Earl's Court was for many years an empty space until the opening of two nearby metro stations (Earl's Court and West Brompton). Around that time, entrepreneur John Robinson Whitley was the first to consider organising shows in the area.
In 1935, the landowners built a large exhibition hall on the site; their idea was to compete with the neighbouring Olympia exhibition hall. The project was given over to architect C. Howard Crane and Earls Court opened in 1937 with the chocolate and sweets fair, a major event. To cater to the increasing popularity of the venue, a new structure, Earls Court 2, was built alongside the first and inaugurated in 1991 by Princess Diana.