This chapter provides the background, motivations, and goals of our book on trade shows in the globalizing knowledge economy. Traditionally conceived as marketing tools to support sales and direct contracts, we point at the need to reconceptualize trade shows as events that fundamentally facilitate the creation and circulation of knowledge across geographical distances. After a brief examination of classical approaches to the study of trade shows, which see these events as marketing tools or business tourism initiatives, a rationale for a knowledge-based view of trade shows is provided. The chapter also distinguishes trade shows from other types of events and demonstrates their intrinsic link with globalization processes. We conclude by summarizing the general argument of the book and outlining its structure.
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