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Industry mourns Bob Dallmeyer on the eve of EXHIBITOR

Before he passed away from throat cancer on Feb. 8, Robert “Bob” Dallmeyer, 76, had a tradeshow industry career spanning not just more than 50 years but also various continents.

After starting his career managing an event and exhibition program for United Technologies, Dallmeyer launched his exhibition industry management and consulting firm, RD International, in 1985. There he worked with hundreds of companies, such as IBM, AT&T and Advanstar.

Bob Dallmeyer winning the IAEE Pinnacle Award.
Bob Dallmeyer winning the IAEE Pinnacle Award.

While supporting and working in an industry he clearly cherished, Dallmeyer extended his reach through his writing, leadership and teaching – each time making an impact on someone’s life. This is something experienced firsthand by Bill Horten, an event marketing and tradeshow management professional.

“Bob had been my mentor for over 10 years. We first met when Bob taught an Exhibit Management course in San Diego under George Washington University’s Event Management curriculum in 2002,” explained Horten. “Living close to each other in Southern California afforded us the convenience to see each other over the years more often than the annual EXHIBITOR Show. La Brea, The Grove and EXHIBITOR will never be the same without you my friend. Bob thanks for being such a great mentor!”

As an educator, Dallmeyer traveled worldwide to teach Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) courses for International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) as well as marketing and creative writing courses at universities. His travels also allowed him to deliver keynote addresses at various events.

“[Bob] had a full understanding of this industry, both domestically and internationally. Over the years, we made presentations together about various topics. One I especially enjoyed doing with him was ‘Reinventing Yourself,’ which we co-created when our industry was in a downturn,” said E. Jane Lorimer, managing director, Lorimer Consulting Group.

Lorimer met Dallmeyer in 1982 when he was president of Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA). After Lorimer became president of Trade Show Bureau (TSB), now CEIR, she worked closely with Dallmeyer, who contributed to TSB reports.

“He was always so generous with his knowledge and support,” added Lorimer. “He was my cherished friend and mentor. Personally, I am deeply saddened by his death and will miss him dearly.”

Dallmeyer with family and friends.
Dallmeyer with family and friends.

Dallmeyer was actively involved in many organizations, such as Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), Exhibition Industry Foundation (EIF) and Convention Industry Council (CIC), where he was inducted into its Hall of Leaders in 2006. As a past chairman and member of IAEE, Dallmeyer received the Pinnacle Award in 2008 and was selected as the 2011 Legend of the Industry for the IAEE Krakoff Leadership Institute.

Well-known for his writing, Dallmeyer contributed to the New York Times and had his own column at Trade Show Executive Magazine for 11 years. He even wrote, directed and appeared in his own film, “Cold Facts/Hot Tips – The Movie.”

“Not only was Bob a great contributor, poet, classical piano player, mentor and friend, he was [also] like a big brother to me. He was family! I’m sure many lifelong exhibit industry brothers and sisters also felt the same. They broke the mold when it came to Bob Dallmeyer,” said Peter Perez, a sales and marketing professional. “I’m hoping EXHIBITOR 2014 will be a meeting place for many fellow industry members to gather and celebrate together the life and memory of a truly wonderful person and human being!”

An activist, Dallmeyer passionately served the LGBT community, with The Lavender Effect and the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center being the most recent.

On Jan. 1, 1938, his life started in Pittsfield, Mass., as the son of Frederick and Madeline Dallmeyer. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1955, he became a world traveler. Fluent in French and German, Bob Dallmeyer lived and worked outside the U.S. for more than 15 years. He eventually settled in Los Angeles, where he passed away after a three-month battle with throat cancer.

He is survived by his husband, John Vannucci; two daughters, Kimberly and Kristen; two sons-in-law, Jon and Amer; and five grandchildren — Benjamin, Julienne, Rakan, Ramzi and Rashad. Dallmeyer also leaves behind countless extended family and friends across the globe.

A life celebration will take place this summer to honor Bob Dallmeyer.

In lieu of flowers or cards, his family asked that donations be sent to The Lavender Effect, the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center or the Bob Dallmeyer Education Fund, which was set up by IAEE to honor its long-time member and past chairman.

To donate to the IAEE Bob Dallmeyer Education Fund, contact Beverly Elliott at 972-687-9203 or belliott@iaee.com.

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