The Rise of Trade Fairs in the Asia-Pacific Region
Edited by Harald Bathelt and Gang Zeng
Chapter 11: Trade fairs in peripheral places: towards a political economy of Australian fashion events
This chapter focuses attention on the under-researched characteristics of trade events in peripheral regional locations. The chapter questions whether the learning and innovation effects associated with prominent global events – the events that are the focus of most trade fair research in both economic geography and business studies – are shared by all types of trade fairs; or whether, in fact, processes of interactive learning and knowledge creation are peculiar to events located both physically and discursively at the center of global industry knowledge flows. The chapter shifts the research focus to the evolution of regional-scale trade events. Here it is possible to examine how the positioning of events conditions their role in a globalizing political economy and how their relation to the evolution of regional production systems, industries and economies shapes their role in economic development. To examine the ways that regional events mediate the relationship between places and industries, the chapter analyzes a group of events held in two regional cities – Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. Poot (2001) describes such cities as being located on the periphery of global interactions, where peripherality is a relational social construct identifying places by their distance in space, separation in time and subordinate relationship to core locations that have allocative power over resources (Giddens 1985).
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