Chinese Studies
Vol.03 No.04(2014), Article ID:51511,3 pages

On Dual-Mode of Trade-Consumer Show: A Case Study of GTPE

Xiao Xuan, Wu Jianhua

School of Geography & Tourism, Guangdong University of Financial & Economics, Guangzhou, China


Academic Editor: Shaodan Luo, Wuhan Irvine Culture and Communications, China

Copyright © 2014 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).

Received 28 August 2014; revised 30 September 2014; accepted 23 October 2014


The purpose of this paper is to introduce a dual-mode of trade-consumer show, which is a new mode that was applied in Guangzhou & Taiwan Products Expo广州台湾产品博览会 (GTPE). The paper puts forward the definition and illustrates features of this dual-mode, and analyzes the merits, risks as well as countermeasures through the case of GTPE. Study findings indicate the dual-mode of trade-consumer show may trigger the innovations in exhibition theme planning.


Dual-Mode of Trade-Consumer Show, Mode Innovation, Guangzhou & Taiwan Products Expo

1. Introduction

With the flourishing of MICE industry, China has seen remarkable progress in exhibition theme planning. But there are still many problems, such as ambiguous positioning, bad repetitions, etc. This essay suggests a new mode—dual-mode of trade-consumer show, hoping that it may prompt the innovations in exhibition theme planning.

2. Literature Review

The earliest systemic classification of exhibition was given by Morrow (1997: p. 14) , who classified them into three categories: trade shows, consumer shows and combination shows, according to exhibit types, exhibitors, visitors and admission constraints. Since then, well-known exhibition organizations have announced their classifications for statistics purpose, such as The Glossary of Meetings, Conventions and Exhibitions Industry (jointly established by IAEE and CIC), UFI Calculation Standards and Definitions, and Exhibition Terminology, ISO 25639:2008. With all the different terms used in the classifications, the exhibitions can be somehow classified into the above mentioned three categories.

Chinese literature about exhibition-theme planning fits into three categories: 1) articles on regional exhibition studies (e.g. Hu & Peng, 2009 ); 2) articles introducing best practices in developed countries (e.g. Li, 2009 ); and 3) textbooks on MICE theme planning (e.g. Hua, 2004 ), which suggested some approaches of exhibition-theme planning, and remarked on given examples. Non-Chinese literatures tend to regard exhibitions as part of special events, and study their theme planning through the lens of marketing, such as Joe Goldblatt’s (2002) 5W’s to Produce Consistently Effective Events; Shone and Parry (2004), Yeoman (2004), Allen (2005) and Bowdin (2006) successively worked on the framework of event planning, and Goldblatt (2005) extended the research to the operational level. Yeoman (2004) put forward some suggestions on special event planning through the cultural aspect.

3. Definition and Features of the “Dual-Mode of Trade-Consumer Show”

“Dual-mode of trade-consumer show” means trade shows whose sub-themes involve two or more industries, with features of both trade shows and consumer shows as well; in macroscopic view, it’s a new combination of a trade show and a consumer show with dual-sub-theme. A Comparison with other modes is illustrated in Table 1.

We’ll take Guangzhou & Taiwan Products Expo 广州台湾产品博览会1 (hereinafter referred to as “GTPE”) for example to explain the “Dual-Mode of Trade-Consumer Show”. The GTPE positioning system is designed in the following way: each GTPE contains one or two sub-themes, which are in accord with the general theme, while also fall within the scope of “Taiwan products”, hence a complete positioning system. Take the first GTPE for example. It contained two sub-themes involving agriculture and tourism industry (as illustrated in Figure 1). Many other industries in Taiwan are also promising, such as entertainment industry, media industry, electronic consumer goods industry, civilian industry, IT industry, etc. After thorough investigations, we may choose proper industries as sub-themes, with full consideration of the features and life cycles of each industry involved.

4. Advantages and Risks of the “Dual-Mode of Trade-Consumer Show”

The “dual-mode of trade-consumer show” sets a higher requirement for theme planning: these sub-themes should strongly appeal to visitors and be able to inter-infiltrate and integrated into one general theme. The designer should consider the internal links between these sub-themes, and also the industries’ developing rules.

The advantages and risks of this mode are displayed in Table 2.

Now, there are two modes similar to “dual-mode of trade-consumer show”: one is exhibitions involved in two or more industries that belong to the same category; the other is combination shows (usually focus on one industry) appealing to both professional visitors and consumers (Table 3). Some of their measures in visitor organizing can be adopted in “dual-mode of trade-consumer show”, too.

The following measures could be used in “dual-mode of trade-consumer show”:

1) To set transition zones. The transition zone displays exhibits fitting to both trade show sub-theme and consumer show sub-theme, or exhibits appealing to professional visitors and general visitors. The 1st GTPE set transition zones with agro-tourism enterprises, institutions and associations, which fit to the sub-theme of tourism and the sub-theme of agricultural products as well. In the transition zones, there were also “Taiwan Fruit Show” and “Taiwan Food Street”, which successfully attracted both professional visitors and general ones. The transition zones may effectively lead the visitor flows, and enhance the interchanges and interactions between two show parts.

2) To ensure a good environment for trade negotiation and for consumption through proper divisions of professional visitors and general ones. Besides setting period/date for professional and general visitors, there are some measures more flexible, such as: a) to utilize the traffic fluctuation during the working date and weekends. Traffic for consumers show usually reaches its peaks in weekends, while professionals can attend the show any day during the week, so the ideal show period is from Thursday to Sunday; b) to utilize a functional exhibition floor layout, which will help in proper divisions, too.

Table 1. Comparison of “dual-mode of trade-consumer show” and other modes.

Table 2. Advantages & risks of the “dual-mode of trade-consumer show”.

Table 3. Operations in similar modes.

Figure 1. Positioning system of 1st GTPE.

As a new mode, the “dual-mode of trade-consumer show” makes a good exploring step, in spite of its uncertainty and risks. As part of Guangzhou Fair, GTPE provided about one hundred booths and got good remarks from exhibitors and visitors. The most distinguished features of this mode are the conversion of professional visitors and consumers, and promotion on the interchange and industry amalgamation.


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1It is a sub-branch of Guangzhou Fair, jointly organized by Guangzhou municipal government and China Foreign Trade Center. The 18th Guangzhou Fair was held in Guangzhou from Aug. 26th to 29th, 2010, covering an area of nearly 50,000 square meters with over 2300 booths. It provided about one hundred booths for Taiwan agricultural products.