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Originally published Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 5:45 PM

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Convention center gives 'trade' the boot

Washington State Trade & Convention Center shortens its name.

Seattle Times staff reporter

The "Trade" in the Washington State Trade & Convention Center is no more.

Now it's simply the Washington State Convention Center.

The center decided to drop "trade" because it's not what the convention center does, said spokesman Brian Baum.

"We're not really a trade center," he said. "The only trade show we ever had was WTO [World Trade Organization], and we know how that went."

The center is opening a new conference facility across the street this year and figured it would be a good time to take "trade" out of the name. "We focus on meetings and conventions," said Baum. "Trade doesn't fit and the logo is tired. It's time to freshen the image."

First, the convention center will change its business cards and stationery, and then will change its Web site and e-mail addresses. But the name affixed to the convention center? Because of costs, it will stay until it needs to be replaced, Baum said.

The convention center was authorized by the Washington Legislature in 1982 as a nonprofit to build a convention and trade center. The name stuck.

"But we never went in the direction of a true trade center," said Baum. "Trade shows are where products are demonstrated, and we really don't have that type of facility. People come from out of town, stay in hotels, go to meetings, eat at restaurants, leave lots of money here and go home."

Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or sgilmore@seattletimes.com

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