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A Glimpse of Tradeshow History (March 2015)

1967: International CES then and now

Considering the records International CES broke in 2015, with its more than 170,000 attendees and over 3,600 exhibitors, it had a modest beginning. A spin off of the Chicago Music Show, CES began in New York City with 100 exhibitors and 17,500 attendees. During its early years, the show rotated cities until it settled in Las Vegas in 1998. Now CES takes over multiple venues and requires all-day shuttle service to transport attendees.

1981: IAEE’s highest honor

With the Pinnacle Award not given out every year, it takes someone special to receive this high honor. Since 1981, only 20 people have received this recognition for extraordinary industry achievement and their commitment to International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE). The award also honors the late William Hunt Eisenman of American Society of Metals (ASM). In 1928, he along with a few others founded IAEE, which was then called National Association of Exhibit Managers. Originally, the Pinnacle was named after Eisenman. Perhaps this was changed due to ASM already having an award named after Eisenman.

1983: Moss Inc. leader starts a new trend

Many in the industry probably remember that by the 90s, tension fabric structures had begun making themselves known on the show floor of EXHIBITOR and other major shows. Moss Inc.’s Bill Moss is often attributed to bringing tension fabric structures to exhibitions. He intrigued many exhibitors and attendees at the 1983 Outdoor Retailer Show after he unveiled the first tension fabric display. In response, many other companies became suppliers of tension fabric structures.

1989: The first EXHIBITOR show

Twenty-seven years ago, the first EXHIBITOR show landed at Bally’s Las Vegas. Immediately, it was seen as a direct competitor to the veteran show at the time, TS2. About 100 companies exhibited on 15,000 square feet of space. Over the years, the show now rebranded as EXHIBITORLIVE became the tradeshow industry’s biggest event, especially after TS2 closed. Show owner and producer Exhibitor Media Group purposely kept the show in Las Vegas due to its rise as the No. 1 tradeshow destination. While in recent years the show has been held at the Mandalay Bay, it previously took place at the Mirage and the Venetian.

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