The history of exhibitions counts thousands of years. It has been a long, steep and convoluted way to shape and embody the whole conception of the event in its modern form. The root of the current exhibition is fair: three millenniums ago, according to the archeological excavations, merchants from all parts of the world already started to offer their goods on the markets and actively pursued trade.
Later on, the European traders adopted the tradition of an organization of such fairs. The medieval fairs were very messy and used to be a place for entertainment rather than for trade. It was an important event for all people, young and old, accompanied by different leisure activities, which were supposed to attract a crowd, thus we can see that the advertisement was always in step with fairs and developed together over the centuries.
Apart from entertainment, fairs were the perfect (and usually the only) place where people could buy goods which were impossible to get on their local markets. Therefore, fairs were the briskest location for trade.
The Industrial Revolution marked the beginning of the XIX century. That event changed the vector of business development. Massive machines, engines, and other inventions were displayed at special exhibitions together with household appliances. It took time to organize the trade space, construct the perfect booth and arrange the exhibits by the types of goods to attract the interested.
So, while the primary target of the medieval fair was selling and buying products, the first exhibitions were based on the principles of competition, aimed to show the modern contraptions in order to move the scientific and technological progress and stimulate the economic growth. Nowadays, exhibitions came back to the fundamental mechanism of sale. Now, we consider them to be one of the most useful instruments in promoting pioneering products to succeed in business.