Over the last 80 years, travel has certainly evolved. In the late 1930s, travel goods were mainly comprised of leather trunks and suitcases. In November 2000 the Luggage & Leather Goods Manufacturers of America (LLGMA) officially became the Travel Goods Association (TGA). The name change was a testament to the continually changing, expansive world of products we now use when we travel.
Today’s Travel Goods Show is still the largest exhibition of travel products in the world.
When the number of luggage and leather goods manufacturers began to significantly increase in the U.S., it became evident that an organization was needed to promote and provide information to the industry. Fourteen men met on February 11, 1938 to sign a charter that resulted in the founding of the Luggage & Leather Goods Manufacturers of America (LLGMA). LLGMA was created after manufacturers who had been members of associations in Chicago and New York determined that they needed to join forces to face national concerns.
Associations News was founded in June 1939 as a way to keep manufacturers informed about industry news.
One of the key functions of LLGMA was sponsoring an industry trade show called the LLGMA Show, which was first held in New York City in the summer of 1947.
In 1972, the Show was moved out of New York and has been held in various locales since, including: Las Vegas, NV; Washington, DC; Miami and Orlando, FL; New Orleans, LA; Dallas and Houston, TX; Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Diego, CA; Chicago, IL; and Phoenix, AZ.
Showcase was founded in 1975 as a quarterly magazine. Showcase, which was originally edited for retailers, later underwent two name changes – to Showcase International and then to Travel Goods Showcase – and became more reflective of the entire industry that it served.
On its 50th anniversary in 1988, the LLGMA Show ranked 106th in size in America. Now known as The Travel Goods Show, it is the largest annual exhibition of travel products in the world.
LLGMA became the Travel Goods Association (TGA) in November 2000, as the organization moved away from representing manufacturers toward a membership and focus that represented the entire travel goods industry.
From Manhattan’s Hotel Pennsylvania in 1947 with 60 exhibitors to the Las Vegas Convention Center in 2017 with 300+ exhibitors, The Travel Goods Show continues to evolve with the industry.
Products aside, the success and longevity of The Travel Goods Show is also thanks in large part to the people who make it happen – those who contribute every day to the organization by attending The Show, working behind the scenes, innovating new products and so much more.
As TGA President Michele Marini Pittenger says, “l fell in love with the industry – the constant evolution of products, but most of all, the people.”
As the organization continues on its path of growth and continual creative evolution, The Travel Goods Show remains the place to launch brands, create buzz for new products, and keep the industry rolling.