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Largest and Greatest Trade Shows of 2013 Honored at TSE Gold 100 Awards

Dana Point, CA – The International CES was named the “Largest Trade Show” of 2013, and the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) was honored as “The Greatest Show on Earth” at the Trade Show Executive Gold 100 Awards & Summit at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, CA. The Gold 100 annually salutes the largest and most-accomplished trade shows of year, and this year’s event October 22-24 drew a large crowd of show organizers for the celebration and a full schedule of educational sessions and networking opportunities.
“The trade show industry had plenty to crow about in 2013,” said Darlene Gudea, president of Trade Show Executive Media Group. “TSE and its 46 sponsors were thrilled to recognize not only the people who produce the nation’s largest shows but also the ones with the most innovative minds.”  She noted, “The Class of 2014 was certainly an exuberant group and we were pleased to be able to celebrate in such a grand manner at the St. Regis, at the Monarch Beach Golf Links, and cruising around Newport Bay in Duffy Boats.” She added that the Gold Gala was a great way to head into the home stretch for 2014.
“There was plenty of glitz and glamour and fun in the sun, but Gold 100 delegates were also privy to a lot of unique content and perspectives,” said Diane Bjorklund, vice president of events. “CEOs and other senior managers spoke on their successes and setbacks, and on burning issues such as disaster preparedness, violent incidents and hidden hotel costs. There was an update on tech trends and tips on avoiding land mines during interviews with the media.”
The International CES topped the overall Gold 100 rankings with nearly 2 million net square feet. E3 joined the “elite of the elite” with its annual show that was 49th on the roster and also delighted exhibitors and attendees alike with its innovative ideas, strong participation, flawless execution and continuing upward trajectory.
Show organizers who made the biggest splashes of the year mingled with executives from the top-tier convention bureaus and convention centers, general service contractors, registration firms and tech providers. The registered attendance of 174 was the largest in the seven-year history of the Gold 100.
The highlight of the Gold 100 was the Awards Dinner & Ceremony, when the Grand Awards are presented to the largest shows of 2013 and to shows that made a big splash in areas such as international participation, use of social media, or overall innovation.
Here is a rundown of the Grand Award winners.
  • Largest Annual Show. The International CES is a perennial contender for largest show of the year. How high is up? In 2013, the electronics extravaganza grew to a record 1,924,650 net square feet (nsf) and drew a total attendance of 152,759.
  • Largest Biennial Show. ICUEE, The International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition, was the largest biennial show and the second-largest show overall in 2013 with 1,173,957 nsf of exhibit space.  A packed program included a focus on new products along with the popular indoor “demo stage”  which helped draw a crowd of 17,399.
  • Largest Semi-Annual Show. MAGIC is held twice a year, and both editions were among the Top 10 Gold 100 shows of 2013. The August edition was the largest with 1,062,151 nsf and ranked No. 3 overall.
  • Top Show Organizer. For the third time in seven years, there was a tie for the distinction of managing the most Gold 100 shows. Reed Exhibitions and Emerald Expositions each produced seven Gold 100 shows in 2013.
  • Fastest-Growing Gold 100 Show. ABC Kids Expo jumped into the Gold 100 after skyrocketing in each of its three metrics by an average 31.8%. The show’s successful return to Las Vegas earned it the 47th ranking with 351,000 nsf after reporting 297,800 nsf in 2012. It was the second-largest show in its history.
  • Best Program for Exhibitors. The Remodeling Show/Deck Expo did not make the Gold 100 rankings in 2013, but Hanley Wood Exhibitions earned a Grand Award for its special outreach program to exhibitors to help them achieve a strong ROI. The show’s marketing manager doubled as a personal marketing consultant for exhibitors, offering help with custom marketing campaigns for print, web and social media before, during and after the show.
  • Master of Co-Location. PRINT 13, which spanned 301,246 nsf and held the 59th ranking on the Gold 100, made extensive use of specialized events to expand the show’s reach into new printing technologies and sectors, and to overcome the ongoing contraction in the global printing market. Print 13 had not one, not two, but an unprecedented 67 distinct shows, conferences and other events wrapped around the main event.  Chris Price and his team at Graphic Arts Show Company managed the unique needs and expectations of each show — and handled the logistics so skillfully — a true lesson in excellence.
  • Highest Global Participation. Seafood Expo North America was another show that fell below the Gold 100 cutoff in net square feet but set the Gold standard for international participation.  Its worldwide reputation drew attendees and exhibitors from 102 nations. Seafood Expo North America reeled in 34% of its attendees from overseas and 45% of its exhibitors from foreign ports, and runs a show that people are talking about around the world.
  • Stickiest Show Floor. After attracting quality attendees to its show, Hanley Wood Exhibitions went the extra mile to keep attendees on the show floor of Remodeling Show/Deck Expo. Hourly exhibitor demos, nine live instructional clinics on the floor and the old reliable Happy Hour were among the ideas used to grip the attention of buyers and convince them to “stick around.”
  • Leader in Green Initiatives. The American Chemical Society’s Greener Meetings Program would make any show manager green with envy. Their entry was chock full of infographics, pie charts, tables and detailed information ranging from baseline metrics to concrete milestones achieved. They had fun with their program too, using a green mascot to roam the show floor. They also created sustainability challenges, student poster sessions and used social media to increase participation in greening efforts.
  • Most Innovative Show.  Any show that brags about having a parade of “1,500 of the SICKEST rides on the planet” just has to be good. The SEMA Show offered that and more – drifting demos, tech zones, 50 business-building seminars, precision drivers racing around the GM Proving Grounds, and so many celebrities they had to publish a “Celebrity Appearance Guide.” The show ranked fourth on the Gold 100 with 1,060,000 nsf.
  • Best 24/7/365 Show. Ranking No. 41 in the Gold 100 in 2013, E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, spanned 382,780 nsf in Los Angeles, but its presence was felt around the world and around the clock by the always busy video game community. The Electronic Software Association and IDG World Expo created a suite of tools and websites that gave virtual attendees an experience that was almost like being there, with behind-the-scenes event coverage, breaking news and interviews, virtual exhibitor booths, and an Interactive Show Map which depicted the show’s hot spots, in real time, enabling users to virtually follow the crowds around the floor.
  • Social Media Superstars – a tie score between the SEMA Show and Global Pet Expo.
    • People love talking about cars. The 4th-ranked SEMA Show was one of the pioneers in the use of social media to stay in touch with its customers’ love of all things automotive. Today, Peter MacGillivray and his team have a fleet of followers numbering 170,000 on Facebook, 74,000 on Twitter, 19,000 on Instagram, and 5,500 on LinkedIn. It is perhaps one of the top five highest social media footprints in the industry.
    • The Global Pet Expo, No. 70 on the Gold 100, also had more tweets than a flock of parakeets. During the week of the show, there were more than 4,000 Tweets about the show, generating over 13 million impressions. The show’s You Tube channel had 29,000 views, up 58% over 2012.
  • Marketing Genius Award. Graphic Arts Show Company’s Chris Price earned his second Grand Award of the evening in this tribute to a show organizer that used extreme ingenuity and precision in drawing qualified new attendee segments. Since 2008, the printing industry has been losing hundreds of printing establishments each year, and mergers and acquisitions have led to even further industry consolidation. In a nutshell, Chris and his team were able to increase attendance by 22% by identifying and reeling in customers from adjacent industries. His finely targeted strategy included co-location, segment marketing, a video news channel and exhibitor partnerships.
  • Greatest Show on Earth. E3, produced by IDG World Expo and the Entertainment Software Association, has become one of the hottest tickets in the worldwide video game business. As the BBC News said: “This year’s E3… is more than just the biggest gaming event in the calendar. It’s a starting pistol for the next phase of living room domination, as the first set of next-generation game consoles for seven years takes centre stage.” E3 achieved its must-attend status through excellence all around. For example, 100% of 2013 exhibitors felt that E3 has a positive effect on their brand and 95% of exhibitors planned to recommend their company to exhibit at E3 2014. In 2013, over $2.5 billion dollars in orders were written or projected into the pipeline as a result of the three-day event. E3’s social media presence surged, with a 220% increase (to 508 million) in Twitter impressions and 630% increase (to 232 million) in Facebook impressions. At this popular and information-rich event, speed, authority and visuals are the new currency for influencers.
Coming Up Next
Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100 salutes the largest trade shows of the year every Fall. TSE is surveying delegates and sponsors on their site preferences, dates and session desires for the 2015 event. Feel free to send your comments to TSE staff as well.
The fastest-growing exhibitions take the spotlight in the Spring at the TSE Fastest 50 Awards & Summit. Plans for the Fastest 50 will be announced in the coming weeks.
Reach Darlene Gudea at (760) 630-9111 or; Diane Bjorklund at (630) 312-8915 or
TSE would like to extend another thanks to the generous sponsors of the Gold 100 Awards & Summit and recommends that you consider them first when selecting service providers:
Title Sponsor
Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
Platinum / Registration Sponsor
CompuSystems, Inc.
Gold Sponsors
Choose Chicago
United Service Companies, Inc.
Venetian  Palazzo  Sands Expo
Silver Sponsors
Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau
Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority
Experient, a Maritz Travel Company
Georgia World Congress Center
Global Experience Specialists (GES)
Invision Capital Group
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas / MGM Resorts International
Map Your Show
New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau
New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
Orange County Convention Center
Rosemont Convention & Tourism Bureau
Visit Orlando
Bronze Sponsors
AFR Trade Show Furnishings
Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau
Convention News Television (CNTV)
Convention Data Services
Fern Expositions & Events Services
Kuehne + Nagel
Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau
Metropolitan Exposition Services, Inc.
Oscar & Associates
RDS Productions
Travel Planners
Ungerboeck Software International
Judy Venn & Associates
Association Sponsors 
Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)
Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA)
International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE)
International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM)
Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO)
UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry

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