Skip to main content

Oregon trade show producer is remembered

Bob O’Loughlin Sr., founder of the Portland, Ore.-based O'Loughlin Trade Shows, died Aug. 17 of natural causes at his Portland home after an annual hunting trip with his family. He was 80.

For more than seven decades, O’Loughlin and his shows introduced millions of show-goers to the pleasures and joys of outdoor adventure, including boating, fishing, hunting, camping and RVing, according to an obituary in The Oregonian.

Flooding Portland’s Memorial Coliseum to stage a floating boat show, taking a fully grown killer whale “on the road,” spotlighting the skills of “Twiggy, The Waterskiing Squirrel” and attracting the likes of Ted Williams, Johnny Unitas, The Supremes and Tony Bennett for personal appearances, O’Loughlin blended imagination and ingenuity to create traffic-building show attractions that captivated audiences and supported exhibitor participation.

Several generations of young anglers caught their first fish at the Free Children’s Trout Pond, one of many family-friendly features O’Loughlin introduced at the company’s shows through the years.

“Dad never stopped dreaming and his passion was infectious,” son and company president Bill O’Loughlin said in the obituary. “He told us he was able to visualize a show’s feature attraction in color — down to the smallest detail. It drove some of us crazy when it came down to the execution, but in the end you knew there was method to the madness.”

Spanning four generations, the family-owned company has produced hundreds of consumer shows, including the Portland Home & Garden Show (65 years), Portland Boat Show (52 years) and the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show (37 years).

Today, three of O’Loughlin’s sons and a grandson — the third and fourth generations involved in the family-owned business — continue to produce a full calendar of the region’s top consumer events.

Click here for the full obituary.

Related

1_ABA

ABA Celebrates 30 Years

The America Boatbuilders Association was founded in 1992 with the objective of collectively buying engines, raw materials and manufactured products at better prices.

1_YEARGIN

Who, Not How

Sometimes, to solve a tough problem, you need to get a different person in the room.

1_WHALESACTION

NMMA: Proposed Speed Rule an ‘Existential Threat’ to Industry

The association is calling on every marine brand, employee and boat owner to file public comment by Oct. 31 over a sweeping regulation to protect North Atlantic right whales.

1_AXOPAR

Axopar and Nimbus Renew Agreement

The boatbuilders have entered an agreement whereby Nimbus Group will retain exclusive rights to sell Axopar boats on the Swedish market.

1_IAN

Hurricane Ian Leaves Devastation in Florida

The storm left a wide swath of destruction, heavily impacting marine interests from Tampa Bay to Marco Island.

Norm

Email Is Your Ticket to Holiday Sales

Developing an effective email campaign can bolster sales and help fill winter coffers at your dealership.

1_NMRA

NMRA Presents Annual Awards

Edson CEO Will Keene and ComMar Sales president Tim Conroy were recognized for their contributions to the marine industry.

1_ PULSE.PING.2

DEALERS: Are Interest Rates Impacting Demand?

This month’s Pulse Report survey asks dealers whether interest rate increases are causing a downturn in boat sales. Take the survey here.

1_EPROPULSION

EPropulsion, Mack Boring Partner with Crest

Pontoon builder Crest will use an ePropulsion Navy 3.0 Evo electric outboard motor and an E175 battery for its 2023 Current model.