Anyone who was in the textile division of the screenprinting technologies since the beginning in 1977 fondly remembers Jackie James as the person in charge of the Imprinted Sportswear Shows. James was the Show Director for the first Imprinted Sportswear Show held in Dallas, Texas in May of 1977 and held the position until 1981.
James started with Bill Windsor, the founder of the Imprinted Sportswear industry in the early days. Windsor believed that a trade show was needed to pull together the manufacturers, distributors, and screenprinters of the textile industry. In 1977, Windsor came up with the term Imprinted Sportswear to explain his concept. He rented the entire Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. He reserved 1500 hotel rooms at area hotels. All this was done with very little money and a lot of spunk. To pull it off, Bill sat at his desk in the corner of his bedroom at his Atlanta duplex and started making sales calls. That first show pulled close to 5,000 attendees and the Imprinted Sportswear industry was born.
Always the trooper, James dealt with the many disasters at the shows over the years – a fire that closed their headquarters hotel in Vegas; show directories falling off the back of a truck and exploding all over Los Angeles; a speaker who passed out face down on the podium in London; a Darth Vader appearance drawing such huge crowds in Anaheim that the folks coming to the show couldn’t find a parking place or get through the crowds; there not enough food on the riverboat in New Orleans, and all 1,000 people on the boat knew who was the one in charge!
Ted Stahl, founder of Stahls International, remembered recently that things were different back then, in a simpler time, when competitors sometimes shared hotel rooms to save costs and heat transfer printing was in its infancy.
Since 2002, James has been the Director at Hanley Wood Exhibitions in Dallas, Texas