry, Italian design, learning by immersion, Salone del Mobile, visitor experience

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