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A Glimpse at Tradeshow History (July)

Events and interesting facts that have shaped the industry.


Fender1950 – Fender guitar displayed for first time at NAMM
At the 49th Annual National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show, held in July 1950, the Fender Esquire was displayed for the first time. The guitar, which featured a more slender neck and adjustable bridge, was listed for $139.95.

Initially, the Esquire didn’t spark overnight controversy. But behind the scenes, Fender was working on another guitar.

Although the company did not announce anything at NAMM that year, a dual pickup version of the Esquire was also being produced. The name, style and design of the new guitar caused tension between Leo Fender and Don Randall at the 1950 NAMM and is now considered the rarest member of the Fender Telecaster family of instruments.

1975 – Origins game fair first held in Ohio
The Origins Game Fair, one of North America’s largest gaming conventions, opened its doors to attendees for the first time in July 1975. Originally help in Baltimore, Md., at Johns Hopkins University, the tradeshow was a brainchild to The Interest Group Baltimore, a wargaming club that worked with a local game company.

As the tradeshow began to grow, the Game Manufacturers Association took over management in 1978. Ten years later, Origins and Gen Con held a joint convention in Milwaukee, Wisc.

Currently, Origins Game Fair is held in Columbus, Ohio, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

1988 – OFA outgrows convention centerOFA
In July 1988, the Ohio Florist Association Short Course (OFA), a gathering of professional horticulturists, sold out its show floor for its summer tradeshow.

OFA originally began in a building at The Ohio State University in 1930. As the show grew exponentially every year, it was moved from the University to several different convention hotels.

After the tradeshow moved to the Ohio Center, extra exhibiting room was quickly filled and in July 1988, OFA Short Course had outgrown another meeting space. By 1990, the trade show had a waiting list of more than 40 companies and attendance was up to over 4,000 visitors.

Tradeshow history as reported by Exhibit City News

TS22000 – TS2000 show floor sold out
The Trade Show Exhibitor’s Association’s (TSEA) annual TS2, the tradeshow about tradeshows, was held July 25-28, 2000, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The show floor, which was a place for all kinds of new products and services, was sold out.

The show floor officially opened on Wednesday, July 26, 2000, with a Grand Opening Reception, but the show was opened until July 28.

Over 270 industry suppliers, including 87 new exhibiting companies, displayed their goods in the 60,000 square feet of exhibition space.

2006 – Schaumburg Convention Center opens July 1
The Village of Schaumburg, Ill., welcomed a new convention center on July 1, 2006. The Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 1.

Inaugural events for the new Center started on July 3 with the USA Gymnastic Trials for Trampoline and Tumbling. The event ended on July 15, but an official grand opeing event with special guests and live entertainment wasn’t planned until August 16, 2006.

The $293 million project, whose inception began in the 1980s, offered 100,000 square feet of exhibit space, including the adjacent 500-room Renaissance Hotel, which featured another 48,000 square feet of space.

2010 – PBCCC works with Ovations Food ServicesOvations
On July 1, 2010, the Palm Beach County Convention Center (PBCCC) began operations with Ovations Food Services (OFS), the Tampa-based upscale food and beverage provider for public assembly facilities.

OFS created specialized menus using signature exhibition cooking techniques just for PBCCC. OFS was also in charge of décor and catering for the Center.

Another part of Ovation’s plans at the Center including their Everything’s Fresh food service program, which implemented a local community outreach plan with Palm Beach County businesses and community groups.


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