Trade Shows and SME Internationalisation: Networking for Performance

Stephan Gerschewski, Natasha Evers, Anh Tuan Nguyen, Fabian Jintae Froese*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (SciVal)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Trade shows are a key vehicle where SMEs often develop networks, through which valuable resources for internationalisation can be acquired. However, there tends to be a scarcity of research on the performance outcomes of network development of international SMEs (ISMEs), particularly, in trade show forums. Adopting a network-based view, we investigate the influence of trade shows on the performance of ISMEs. Results from a survey of 229 Australian and New Zealand SMEs indicate that proactiveness is positively associated with the development of networks through trade shows, which, in turn, increases the firms’ operational performance, but not financial performance. In addition, the effect of trade shows is generally more beneficial for ISMEs in the service industry, compared to other industries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-595
Number of pages23
JournalManagement International Review
Issue number4
Early online date15 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Firm performance
  • Internationalisation
  • Network
  • Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • Trade show

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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