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CONEXPO Named Largest Show; Nielsen and Reed Exhibitions Tie for Top Show Organizer; MD&M, MEDTEC Take Leading Brand


Rancho Palos Verdes, CA – The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) picked up three Gold Grand Awards and the triennial giant CONEXPO-CON/AGG won two, including the “Largest Show” of 2008 and the one that delivered the highest economic impact. The awards were announced at the Trade Show Executive 2nd Annual Gold 100 Awards & Summit on September 24 at the Terranea Resort and Conference Center in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.

The Gold Grand Awards are awarded to the year’s largest trade shows in terms of exhibit area as listed on the annual Trade Show Executive (TSE) Gold 100 rankings. Awards are also open to shows of all sizes in other categories, such as “Leading Brand,” “Top Show Organizer,” “Most Innovative Practices” and “Against All Odds.”

CONEXPO-CON/AGG sprawled across nearly 2.3 million net square feet (nsf) in Las Vegas last year. The International CES placed second on the Gold 100 list of largest shows at more than 1.8 million nsf. CONEXPO-CON/AGG also received the Gold Grand Award for “Highest Economic Impact on a Local Economy” for the $234 million it brought to the Las Vegas economy.

The International CES earned the Gold Grand Award for “The Largest Annual Show.”

There was also a two-way tie in the category of top show organizer between Reed Exhibitions and Nielsen Business Media, both of which organized eight shows on the Gold 100 roster.

In the most competitive category of “At the Forefront of Technology,” there were numerous entries. Three shows had distinctive and market-leading technology initiatives, so the judges gave the award to all three: International CES; Hanley Wood’s Surfaces; and the Radiological Society of North America’s RSNA Scientific Assembly & Annual Meeting.

The Complete List of 2008 Grand Awards

  • Top Show Organizer: Reed Exhibitions and Nielsen Business Media. Each company managed eight Gold 100 shows. Reed organized the No. 21-ranked SHOT Show and 470 events worldwide. Nielsen organizes 75 events. Its ASD/AMD Trade Shows are held twice a year and were ranked 23rd and 24th.
  • Largest ShowCONEXPO-CON/AGG. Spanning a whopping 2.28 million nsf, it was the largest trade show ever held in the U.S.
  • Largest Annual ShowInternational CES. Reaching 1.85 million nsf, the perennial winner placed No. 2 on the Gold 100 list.
  • Largest Semi-Annual ShowMAGIC Marketplace. The two shows, the flagship in the portfolio of owner Advanstar Communications, together total nearly 2 million nsf and drew 142,000 attendees from the apparel industry. The February show was No. 8 on the Gold 100. August ranked No. 12.
  • Leading BrandMedical Design & Manufacturing and MEDTEC. Canon Communications’ medical-device brand features ten shows worldwide. Each show includes a number of co-located events that broaden the overall scope. MD&M West ranked No. 52 on the Gold 100MD&M East was No. 87.
  • Highest Economic ImpactCONEXPO-CON/AGG. The giant show drew 143,000 attendees who had an estimated total impact on the Las Vegas economy of over  $230 million.
  • Most Innovative PracticesWorld of Concrete. The Gold 100 show, which ranked No. 16, had innovations in nearly every aspect of its operations from recycling to space sales to attendee networking.
  • Highest Global ParticipationInternational CES. Nearly one-third of its attendees — about 28,000 people — came from 141 nations outside the U.S.  The association used an aggressive outreach to draw overseas attendees.
  • At the Forefront of Technology: A three-way tie among International CESSurfaces and the RSNA Scientific Assembly & Annual Meeting. At the International CES, visitor usage of MyCES search-and-planning platform soared. Twittering began eight months before the show. Surfaces, ranked No.40 on the Gold 100,offered the Zeppelin interface application, which linked the show website to the attendees’ personal planning portal. RSNA Scientific Assembly & Annual Meeting, offered RFID badges which provided extensive attendee tracking that translated into rich data on prospective buyers for exhibitors and floor traffic for the organizers. The show placed No. 35 on the Gold 100 and was the largest in the Medical & Healthcare sector.
  • Leadership in Green InitiativesNatural Products Expo East (ranked No. 99 on the Gold 100) and West (ranked No. 65), were heralded for extensive planning with an eye on making the shows as green as possible. Management focused on recycling as well as other details such as travel distances by sources.
  • Against All OddsAccessories, The Show. This once-struggling show, acquired by Business Journals Inc. in 1997, is now thriving in the competitive New York and Las Vegas markets. It runs seven times annually and brings in about 60,000 attendees from 60 countries. That’s roughly a 20-fold improvement in just over a decade.
  • LongevityThe NAMM Show. This music instrument industry expo entered its 108th year ranked No. 33 on the Gold 100. It is the show that means business: a significant share of the business transacted annually within the industry occurs during the show. NAMM, the International Music Products Association, invests a big part of its show profits into programs to develop attendance.
  • Fastest-Growing ShowMid-America Trucking Show. Exhibit Management Associates, Inc. held its largest show ever in 2008 with 896,149 nsf, up more than 130,000 nsf from 2007. Increased marketing and growth in the trucking industry contributed to a move-up in the Gold 100 rankings from No. 16 in 2007 to No. 15.

Reach Darlene Gudea, president, Trade Show Executive, at (760) 630-9111 or

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