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A Glimpse of Tradeshow History (January 2015)

1832: Voting for VP at the first DNC

While the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC) will be used to nominate a presidential candidate, as well as a candidate for vice president, the first DNC from May 21-22, 1832 was quite the opposite. The party, previously called Republican Delegates from the Several States, not only changed its named at the convention but also gathered to unanimously nominate Martin Van Buren for vice president. Then President Andrew Jackson was considered a shoe in for reelection. Since he was running for a second term, no one bothered to nominate another presidential candidate.

ECN 012015_FTR_A Glimpse of Tradeshow History (January 2015)_1832 Voting for VP at the first DNC

1887: The American Exhibition in London attracts the queen

The traffic-building “Wild West,” a cowboy-themed show featuring Buffalo Bill Cody, was enough to get Queen Victoria of England to visit the American Exhibition in 1887. The goal of the exhibition was to highlight American inventions and products to Londoners, but “Wild West” was the hot ticket item that stirred the queen’s interest. It was very unusual for the queen to venture out for shows as performers usually visited the palace to entertain her. After Queen Victoria’s private viewing of the show, its attendance rose even higher.

Buffalo Bill
Buffalo Bill

1976: The Hazel Hays Award is established

Awarded annually at EDPA ACCESS, the Hazel Hays Award is Exhibit Designers + Producers Association’s highest honor. This accolade is shared by a group of the industry’s heavy hitters, such as TWI Group’s Founder Stephen J. Barry Jr.; former CEIR President and CEO Douglas Ducate; and Czarnowski’s Director of Industry Relations Paul Willet. Now deceased, EDPA Past President Bob Firks created the award in 1976 to honor Hazel Hays, one of the first women involved in what was considered a “man’s industry.” She rendered outstanding service to EDPA and the tradeshow industry at large.

Paul Willet
Paul Willet

1995: Sale of COMDEX to finance Las Vegas Sands Corp. properties

A well-known businessman in and outside of Las Vegas for his development of major casinos, Sheldon Adelson started his career in the tradeshow industry. In 1979, he and business partners launched Computer Dealer Expo (COMDEX). Over the years, the show successfully brought in millions and attracted more than 100,000 attendees. In 1995, Adelson sold COMDEX to Softbank for $860 million and used the cash to fund properties vital to Las Vegas’ convention business: Sands Expo Center, The Venetian and The Palazzo.

ECN 012015_FTR_A Glimpse of Tradeshow History (January 2015)_1995 Sale of COMDEX to finance Las Vegas Sands Corp. properties _Sands Expo Center2004: Sale of TS2

Presently, EXHIBITOR, now EXHIBITORLive, is the must-attend industry event of the year. Prior to this, TS2, the tradeshow about tradeshows, reigned supreme and later competed with EXHBITOR. In 2004, Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA) — now forming E2MA with EACA – sold TS2 to National Trade Productions (NTP), with TSEA at times sponsoring the show. TSEA President Michael Bandy explained the show took “considerable resources” to implement each year. Under NTP, the show faded away by 2010.

ECN 012015_FTR_A Glimpse of Tradeshow History (January 2015)_2004 Sale of TS2

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