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 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.
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