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Trade fairs and innovation

In: The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation


  • Harald Bathelt


This chapter presents evidence that trade fairs play a substantive role in industrial innovation and knowledge generation processes. First, based on interviews conducted at trade fairs, it is illustrated that most exhibitors systematically use these events to present innovations to visitors and acquire information about new products and technologies. Second, findings from an industry survey confirm that trade fairs are consistently ranked among the important information sources for product and process innovation. While not the only or most important influences, these events provide a unique and crucial platform to present innovations, to acquire information about changes in user needs, to collect information about changes in the market, technology and policy environment, to gather information about competitor innovations, and to search for and find problem solutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Harald Bathelt, 2017. "Trade fairs and innovation," Chapters, in: Harald Bathelt & Patrick Cohendet & Sebastian Henn & Laurent Simon (ed.), The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation, chapter 31, pages 509-522, Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:eechap:15485_31

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