This Just In

Josh Linkner, Master of Disruption, to Keynote TSE Gold 100


Oceanside, CA –Trade show CEOs have some of the sharpest entrepreneurial minds in the world. What is it about your entrepreneurial mindset that helps you seize opportunities that others miss?  What can you do to avoid obsolescence?

Venture capitalist, tech entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author Josh Linkner has been tapped to discuss these and other ideas as the keynote speaker for Trade Show Executive’s 7th Annual Gold 100 Awards & Summit, October 22-24 at the five-star St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort.  A five-time successful tech entrepreneur, Linkner will show industry leaders how to embrace the creativity, grit and vision of a startup and then channel this approach to drive growth, innovation, efficiency, and customer delight.

“The riskiest move is hugging the status quo,” Linkner said. “Believing the future will be like the past is the fast road to obsolescence.”  He urges you to innovate and disrupt your organization and shows before your competition does.

Linkner is on the vanguard of “disruptive” entrepreneurs, that genre of business people looking to find the next big innovation or new way of doing things that captivates the market and allows an upstart firm to blow past the old guard like a trick play in football. Linkner’s message, however, is that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander – and even the established stalwarts can and should embrace the verve and nerve of the startup in order to maintain the sharp edge of a street fighter and put some distance between them and their competitors.

Linkner will also encourage a lean-and-hungry outlook on business in his keynote address at the Gold Gala in October.

Linkner is the author of two books: Disciplined Dreaming:  A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity and The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation.  He has been on a journey that has been non-traditional at every step:  he’s been a professional jazz guitarist, four-time tech entrepreneur, hyper-growth CEO, New York Times best-selling author, venture capitalist, and urban re-inventor.

He is joining the Gold 100 festivities from Detroit, where he is CEO and managing partner of Detroit Venture Partners, a firm that is a major player in revitalizing the business base of the Motor City and restoring it to its past glory by using new and “disruptive” strategies and tactics.

Linkner will open the summit portion of the Gold 100 on October 23.

The Gold 100 annually honors the show organizers who run the 100 largest trade shows in the U.S.  These highly successful flagship shows include the likes of the International CESSEMA, RSNA, and MAGIC Marketplace. [Go to TSE Gold 100 Class of 2014 to see the full list of the shows that made the rankings.]  Staking out a ranking on the Gold 100 is a premier achievement for a show manager, but Josh Linkner is there to remind top-tier executives of established shows that keeping a little bit of startup swagger is healthy.

The upscale coastal setting for the Gold 100 may make it tough look back at the days when you and your small team put in long hours and felt every growing pain. Those exhausting and stimulating days, however, were some of the best and provided the skills and savvy that made the climb to the top possible, and can help keep you on top for years to come.

Linkner has launched five companies in the tech sector that he has sold for a combined $200 million. He has seen plenty of other enterprises come and go despite being flush with new ideas and public buzz. What makes one company a hit and another a miss has a lot to do with leadership and culture that is established from the start.

Linkner will ask his early-morning audience to look at the contrasts between companies on the rise and those that are beginning to sag under their own weight and corporate inertia. In the end, it may be the upstarts and underdogs that hold the key to success and survival.

  • Understand how an entrepreneur might attack and disrupt a competing organization.
  • Re-imagine the role of the manager from the lens of  an entrepreneur.
  • Harness the “ferocity” of entrepreneurial thinking.
  • Embrace a “startup speed” pace within your  organization.
  • Learn the ways startups create disruption.
  • Avoid the mistakes and death traps startups make.
    • Embrace the five unexpected lessons of underdogs and learn to fight out of seemingly impossible situations.
    • Uncover best practices from a “street-fighter” mentality – on scrappiness, determination, resilience and conquering adversity.


Building a company culture that values and encourages innovative thinking while at the same time having the expertise to select the best of these new ideas and make them happen is the Holy Grail of business these days. The TSE Gold 100 is pleased to have one of the masters of this grand strategy on hand to help keep the trade show industry on the right track.

Register here now!

Reach Darlene Gudea, president, Trade Show Executive Media Group, at (760) 889-8585 or; Diane Bjorklund, TSE vice president of events, at (630) 312-8915 or

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