EXPOCAD: Designing Show Floors Around the World for 30 Years

The original inspiration behind EXPOCAD® was to help engineers with computer-aided design (CAD) software. Paul Ososky, a plastics engineer, his brother Mike, a process engineer (now President and CTO), and Rich Stone, a synthetic fuels researcher (now CEO), started EXPOCAD’s parent company A.C.T., Inc. in 1986.

“Like any startup, life was not easy,” said Stone. “Frugal was an understatement. We started in a closet … it was only big enough for two people. If one had to leave the office, the other had to walk out into the
hall to let them out.”

Connections Housing Demonstrating Southern Hospitality for 30 Years

In 1986, Madonna broke through the male-dominated music scene, Oprah Winfrey debuted her TV show, and Nancy Hallberg and Kris Sieradski launched Connections Housing in Atlanta.

The two women met after both moved to Atlanta to work in hotel sales (Hallberg from Kansas, Sieradski from Michigan). Hallberg likes to say that “Connections was born in a closet.”

Transit Air Cargo: From Golf Course Inspiration to Worldwide Shipping Business

It’s not often that a round of golf inspires the launch of an international business, but that’s what happened to Jamshed “Jim” Khodayar in 1989.

Khodayar had been wanting to start his own business when he learned about the shipping industry from a golfing buddy. He opened Transit Air Cargo on Nov. 1, 1989, in Garden Grove, Calif.

While his experience was engineering, not logistics, he was an enthusiastic salesperson. 

AWWA Focuses on Keeping Water Safe for 135 Years

In the late 1800s, the need for safe drinking water was a critical issue. So, in March of 1881, 22 men representing water utilities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Tennessee met on the campus of
Washington University in St. Louis for the first of what would eventually become the Annual Conference & Exposition of the American Water Works Association (AWWA).

National Plastics Exposition: Seven Decades of Audience Fascination

The plastics industry was still in its infancy when the first National Plastics Exposition (NPE) opened its doors in April 1946 at the Grand Central Palace in New York.

The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) was founded in 1937. Organizers realized industry professionals needed a place to meet face-to-face and discover the latest technology in real-life machinery, materials, and processed goods all in one place at one time. So once World War II ended, the opportunity to demonstrate equipment operating in front of an audience of thousands became a reality.

The Future of Broadcasting is Alive and Well at NAB Show

The world of broadcasting has changed dramatically since the first National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Convention at New York’s Commodore Hotel in October of 1923. Back then, “broadcasting” meant merely a limited number of AM radio stations and neither the NBC or CBS radio networks even existed yet.

Only 23 members attended that first meeting, where session topics included government regulation and “The Future of Broadcasting.”

Timing is Everything for Fresh Summit

In April 1951, a couple dozen exhibitors and about 200 attendees gathered in Columbus, Ohio, for the first table-top show of the Produce PrePackaging Association (now known as the Produce Marketing Association).

Because many women were joining the workforce in those post-war years, the demand for packaged fruits and vegetables was rising. Self-service supermarkets were spreading across the country and frozen foods were
gaining popularity.

Visionaries Paved the Way for CONEXPO-CON/AGG a Century Ago

When the first CONEXPO was held in 1909 in Columbus, Ohio, the entire show (known then as the Road Show) covered 40,000 square feet — the size of some single exhibits at today’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG, the largest show for the construction, aggregates and ready-mixed concrete industries in the Western Hemisphere.

That first show was considered a “hazardous experiment” with 40 machinery manufacturers displaying devices that could do the work of 15 horse-drawn units — and besides, there were few paved roads outside of cities at the time.

SEMA Show Still Cruisin' After Five Decades

Fifty years ago, about 2,000 attendees and 80 exhibitors gathered under the grandstands at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for the first Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) trade show.

The exhibits that year consisted mainly of racing equipment and products that enhanced the performance and safety of high-performance competition automobiles. The show was managed by automotive publisher Petersen Publishing and a 10’x10’ exhibit space cost $200.

Retail’s BIG Show: Still Going Strong After 105 Years

Attendees at the National Retail Dry Goods Association (NRDGA) Annual Meeting in January 1911 probably didn’t realize they were witnessing history in the making. But what started that year as a small event at a hotel in New York City during the annual buyers’ market has now become Retail’s BIG Show, one of the longest-running trade shows in the U.S.

Partner Voices

In early April, select media got a first look inside Elon Musk’s $52.2 million underground transportation system 40 feet below the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). Featuring a neon-clad ride in all-electric Tesla vehicles, it makes getting around the 200-acre campus, and potentially other Las Vegas venues in the future, faster and a lot more fun.