Towards an understanding of the role of trade fairs as facilitators of consumer creativity

Eeva Katri Ahola*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Trade fairs are an integral part of the marketing strategy for many products and services. The aim of this article is to investigate how trade fairs as a means of marketing communication bring about new ideas, desires and wants in consumers and by so doing facilitate everyday consumer creativity. The results imply that trade fairs play an important role in setting the stage for consumer creativity. Based on an empirical study of trade fair visitors carried out using an ethnographic method, the study demonstrates how consumers communicate their visit to a trade fair. The findings indicate that trade fairs have an influence on consumer creativity in the different phases of the process. As an outcome, two metaphors describing the role of trade fairs as facilitators of everyday consumer creativity are proposed. These are trade fairs as a tool and a vantage point. The implications for effective trade fair management and postmodern marketing are explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-333
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Marketing Communications
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • consumer creativity
  • ethnography
  • marketing communication
  • postmodern marketing
  • trade fairs

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Towards an understanding of the role of trade fairs as facilitators of consumer creativity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this