Temporary Knowledge Ecologies
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Temporary Knowledge Ecologies

The Rise of Trade Fairs in the Asia-Pacific Region

Edited by Harald Bathelt and Gang Zeng

Temporary Knowledge Ecologies investigates and theorizes the nature, rise and evolution of trade fair knowledge ecologies in the Asia-Pacific region. It provides a comprehensive overview of trade fairs in this key world region applying a comparative perspective that involves highly diverse developed and developing countries. The book identifies (i) knowledge generation and transfer processes through trade fairs, (ii) interrelationships between industrial specialization and trade fair specialization, and (iii) linkages between economic development, industrial policy and trade fair development.
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Chapter 9: Local industry structure and the formation of temporary clusters: the case of the Shanghai International Auto Show (SIAS)

Xiang Kong and Yu-Fei Zhang


Trade fairs are usually regarded as platforms where firms from a specific industry can showcase their latest products or services, study their rivals’ activities and acquire the latest market trends. During a trade fair, the suppliers/producers from a specific industry come together in a concentrated space to exhibit their products and services to promote trade (Bertrand 1987; Moeran 2011). At the same time, exhibitors participate in these fairs to maintain and intensify existing customer networks and make new connections (Ramirez-Pasillas 2007). For most exhibitors, trade fairs also provide important opportunities to establish and extend brand influence. In conversations with visitors, they can obtain market information for improving and developing their products and exchange information about technological advances in their fields (see Zeng and Bathelt, this volume). In addition, exhibitors have the opportunity to learn about the latest trends of competitors and potential partners, so as to generate new collaborations (Aldebert et al. 2011). As a result, trade fairs are not only platforms for trading, but critical means to expand markets and networks (Herbig et al. 1996) and to keep abreast of technological changes. Given the fact that a trade fair usually lasts only a few days, it can be regarded as a temporary multi-functional platform made up of various types of participants, such as manufacturers, intermediaries, industry analysts, business customers, government agencies, buyers/purchasing groups and media representatives (Browning and Adams 1998).

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