This Just In

GWCC Veteran Mark Zimmerman Brings His Expertise to TSE Forecasting Board


Oceanside, CA – Mark Zimmerman, general manager of the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) and a longtime advocate of trade shows, is joining the Trade Show Executive Exposition Forecasting Board (EFB). The 20-member board includes leaders in the industry from every facet of the business and provides input to the magazine’s popular monthly Trending & Spending column as well as presentations at industry events.

Zimmerman brings a high level of knowledge and experience to the position. “Mark has been active in the industry far beyond the walls of the GWCC. He has served on numerous boards and committees and is a respected speaker,” said Darlene Gudea, president of Trade Show Executive Media Group. “We look forward to sharing his unique perspectives as general manager of one of the largest convention centers in the U.S. and an insightful leader of the industry nationwide.”

Zimmerman served on the board of directors of the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA) for six years and received the ESCA Outstanding Service Award in 2011 for his contributions to both ESCA and the Atlanta community. He is also active in the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM).

Zimmerman started as a concessions supervisor at the GWCC in 1984 and rose through the ranks to become general manager in 2004. During his tenure, the GWCC hosted scores of major trade shows and has been a focal point of high-profile events including the 1996 Olympics, 1988 Democratic National Convention and 2000 Super Bowl.

The GWCC was expanded twice during that period and currently provides 1.4 million square feet of prime exhibit space, placing it fourth on the TSE World’s Top Convention Center rankings.

Zimmerman also has the distinction of having helped lead the GWCC’s recovery after it was struck by a tornado in 2008. The center was damaged, but was repaired, upgraded and open for business in just 42 days. “Mark has been a major force in the trade show industry, and we expect he will be a major contributor to the Forecasting Board,” Gudea said.

Other members of the TSE Exposition Forecasting Board include:

  • Aaron Bludworth, President & CEO, Fern
  • Chris Brown, Executive Vice President, National Association of Broadcasters
  • Tony Calanca, Executive VP, Exhibitions, UBM Advanstar
  • Gregg Caren, Executive Vice President, Convention & Exhibition Centers, SMG
  • Jack Chalden, President, Chalden & Associates
  • Frank Chow, Chief Economist, TSE Media Group
  • Skip Cox, President & CEO, Exhibit Surveys and Immediate Past Chair of IAEE
  • David DuBois, President, IAEE and Chairman, Convention Industry Council
  • Shura Garnett, Regional VP, Global Spectrum
  • Darlene Gudea, President, Trade Show Executive Media Group
  • Michael Guerriero, Division President, Experient
  • John Kimball, President & CEO, Convention Data Services
  • David Loechner, President, Emerald Expositions
  • Chris Meyer, VP of Sales, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
  • Steve Moster, President, Global Experience Specialists (GES)
  • Yulita Osuba, Deputy Director, Orange County Convention Center
  • Joseph Popolo, Jr., CEO, Freeman
  • Dennis Slater, President, Association of Equipment Manufacturers
  • Nancy Walsh, President, North America, Reed Exhibitions
  • Chris Williams, President, CompuSystems, Inc.

Reach Mark Zimmerman at (404) 223-4000 or

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