History of Exhibitions

Oxford Dictionary Definition:

"An exhibition is a display of items in a public place, allowing a specific industry to showcase and demonstrate their latest products"

A trade fair (trade show, trade exhibition or expo) is an exhibition organised so that companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products, service, study activities of rivals and examine recent market trends and opportunities. In contrast to consumer fairs, only some trade fairs are open to the public, while others can only be attended by company representatives (members of the trade, e.g. professionals) and members of the press, therefore trade shows are classified as either "Public" or "Trade Only".


History of Exhibitions - Timeline with a Lincoln West twist

1851 – Queen Victoria decided to create an exhibition symbolising the industrial, military and economic superiority of Great Britain. In addition to this she felt it important to parade her achievements alongside the ‘less civilised’ countries.
By just creating an exhibition conveying the feats of Britain itself, it would have lacked the technological advancements pioneered by Great Britain and its many Empires. In order to celebrate everything that the country has achieved, the Queen decided to parade all of the accomplishments to both Britain and the rest of the world.

Queen Victoria was eager to reinforce her feeling of contentment with her reign, so her husband Prince Albert conceived the idea of the ‘Great Exhibition’. The great Exhibition was held in Hyde Park, London at Crystal Palace which was especially constructed to hold this exhibition. Constructed by Joseph Paxton, The Crystal Palace was built in ten days and was a huge iron structure covered in over a million feet of glass.

The ‘Great Exhibition’ was the first exhibition of manufactured products. This influenced several aspects of society, including art, international trade and relations and tourism. And was the beginning for many international exhibitions in the future, attracting 6,200,000 visitors to view the 13,000 exhibits.

1889 – World Expo in Paris hosted over 61,722 exhibitors (55% were French). It was a symbol for the beginning of the French Revolution, the Eiffel Tower was built especially for the exhibition and was kept because of its success.

1924 – The ‘British Empire Exhibition’ was a colonial exhibition held at Wembley and was opened by King George V on St George's Day, 23 April. The British Empire contained 58 countries at the time and only Gambia and Gibraltar did not take part. It cost £12 million and was the largest exhibition ever staged anywhere in the world, attracting 27 million visitors.

1940 – Messe Stuttgart was founded and was based in Killesberg (South West Germany) for more than 60 years.

1947 – Establishment of Deutsche Messe (Hannover) on 16th August. This was an initiative of the British occupying forces in consultation with the commander-in-chief of the American zone. After the war the objective was to get Germany back on its feet economically! In order to show the world the kind of economic revival that entrepreneurs, workers and politicians were capable of jointly bringing about, the British military government decreed that the Germans were to organise a trade fair from 18th August to 7th September 1947. For, the victorious Western powers had decided that the only way for Germany to become economically self-reliant again would be through exporting its own goods. After 21 days resulting in the signing of 1,934 export deals worth $31.6 million, the "Hannover Export Fair" was deemed a success.

1962 – P. E. Schall GmbH & Co. KG was founded by Paul Eberhard Schall. The portfolio of trade fairs include world-leading industry forums such as Control (international trade fair for quality assurance), Motek (international trade fair for assembly, handling technology and automation) and Blechexpo (international trade fair for sheet metal working) - all taking place in Stuttgart. Equally firmly established and world-renowned are Fakuma (international trade fair for plastics processing) in Friedrichshafen and Optatec (international trade fair for optical technologies) in Frankfurt.

1976 – The NEC (National Exhibition Centre) opened, hosting 125 trade and consumer exhibitions each year. The NEC is the biggest exhibition venue in the UK holding leading events such as PPMA, Interplas & MACH.

2000 – ExCel (Exhibition Centre London) was opened in November, located between Canary Wharf and London City airport, hosting 1,000s of events including Ecobuild the UK’s largest construction event and Hotelympia the UK’s largest foodservice and hospitality exhibition. It was also used for the 2012 Olympic Games, hosting boxing, weight lifting, judo, fencing etc.

2006 – Prime Events Solutions Ltd was founded, helping UK companies get the most out of exhibiting offering a range of services such as, project management, advice as well as stand design & build.

2007 – Prime Events was appointed the UK & Ireland representatives for Messe Stuttgart.

2007 – Messe Stuttgart’s new exhibition grounds were completed and opened officially on 19th October becoming the 9th biggest trade fair venue in Germany with 105,200m² of indoor space. The new venue is ideally situated right next to Stuttgart airport (5 minute walk). Located in one of Europe’s strongest economic regions: Baden-Württemberg in the South West of Germany. A number of well-known enterprises are headquartered in the state, for example Daimler AG, Porsche, Bosch (automobile industry), Carl Zeiss AG (optics), and SAP AG (largest software enterprise in Europe).

2010 – Prime Events rebrands to ‘Lincoln West’, to give the business “a broader global appeal whilst still communicating the businesses core passion of quality exhibition management & space sales. The new name, new brand and the launch of the company’s new website signify the innovative change in the services the company offers.”

2010 – Lincoln West Ltd was appointed the UK & Ireland representatives for P.E. Schall GmbH, the largest privately owned exhibition organiser in Germany. Lincoln West offers UK & Ireland companies the chance to expand their business and increase sales by introducing them to the German and international markets.

2011 – Lincoln West, launches 'The Sales Expo'

2013 – In partnership with The British Family, Lincoln West launches 'The British Family Fayre' showcasing and celebrating British Manufacturing & Producers, whilst raising money for The Prince's Trust. This one day event, attracted 4,000 visitors in its inaugral year, including exhibitors such as Derwent Pencils, Lush Cosmetics, NFU and King of Shaves to name a few. Due to the huge interest this topic generated, the event was featured on the BBC national television.

2014 – Lincoln West launches the inaugral National Sales Conference