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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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Functions of Trade Shows: A Historical Perspective

Functions of Trade Shows: A Historical Perspective

(p.17) 2 Functions of Trade Shows: A Historical Perspective
Trade Shows in the Globalizing Knowledge Economy

Harald Bathelt

Francesca Golfetto

Diego Rinallo

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a historical overview of the development of trade fairs since the Middle Ages and the ways in which these events have changed. It includes a discussion of shifts in the sets of exhibitors and visitors or buyers since then, as well as shifts in the nature of inter-firm interaction and the greater importance attached to knowledge flows. The chapter illustrates how trade shows have developed from periodic markets and commodity fairs for trading products to sample fairs and knowledge-based events in which knowledge exchange, innovation and creativity, and the construction of networks have become increasingly important. This is demonstrated through an examination of the changing roles of visitors (including atypical visitors) and exhibitors, which lead to the development of a specific knowledge-based view of trade shows.

Keywords:   buyers, commodity fairs, exhibitors, functions of trade shows, knowledge-based events, inter-firm interaction, periodic markets, visitors

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