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Cubs and Caray’s Highlight TSE Fastest 50 Week in Chicago


Chicago, IL – A perfect Chicago afternoon of baseball under the sun, followed by classic cuisine in the Loop, awaits the honorees at the Trade Show Executive (TSE) Fastest 50 Awards & Summit this Spring.

The Fastest 50 takes place April 19-21 at the downtown Hyatt Regency Chicago. It features a packed agenda of education and awards for the fastest-growing trade shows held in 2016, as well as a memorable social calendar that includes a road trip to see the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. After the game, an Opening Reception will be held at a local landmark, Harry Caray’s Italian Steak House.

The Cubbies’ well-deserved status as the reigning big shots of baseball has made them a fan favorite nationwide. And what better way to soak in the scene than a Wrigley View Rooftop experience? The hustle and bustle of the ballpark is fun, but there is also a lot to be said about the exclusive and unique experience of a rooftop outing. Fastest 50 attendees will enjoy great food and company as they soak up the sun while watching the North Siders host the Milwaukee Brewers in one of their fabled day games, on April 19.

The next day, Champagne will flow at the Fastest 50 Awards Gala. The red carpet will be rolled out at the Fastest 50 Reception, followed by an awards banquet honoring the organizers of the shows that led the pack last year in of exhibit space growth, number of exhibitors and overall attendance. After the gala, guests will squeeze in a few final drops of networking at the Afterglow, and then refuel at Friday’s Farewell Breakfast before heading to the airport.

Registration information for the Fastest 50 Awards & Summit is available at

Spaces are going fast and the nation’s top organizers are already warming up in the bullpen…. Click here to see who’s coming.

While there will be plenty of time for recreation at the Fastest 50, it won’t be entirely fun and games. A full day of educational opportunities is planned to give show organizers an infusion of new ideas and strategies as they head into Summer.

Fastest 50 Summit has a full lineup of sessions including:

* Innovating Around the Box, A Low Risk, High Reward Approach to Innovation

Depending on how much “disruption” is involved, innovation is too often characterized as either inside the box or outside the box. But some companies innovate around the box – meaning they surround their core products with a family of complementary and irresistible innovations. It’s not the easiest strategy, it’s tough to execute, and it can require big internal changes. David Robertson will show you how this strategy works and how the best companies use it to win in their markets.

* What’s Now, What’s New, and What’s Next in Attendee Marketing

As you craft your next marketing campaign, you’ll need to carefully blend today’s proven tactics with tomorrow’s technologies to keep your event brand in an optimal position with your media-saturated prospects. A panel of TSE honorees, led by Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes, discuss how to get the right mix of best and next-practices for building attendance, and how they use them to boost their shows on to the Fastest 50. Joining the discussion are Brian Pagel, SVP, Kitchen & Bath Show, Emerald Expositions; Ed Nichols, VP of Events, SouthComm; and Laura Santella-Saccone, CMO, Specialty Food Association.

* Crisis Management Workshop

Trouble can find you, even when you aren’t looking for it.  But developing a plan ahead of time will limit the consequences and turn a potential catastrophe into a hiccup. Karen Gebhart, VP of Business Development for the Helicopter Association International, will facilitate an interactive workshop for panelists and audience members on facing an unexpected crisis and salvaging the best outcome. The panel of industry experts, who have all faced their own sudden upsets in recent years, includes Garry McCarthy, CEO and President of GRM-Strategies; Nath Morris, VP of Expositions for the US Poultry & Egg Association; and Mark Zimmerman, Business Consultant for Georgia World Congress Center.

* Leaders & Legends Power Lunch Interview

This year’s guest for the onstage live interview is George Jage, President and Publisher for Marijuana Business Daily.  George is the key leader of the steady growth of The Marijuana Business Conference & Expo, and winner of the 2016 Fastest Growing Show grand award.  George will share his experiences and answer questions posed by moderator Gabrielle Weiss, Managing Editor, Trade Show Executive, and from members of the audience.

* A Fresh Look at Growing Your Show Franchise

Beyond increasing the bottom line-oriented factors of attendance and exhibit space, what are the best ways to sustain the overall growth of your organization? It’s all about nurturing strong show brands that effectively serve the needs of your communities. This session explores strategies for growth-minded show organizers, including acquisitions, launches, sponsorships, co-locations and geo-cloning. TSE Editor-at-Large Danica Tormohlen moderates the panel.  Joining the discussion are Tony Calanca, EVP, Exhibitions, UBM Americas; Paul Bellantone, CEO, Promotional Products Association International; and Tom Corcoran, Founder and President, Corcoran Expositions.

* Experience First: The Conference of the Future

The future of interaction is predicated on more than just latching onto new technologies or virtual spaces.; it’s also about creating a deep and lasting connection with your attendees. Oracle and Mosaic have teamed up to create an experience-first model for Oracle OpenWorld, which annually facilitates interactions and learning for attendees from all corners of the globe. Learn how to apply an experience-first model to your business that will drive participation and advocacy with your audience. Leading the discussion are: Paul Salinger, VP Marketing, Oracle; Khaleed Juma, Creative Director, Mosiac; and David Grass, Senior Director Client Services, Mosiac.

The lineup for TSE Fastest 50 Awards & Summit is stacked with education, networking and socializing. Adding Harry Caray and the Cubbies to the mix transforms the Fastest 50 into the World Series of events for the exhibitions industry.

Reach Diane Bjorklund, TSE VP of Events, at (630) 312-8915 or

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