The Rise of Trade Fairs in the Asia-Pacific Region
Edited by Harald Bathelt and Gang Zeng
Chapter 4: Internationalization and knowledge-based strategies of European trade show organizers in Asia: the case of Messe Frankfurt
Various observers have highlighted the state of maturity (and, possibly, decline) faced by the European trade show industry and the heightened growth of trade shows in China and elsewhere in Asia (Bathelt et al. 2014; Golfetto and Rinallo, this volume; Jin and Weber, this volume, Bathelt et al., this volume). These two phenomena are interdependent for a variety of reasons. First, with the decline of manufacturing in Europe and the accelerated growth in Asia, the number of potential exhibitors in the catchment basins of European trade shows decreases, whereas the market potential of Asian events increases. Second, to exploit the commercial opportunities in high-growth Asian markets, European producers need to exhibit at Asian trade shows. This causes a reduction in the promotional budgets allocated to trade show participation in Europe, where commercial presence is more established and other promotional instruments can be employed to maintain relationships with buyers (e.g. individual events and existing sales force). In contrast, the budget for Asian events increases. Third, Asian buyers have more limited incentives to travel to European trade shows as a result, since they can see much of the European offering at local events.
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