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Gold 100 Week Was a Santa Barbara Sensation for Nearly 200 Guests; Who Took Top Honors?


Santa Barbara, CA – A winning combination of the perfect crowd and the perfect setting set the stage for a glittering salute to the top trade shows of 2014 at the annual Trade Show Executive Awards & Summit.

Trade Show Executive and its sponsor partners, led by title sponsor Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, welcomed 183 show organizers and other industry leaders at the seaside Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, CA on September 29 – October 2. The annual event, now in its 8th year, provided a hard-to-beat venue for networking, socializing and the unveiling of the annual Grand Gold Awards for the largest trade shows of the year and the exhibitions that excelled in 15 other categories including marketing, execution, sustainability, public service and technology.

“We kept hearing from honorees and sponsors alike that this year’s Gold 100 was the best,” said Darlene Gudea, president of Trade Show Executive Media Group. “There was a terrific mix of attendees, including a number of industry leaders who have never attended before. The sessions, led by top-tier speakers from inside and outside the industry, generated many interesting and unique perspectives. The Grand Awards gave everyone fresh ideas for their next show.” Gudea added, “And let’s face it – Santa Barbara and the 5-star-yet-laid-back Bacara Resort was a fitting setting for this congenial gathering of competitors, as many photos and comments on social media testified.”

Some of the notable winners of Grand Awards this year included: CONEXPO-CON/AGG, the largest show of 2014 with 2,365,711 net square feet of exhibit space; International CES, which received three Grand Awards; Emerald Expositions, the top show organizer with 12 Gold 100 shows; and Global Pet Expo, which was named “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

A record 19 Grand Awards were handed out at the Gold 100 Awards Gala. The categories included the top four events ranked by size. The coveted crystal trophy also went to shows that led the pack in other important ways. The complete roster of honorees included:

Largest Trade Show of 2014: CONEXPO-CON/AGG
Largest Annual Show: International CES
Largest Semi-Annual Show: MAGIC-August
Fastest-Growing Show: (blended percentage) KBIS
Fastest-Growing Show (sheer numbers): International CES
Top Show Organizer: Emerald Expositions
Best 24/7/365 Show Brand: Natural Products Expo West
Best Viral Show Promotion: E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)
Strongest Global Participation: International CES
The Stickiest Show Floor: Solar Power International
Best Program to Help Exhibitors Maximize Their ROI: ISA Annual Convention (Industrial Supply Association)
Best Use of Technology: International Woodworking Fair
Most Commendable Green Initiatives: Winter Fancy Food Show
Best VIP Program: International Vision Expo East
Social Media Superstar: E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)
Marketing Genius Award: Jim Wulfekuhle, vice president of sales & marketing, International Woodworking Fair
The Do-Gooder Award: ABC Kids Expo
Most Innovative Show Overall: HIMSS Annual Conference & Expo
Against All Odds: The SHOT Show
The Greatest Show on Earth: Global Pet Expo
The setting and the fun-filled vibe of the Gold 100 was enough to make a person break out in song — and many people did.  The result was a raucous version of the Broadway hit, “No Business like Show Business” with the words adapted to the trade show industry and the video production by CNTV’s Carrie Ferenac, Marcelo Zolessi, Greig Powers and Ryan Rantz.

“A wide variety of delegates willingly hammed it up as CNTV cameras were rolling,” said Gudea, “and CNTV produced a song that truly reflected the singers’ fun-loving spirit and willingness to not take themselves so seriously.” Gudea said CNTV went above and beyond to produce the video and rally the Gold 100 troops to sing. Despite CNTV’s immense talent, however, it is clear that no one will get scouted for “The Voice” so the future of the Gold 100 shows is assured.

The cast included luminaries Nancy Walsh and Michael Grant of Reed Exhibitions; IAEE Chair Megan Tanel of AEM; Cindy Sample of NAMM; Adam Andersen of New Hope Media; NTP’s Chris Harar; SAP Events’ Keegan Hooks; North American Beauty Events’ Eric Horn; Creative Expos & Conferences’ Cherif Moujabber; Jim Kelly of PRG; and UBM Advanstar’s Nora Ellingwood, who admits to testing the limits of the Clark County fire marshal at MAGIC and can’t wait to show him the video.

You can view the dazzling production at

The next Gold Gala will be held in 2016 at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Spa and Golf Club in Carlsbad, a few miles north of San Diego, on September 21-23, 2016.

Reach Darlene Gudea at (760) 889-8585 or

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