This Just In

Countdown to Fastest 50 Awards May 19-21


Oceanside, CA – Time flies when you’re having fun … and there’s no better fun than ‘springing’ into this year’s Fastest 50 Awards & Summit coming up May 19-21 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

That’s when Trade Show Executive will once again honor exhibition industry leaders whose shows have grown exponentially in the past year. The 91 shows to be honored at this year’s event posted growth rates that averaged from six to 13 times more than the typical show in net square feet of exhibit space, number of exhibitors and/or attendance.

These shows will be recognized for their growth by Title Sponsor Choose Chicago; Platinum/Registration Sponsor CompuSystems Inc. and 30 other sponsors of the annual three-day celebration of success.

Mayor Emanuel Proclaims Fastest 50 Week
In welcoming the Fastest 50 back to Chicago, a proclamation from Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in part, “the Mayor and the members of the Chicago City Council … do hereby welcome the guests and honorees of this prestigious event and do hereby officially declare that the week of May 18, 2015, shall be officially recognized as Trade Show Executive’s Fastest 50 Weekthroughout the City of Chicago …”

Calling all Foodies
The celebration begins with an arrival day pasta-cooking contest led by Executive Chef Christian Fantoni of the landmark Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush steakhouse, followed by an opening reception at the Chicago Sports Museum. At both venues, honorees from the 2014 Fastest 50 shows will mix, mingle and connect through networking events that also will include past winners and other executives from the exhibition industry. It’s the perfect opportunity to share ideas, explore the latest technology and talk about what trends may be on the horizon for trade shows in the near future.

The fast-paced Summit program on day two will play off the previous day’s energy by delivering a wealth of information and ideas for top-level show managers.

The day begins with a keynote presentation by business futurist Nicholas Webb, author of The Innovation Playbook and an entrepreneur who holds 40 patents. He will offer food for thought about Innovation and Future-Casting through examples of five stupid things organizations do that can lead to their demise—and how you can avoid those pitfalls.

The Mavericks
Sticking with the theme of innovation and adaptation as strategies for success, show organizers Henry Dicker, vice president of global events for ALM/Legal Tech, and David Weil, vice president of SmithBucklin, are part of the Trade Show Mavericks panel — those who blaze the trail and seek new frontiers in attendee co-creation, acquisition techniques and innovative floor plans designed to better engage attendees at the exhibit booth.

Giving You Some Attitude

Research: Driven By What Matters, presented by Paige Cardwell, president of CSG Creative, will include a unique method for segmenting a target audience by attitudes, feelings and desires to identify why customers have made purchases at trade shows and how this approach might serve as a basis for brand messaging, marketing, program content or new product development.

The Power of Persuasion
Of course, selling always involves the power of persuasion, and John Baker, former COO of American Express and author of “The Asking Formula” will offer insights about How to be More Persuasive that will include advice specific to show managers about how to speed up the sales cycle, untangle potential sticking points and better their relationships with exhibitors, board members and partners.

Power Lunch with CTIA’s Rob Mesirow
The ever-popular Power Lunch this year will feature TSE’s editor-at-large Danica Tormohlen interviewing Rob Mesirow, vice president and show director of CTIA, The Wireless Association about how he will produce the CTIA Super Mobility 2015 show, the largest event focused on the ever-changing mobile technology.

A Shark Sighting Near Lake Michigan

The Big Pitch: The Next-Generation New-Product Showcase will be  presented by Brian Hakan, president, Hakan & Associates; Kevin Harrington, president, The Big Pitch and a Shark on ABC’s “Shark Tank;” and Caleb Sheppard, managing partner of Rio Creative.

“The Big Pitch” will give organizers a first-hand look at adapting television’s “Shark Tank” competition to their show for publicizing new products in order to build the pre- and post-show buzz and encourage exhibitors bring their A game to the show floor. The format has been a huge success in the trade show arena. One notable show, The Sports Licensing & Tailgate Show in Las Vegas, which was recently sold to Emerald Expositions, features a “Big Pitch“ session showcasing the most intriguing new products on the show floor.

Other sessions include:

  • Off the Charts: Strategies of the Fastest 50 Growth Leaders by Tom Corcoran, president of Corcoran Expositions Inc., which has organized three of the Fastest 50 shows.
  • New Dimensions Through Global Exhibitors, Attendees by Cherif Moujabber, president of Creative Expos & Conferences and Steve Sind, president of Global Event Strategies.

Intrigue and Surprise at the Fastest 50 Awards Dinner
This whirlwind schedule leads up to the main event:  the annual dinner and awards presentation that honors the fastest-growing shows in 2014. Together, this year’s honorees used nearly 18 million nsf of exhibit space, ranging from 1.2 million nsf for Pack Expo International to 18,850 nsf at Government Fleet Expo. The ICSC New York National Deal Making Conference had the highest percentage growth rates in both exhibit space and number of exhibitors last year. Emerald Exposition’s Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) led the way in attendance. The 91 shows also drew a combined 61,000+ exhibiting companies and more than 1.5 million attendees, packing a significant punch for the exhibition industry.

The final ranking of winning shows, along with their show managers and managing organizations, will be announced on awards night. The Fastest 50 directory will be released on opening day, May 19.

The Fastest 50 will draw honorees, key staff members of honored shows, board members of sponsoring associations, show organizers looking for new ideas and trade show executives seeking acquisition of or co-location with a Fastest 50 show.  Some of the big Fastest 50 managements have bought tables to reward their top performers and revel in the jubilation.

To register for the Trade Show Executive Fastest 50 Awards & Summit, go to Additional details about the program will be announced on the Trade Show Executive website and via E-Clips Breaking News.

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