Towards an exchange view of trade fairs

Wondwesen Tafesse, Kåre Skallerud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this study is to integrate divergent discussions located within the marketing, economic geography and economic sociology literature about trade fairs and their functions, around an exchange-based view of trade fairs. Design/methodology/approach – Following an integrative review approach and drawing on thematic discussions found in social exchange theory, a large corpus of research articles on trade fairs was systematically reviewed and integrated. Findings – Trade fairs facilitate five major exchange functions: transactional, informational, social, symbolic and cultural. Each of these functions is characterized by a distinctive combination of exchange structures, exchange rules, exchange resources and organizational outcomes. Practical implications – The study offers practical guidelines regarding how exhibitors, visitors and organizers can develop and benefit from an exchange-based view of trade fairs. Originality/value – The current study integrates three divergent literature streams into an exchange-based view of trade fairs. In so doing, the study offers a common conceptual foundation upon which future trade fair research can intersect and cross-fertilize.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-804
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 3 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Conceptual framework
  • Exchanges
  • Integrative review
  • Literature review
  • Trade fair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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