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Wiesbaden: Gabler, 2005
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The editors:
Manfred Kirchgeorg
Werner M. Dornscheidt
Wilhelm Giese
Norbert Stoeck


For many centuries, exhibitions and trade shows have been a crucial tool of sales and communication all over the world. Premier international trade shows had firmly established themselves in Western Europe and the USA by the mid-1900s. Recent events in this century reflect the heightened significance of the fast-growing, forward-looking markets of Asia and Eastern Europe. The advance of globalisation and rapid developments in media technology are presenting new challenges to trade show companies and to the exhibitors and visitors who actively make use of this communication tool. As this happens, the activities involved in managing trade shows, congresses and similar events become ever more closely intertwined.

Although there is certainly no paucity of literature on “service management” at both either the national or international level, it is astonishing to note how little has yet been written about the management of trade shows per se. Back in 2003, this realization inspired us to compile and publish the original Handbook of Trade Show Management in Germany (and in the German language). Scholars and practitioners alike contributed their views on the subject. In response to positive feedback and a plethora of inquiries from abroad, we have now taken the step of publishing this international edition, inviting numerous authors who contributed to the German edition to share, along with additional international experts, to share in this undertaking.

Leading experts have written 79 essays that cover every key issue in the complex world of trade show, congress and event management. Our combined professional experiences have enabled us to build an extensive network and involve many key figures from the trade show industry. It was only via this network—plus the editors’ carefully coordinated efforts—that enabled us to secure the involvement of such a rich spectrum of top-notch authors. Some of the authors are international practitioners and experts: experienced managers of prominent trade show companies and/or consultants to this industry. Others have contributed expertise in their capacity as service and network partners along the trade show value chain. Still others represent the exhibitor community, discussing models for managing participation in trade shows. Renowned experts from the political and administrative arenas and from industry associations lent their perspective on the functions, conditions and constraints of the trade show industry. Seasoned academics whose research is devoted to trade show management issues supplied in-depth analyses and insights, as well.

Since the editors adopted a management-oriented perspective in compiling the individual articles, the compendium Trade Show Management provides readers with concrete recommendations in all the main areas of trade show management. It begins with fundamental issues, infrastructural requirements and the development prospects for the trade show industry, then moves on to examine pivotal aspects of the strategic and operational planning, implementation and monitoring of management tasks from the point of view of trade show companies.

Subject coverage is very broad-ranging, indeed: research on the trade show market, fundamental strategic decisions and internationalisation strategies, combined with more hands-on matters like project management and trade show controlling. The book draws on insights from different countries and continents. In light of the close links between trade show companies, the congress segment and many service companies, articles written by service partners provide useful orientation in this area, too. The final portion of the compendium offers a series of essays that concentrate on the task of managing trade show involvement from the perspective of exhibitors and visitors.

To help you find your way in the compendium, we strongly recommend that you read the Introduction, which provides a more detailed overview of the structure of this book as a whole, pointing to how and where the individual articles fit in.

The compendium Trade Show Management is intended for a broad international readership. Our primary aim is to outline contemporary issues in trade show management and discuss what the future holds for executives and managers whose work in the trade show industry and in related service segments confronts them with precisely these issues—day in, day out. At the same time, the book supplies a wealth of valuable information for exhibitors and visitors who take part in trade shows, as well as for legislators, political leaders, public administrators and representatives of the relevant industry associations who deal with this industry. This book should prove equally useful to representatives of the academic community, for whom the "state of the art" described herein will stimulate fresh ideas as they explore the deeper aspects of service management in the trade show industry. In addition, helpful guidance is offered to lecturers and trainers whose educational and development activities relate to this issue. Students and trainees who specialize in the trade show industry form yet another target group. The unique combination of in-depth research and hands-on coverage of trade show management provided in this volume will give them a profound and singularly practical insight into the subject matter.

To help these diverse target groups find what they are looking for, quickly and easily, we have also compiled an extensive index, enhancing the value of the compendium as a handy reference work.

Even such a wide-ranging collection of articles undoubtedly fails to deal comprehensively with every single issue that is relevant to trade show management. Recognizing this, we explicitly invite all our readers to let us know their ideas about related topics. This feedback will help us add depth and extra dimensions to a new edition in the future.

Ideas and comments can be submitted on the web at

We wish to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to all the authors who have pooled their experience and expertise in the field of trade show management in this compendium. Without their active commitment, this international edition would quite simply have been inconceivable.

The entire project involved a tremendous amount of work: liaising with the authors, translating and editing the manuscripts, and all the intensive work that was needed to get the manuscript ready for print. We are deeply indebted to Barbara Hobbie, who demonstrated exemplary dedication in copyediting original English articles and reviewing and editing the translated articles. We also wish to thank Marcela Parodi for her proofreading work and Nigel Robinson, who translated many of the articles on behalf of the authors. We were able to get the book to print on schedule only because André-Bastian Soudah of the Department of Marketing Management at the HHL - Leipzig Graduate School of Management and Dr. Andrea Gränzdörffer of Messe Düsseldorf evidenced such care and diligence in coordinating the editorial work. Hans Werner Reinhard of Messe Düsseldorf also deserves our appreciation for his tireless assistance in designing this volume. All the diverse and painstaking work involved in laying out the book was entrusted to Doreen Vogel, who merits special thanks. Finally, we also extend our gratitude to Barbara Roscher and Renate Schilling at the publishing house, who supplied us with a constant stream of useful advice and practical assistance.

Whatever your capacity, be it scholarly, practical or as an interested party, we trust that you, the reader, will find this compendium full of helpful hints and stimulating ideas for your day-to-day work in the burgeoning field of trade show management.

Leipzig, Düsseldorf, Munich
Fall 2005 The Editors


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