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 10: Building relationships at local trade fairs in Japan: a case study of the Suwa Area Industrial Messe

Yutaka Yokura


Recent studies on innovation and knowledge creation emphasize the role of temporary geographical proximity (Maskell et al. 2004; 2006; Bathelt and Schuldt 2008; 2010; Wickham and Vecchi 2008; Rallet and Torre 2009). These studies suggest that temporary F2F (Face-to-Face) communication such as business travel, professional gatherings and industry events enable the actors to acquire similar information as in permanent clusters. Trade fairs can be regarded as temporary clusters in that they are economic phenomena where actors concentrate at a specific place for a limited duration and for specific purposes. The temporary cluster’s extraordinary characteristics have an important potential impact on the participants’ economic performance. Hansen (2004, pp. 3f.) proposed improvement in employee and customer motivation, in addition to corporate image building and marketing activity, as important purposes of trade fairs. Participants are sensitive to stimulation and they tend to create new ideas through diverse relationships during trade fairs. In addition, Rallet and Torre (2009, p. 17) noted that the participants are removed from daily relations and routines to easily make initial contact with others during the fair.

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