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A Glimpse at Tradeshow History (August)

Events and interesting facts that have shaped the industry.

1888 – “Queen City of the South” holds tech convention
In August, 1888, Melbourne, Austrailia, held the Centennial International Exhibition. The Exhibition was held to celebrate 100 years of European settlement in Australia, and to help boost Melbourne’s economy.

The tradeshow covered over 33 acres. It also hosted a significant amount of technological inventions, as well as large collections of fine art from England, Europe and Austrailia.

Just in the first week of being open, the Centennial International Exhibition drew in over 80,000 people.


Photo: www.russianartnews.typepad.com

1923 – Exhibition show in Moscow catches Lenin’s attention
The First Agricultural and Crafts Exhibition was originally scheduled to open in the fall of 1922 in the Soviet Union. However, the organizers of the event underestimated the work for the exhibition, and the opening was postponed to August 19, 1923.

The Exhibition, which opened in Moscow, emphasized the international aspect of the display. Many foreign and international businessmen were eager to take part and showcase their products.

Lenin took a particular interest in this exhibition. He toured the site of the show during October1923, despite being extremely sick.


Photo: www.comicconmemories.com

1970 – San Diego Comic-Con draws 300 people
From August 1 – 3, 1970, the Golden State Comic-Con was held at the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego. The event drew in roughly 300 people.

Comic-Con was originally founded by Shel Dorf, a Michigan native who loved comic books. The initial gathering, called the Golden State Comic-Minicon, was held in March 1970 and was considered a “dry run” for the larger convention he hoped to have.

After the three day Comic-Con in August, the event moved around to larger venues, such as the El Cortez Hotel, the University of California, San Diego, and Golden Hall. Eventually, the show got so large it had to move to the San Diego Convention Center in 1991.

1995 – Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic gets its start
In August 1995, Ted Peterson and Rich Johnson started the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic, an annual golf tournament held to help assist families in the tradeshow industry who are in need.

Named after Randy Smith, who died in a car accident in January 1995, the RSMGC was first held at the Hidden Hills Country Club in Stone Mountian, Ga. It was continually held there for four years until it moved to Berkeley Hills Country Club.

In 1997, the event was opened up to other families who suffered tragedies. The first additional recipient was Nicole Sheldon, daughter of a tradeshow industry veteran. Sheldon was 8 years old and had undergone a heart and liver transplant.

Tradeshow history as reported by Exhibit City News

1999 – CMS and Lincoln Studios merge
In August 1999, Creative Management Services (CMS) and Lincoln Studios formed an alliance to create MC2, the marketing environment and tradeshow management firm. At the time, MC2 was positioned as one of the largest and fastest-growing full-service providers in the nation.

The headquarters of MC2 opened in St. Louis, Miss., and each were lead by their initial founders.
Steve Dix, founder and CEO of CMS, was named CEO of MC2. No layoffs were expected.

National Hardware Show2003 – National Hardware Show ends an era
The National Hardware Show, which had been held in Chicago since 1975, closed its doors on August 12, 2003. The show would be moving to Las Vegas, Nev., for 2004.

Along with the move of the NHS, the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) also started its own show. The AHMA show was scheduled for April at McCormick Place, and the new NHS was to follow in May at the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

Since most attendees could only afford to attend one of the exhibitions, the two shows competed for attendees throughout the year.

2005 – Raleigh Convention Center aids trainwreck victimsRaleigh Convention Center
On August 3, 2005, an Amtrack train collided with a dump trick after the truck driver chose to ignore the protective barricade. The injured passengers went to local hospitals, and those who needed a place to re-group were sent to the Raleigh Convention Center.

The City of Raleigh and the Raleigh Convention Center quickly aligned to provide passengers a cool environment, refreshments and telephones.

At the time, the Convention Center was slated to close in September for a remodel. The facility would not open to the public again until spring 2008.

2009 – Tradetec Skyline makes Inc. 5000 list again
The August 2009 Inc. 5000 list, which can be considered a “report card” for the U.S. economy, featured Tradetec Skyline as one of the fastest growing private companies in America.

Despite the recession, Tradetec Skyline was able to increase their revenue to $214 biullion, up $29 billion from the previous year.
Tradetec Skyline is a tradeshow event management company based out of Chicago, Ill. At the time, Tradetec had completed close to 20,000 projects for more than 2,000 clients.

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