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A tattoo convention is a meeting and exhibition for tattoo practitioners and enthusiasts, as well as anyone who wishes to see the world of tattooing up close.
The first world tattoo convention was held by Dave Yurkew on January 24–25, 1976 in Houston, Texas. Dave Yurkew, who was also President of the North American Tattoo Club went on to host another 6 consecutive World Tattoo Conventions through 1982. Lyle Tuttle was quoted as saying that this was "The event that changed tattooing forever".
On January 19–21, 1996, Dave Yurkew and Lyle Tuttle co-hosted the 20th Anniversary of the First World Tattoo Convention in Houston, Texas, following up with the 25th anniversary on January 18–21, 2001 in Houston, hosted by Dave Yurkew and John "Big John" G. Stuckey.
The first I.T.A.A. Convention were held in 1977 in Reno, the first National Convention in Denver, Colorado March 23–25, 1979 at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Speakers at this convention were: Don Ed Hardy, Terry Wrigley, Peter Tat 2 Poulos, Diane Poulos, Bob Shaw, Big Walt Kilkucki, Painless Jeff Baker, Dave Yurkew, and from Germany Horst Heinrich Streckenbach and Manfred Kohrs.
Tattoo conventions range from small events sponsored by a local business that may last a day, to major international conventions spanning a weekend or the better part of a week.
They may include contests and exhibitions, booths selling tattoo-related items and even booths rented for use by tattoo artists who work during the convention. Collectors may attend conventions specifically to obtain a tattoo from a particular visiting artist.
Other events may include professional events such as workshops and meetings as well as social events.
Contests, usually restricted to registered participants, usually feature a variety of categories: black-and-gray, tribal, oriental, backpiece, women, men, and so on. Judging may be by vote or by a panel of judges.
The first tattoo convention in London, England took place in 2005.
- Mississippi Gulf Coast´s Observer, September 2012, Volume 13, Issue 3, p. 36
- FOX news - Passion for tattoos on display in London
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