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A glimpse at Tradeshow History (October)

Events and Interesting facts that have shaped our industry

Highlights from the month of October

columbia-historyThe World’s Columbian Exposition, celebrating the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s landing in America, was held in 1893, a year later than had been planned. New York City, Washington, D.C., St. Louis and Chicago had all vied for the honor of housing the exposition, and it was during this vigorous and often vocal competition that Charles A. Dana, editor of the New York Sun, dubbed Chicago “that windy city.” Chicago’s lobbyists finally won out and, on April 25, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the act that designated Chicago as the site of the exposition. More than716,000 people attended the World’s Columbian Exposition for Chicago Day on October 9, 1893. The date commemorated the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

The 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition was held in Seattle on the University of Washington campus from June 1 to October 16. This was Washington’s first world’s fair and it celebrated 12 years of prosperity since the 1897 Alaska Gold Rush. More than three million people visited the fair. Throughout the exposition, commemorative days were set aside to honor organizations, professions and ethnic communities. These events were so popular with fairgoers that promoters kept adding new commemorative days as the fair progressed. Thus, some days had multiple honorees.

Held to commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of the city’s incorporation and the fortieth anniversary of Chicago’s first world’s fair, the Century of Progress Exposition ran from May until November of 1933. In the end, a total of 22.3 million people visited the 1933 fair. As the scheduled October 31st closure of the fair approached, many Chicagoans clamored for its continuation. President Franklin Roosevelt, Chicago Mayor Edward Kelly and Illinois Governor Henry Horner expressed a desire to see the fair reopen in 1934. Responding to these appeals, event organizers authorized a two-week encore that kept the fair open until mid-November. chicago.urban-history.org



TV star Jack Webb kneels inside the Ford exhibit area on the show floor. The car pictured is a 1955 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria. The number on the license plate, 714, was the badge number of Detective Joe Friday, the character Webb played on Dragnet.
Sourse: chicagoautoshow.com

Many exciting world premieres took place during the 1955 Chicago Auto Show, including the 1955 Studebaker Speedster and Lincoln’s Futura dream car. General Motors presented experimental vehicles, including the Chevy Nomad, Pontiac Bonneville, Olds F-88, Buick Wildcat II and Cadillac El Camino.

A record 490,500 visitors attended the nine-day affair in the International Amphitheatre, with 72,000 on the first Sunday alone.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York presented Picasso: Master Printmaker, the largest print show ever assembled by the museum, from October 14 through November 29. Picasso: Master Printmaker included the famous 347 series of etchings made in 1968. They are from the collection of the artist and were lent to the museum through the courtesy of the Galerie Louise Leiris fine art gallery in Paris.

This showing of the erotic prints, as they are popularly called, was the first on the East Coast.

Tradeshow History Presented by Exhibit City News

Exhibitgroup and Giltspur, two full-service exhibition companies, agreed to join forces to provide expanded services to clients in the exhibition industry.

Exhibitgroup’s parent company, The Dial Corp., entered into an agreement with London-based Unigate PLC to purchase Giltspur.

The merger created a combined annual sales figure of $260 million for the two companies. In 1995, the exhibition design and fabrication industry totaled $3.9 billion per year.

“We have always had a great deal of respect for Giltspur,” said John Teets, chairman and CEO of The Dial Corp. “Now we are happy to have this fine company join the Exhibitgroup team.”

In 2010, Exhibitgroup/Giltspur consolidated with GES.



Group shot at the 1998 Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic.

Over 200 golfers, sponsors and industry friends turned out for what was to become the 4th Annual Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic. At the time, it was known simply as the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic.

The event was held on October 12th in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

At the time, Justin Smith, son of Randy Smith, was 8-years-old. Justin, while on stage with past recipients, said “I just want to thank you all for helping to keep the memory of my Daddy alive.”

There was not a dry eye in the crowd.



Michael Brandy(left), TSEA president, and Chris Harar, NTP chairman, sign the deal that sold TS2 to NTP.

In a reversal of its decision to take the TS2 Show in-house, the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA) announced the sale of the show to National Trade Productions (NTP) on Oct. 27.

NPT Chairman Robert Harar promptly announced the expositions run will be reduced to two days instead of three.

The sale was praised by TSEA President, Michael Brandy, who said the organization “is very excited about the ideas NTP has to enhance TS2.”

The sales price was not revealed.

ASAE and The Center for Association Leadership announced in October the launch of a workshop for association and nonprofit professionals interested in learning how to navigate the social media realm. The workshop sold out within weeks.

The Social Media workshop provided a hands-on opportunity to explore Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. The beginning-level workshop has been expanded during recent ASAE and The Center events with a continuation of the social media track.

“Social media is more than a buzz word and professionals from virtually every industry want to learn about the most effective ways to utilize the social media platform,” said John H. Graham IV, CAE, ASAE & The Center president and CEO.

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