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A Glimpse at Tradeshow History (November)

Events and interesting facts that have shaped the industry.

Indian Congress1898 – Nebraska hosts expositions simultaneously
In Omaha, Neb., the Trans Mississippi International Exposition was held concurrently with the Indian Congress in November 1898.The Exposition, which highlighted the development from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast, drew leaders from the 24 states and territories in the west.

Over 2.6 million people attended the Exposition, which was home to over 4,000 exhibits. Overall, the exhibits covered 108 city blocks.

The Indian Congress, which occurred within a decade of the end of the Indian Wars, was considered the largest Native American gathering of its time. The photographs from the Congress depict at least 500 individuals from 28 different tribes.

1931 – MOMA extends an invitation to President Hoover
On November 27, 1931, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) extended a formal invitation to former President Hoover’s conference on Home Ownership and Home Building in Washington, D.C.

It was MOMA’s belief that by attending the exhibition of modern architecture, the United States would be influenced when building urban and suburban developments. The museum wanted to develop a public knowledge of the forms and complications of construction by giving America access to the modern architecture exhibition.

1939 – New Zealand celebrates 100 years since settlementNew Zealand
The New Zealand Centennial Exhibition, which ran from November 8, 1939, to May 4, 1940, attracted over 2.6 million people, with an average attendance of 17,150. The exhibition covered 55 acres, and was held near Wellington’s airport in Rongatai.

The exhibition was held to celebrate 100 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and the subsequent settlement of New Zealand.

After the exhibition, the buildings were used by the Air Force as extra accommodation, and were later used to store wool.

McCormick Place1960 – McCormick Place opens in Chicago
In November 1960, the $35 million facility known as McCormick Place opened its doors to Chicago, Ill. It was named after Chicago Tribune tycoon Robert McCormick, who died in 1955.

The lead architect on the exhibition hall was Alfred Shaw, who had previously designed Merchandise Mart. The building was attached to the Arie Crown Theatre, which was designed by Edward Durrell Stone.

At the time, Arie Crown Theatre seated nearly 5,000 people and was considered the largest theater in Chicago.

Tradeshow History as reported by Exhibit City News

1995 – Badger Exposition Services joins GES family
Badger Exposition Services Inc, a Milwakee-based general contractor, joined the GES Exposition Services group of companies in November 1995.

Norm Seeger, Badger’s owner at the time, continued to lead the Milwakee office for GES, who also had a sales force in the same city.

Badger also had offices in Madison, Wisc., and Chicago, Ill. The firm employed 150 people and owned over 170,000 square feet of office and warehouse space.

2000 – Comdex surpasses one million net square feetComdex
In November 2000, COMDEX, the IT industry tradeshow, announced that the show had sold over one million net square feet for its fall edition. The show, which took place November 13-17, 2000, was managed by Key 3 Media Group.

The success of COMDEX/Fall was due to Key Media’s most aggressive and successful sales effort in the company’s 20-year history. Previously, the most net square footage sold for a show was 160,000 in 1992.

The sales numbers for the 2000 show were four times greater than 1999.

Pack Expo2004 – Technology Pavilions sold out at PACK Expo
The Packing Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) announced that it had sold all available exhibit space in the new technology showcases, which made their debut at the 2004 show.

Among the new technology pavilions were the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) pavilion, the Packing security Resource Center, Showcase of Packing Innovation, and New Product Showcase.

PACK Expo, held November 7-11, 2004, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill., will debut the year’s most innovated packaging designs from around the world.

2009 – Five tradeshow associations meet for Exhibit Industry Council
In November 2009, five major tradeshow associations met to form the Exhibit Industry Council (EIC) in response to concerns throughout the industry. The EIC united to answer questions and burdens stemming from the lack of best business practices.

Among the founding members of the EIC were the Healthcare Exhibitors Association (HCEA), the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA), the Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA), the Exhibit Designers & Producers Association (EDPA) and the Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association (EACA).

The inaugural meeting of the EIC was held in San Francisco with representation from each of the five associations.

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