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Trade Show and Fair History

The Origins Of Trade Shows And Trade Exhibitions

While no one knows exactly where the first trade show was held, they were clearly a way of life by 593 BC. The Bible describes a large trade event in the Book of Ezekiel. Historically, people from all walks of life have flocked to fairs to find the newest products, and experience a sense of excitement and community.

Canada’s First Fair

New settlers in Canada brought with them the idea of holding fairs. The first Canadian fair was held in Windsor, Nova Scotia (previously called Fort Hill). People gathered from throughout the area to see the best animals and who was most skilled at cooking. Because of concerns over gambling, the government discontinued the event until 1839.

The Origins Of Trade Shows And Trade Exhibitions

World’s Fair

The first world’s fair was held Prague, Bohemia, in 1791. This large industrial exhibition marked the coronation of King Leopold II in the area now known as the Czech Republic. The idea quickly spread to Paris, France, where an exhibition of handmade items was held in 1797. The very next year, the French Republic’s Minister of the Interior held the first “Great Exposition,” allowing companies to showcase their merchandise.

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American Institute Fair

The United States held its first massive fair in 1829, calling it the “American Institute Fair.” This event was held annually until at least 1897. About 30,000 people attended each year. These fairs not only encouraged people to introduce their ideas to the public, there were opportunities to win big prize money.

Trade Shows

Williamstown Fair

One of the oldest continually operating trade shows in Canada is the Williamstown Fair. The first fair was organized by the Glengarry Agricultural Society in 1853. A year later, they were joined by the Agricultural Societies of Charlottenburg and Lancaste. A membership fee of five shillings was charged.

The long history of trade shows continues today, on both massive and small scales. If you are in the trade industry, you already know how important these events can be to the success of your business. Promote your products and get the best trade show materials by calling Vizual Tek Displays at (905) 237-3769 or 1-800-597-1148.

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