This Just In

Over So Soon? Fastest 50 Week in Chicago Generated Great Crowd, Inspirational Speakers, Big Winners


Chicago, IL – The trade shows that grew faster than 99% of the trade shows held in the U.S. last year were saluted by the top-tier crowd at the Trade Show Executive (TSE) Fastest 50 Awards & Summit, May 19-21 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago.

One of the fastest of the Fastest 50 was Emerald Expositions, which received the TSE Grand Award as the top show organizer by placing five events in the Fastest 50. Darrell Denny, Emerald’s executive vice president, was on hand to accept that award and the two others that followed that evening: for the fastest-growing show in attendance in both percentage growth (65.3%) and sheer numbers (12,284).

The ASSEMBLY Show put BNP Media Events in the spotlight as the recipient of the “Fastest 50 Rock Star Award.” A surprised and exuberant eight members of the team came up on stage to accept the award, including CEO Tagg Henderson and Director of Trade Shows &  Conferences Scott Wolters, as Eddie Van Halen’s notorious rock classic “Eruption” blared in the background. The ASSEMBLY Show made a dramatic ascent from its launch in 2013, making a lot of noise by ranking No. 3 in every index of the Fastest 50. The show jumped 39.5% in net square feet, 36.7% in exhibiting companies and 36.7% in attendance.

“It has been a solid year of trade show growth, and even better for the Fastest 50,” said Darlene Gudea, president of Trade Show Executive Media Group. “The top Fastest 50 show — New York National Deal Making — grew 30 times faster than the average show in 2014 — an enviable accomplishment for Tim McGuinness and his team at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC),” she said.  “Congratulations to all of our Grand Awards winners and to the people who placed a total of 91 shows on the Fastest 50 in the three categories of growth: exhibit space, exhibiting companies and attendance,” she added.

See the sidebar below for a complete list of the Grand Award winners and go to these links for all the Fastest 50 winners:

By Total Attendance

By Number of Exhibiting Companies

By Net Square Feet of Exhibit Space

Fastest 50 networking activities go above and beyond the traditional cocktail reception, enabling delegates to literally roll up their sleeves and bond with the other honorees. Harry Carry’s new 7th Inning Stretch at Water Tower Place was  the site of the Fastest 50 Opening Reception sponsored by SMG. In keeping with the growing trend in the exhibitions industry, the reception was probably one of the more-experiential parties ever held. The 7th Inning Stretch is home to a sports museum filled with memorabilia and life-sized interactive video games where attendees tried their hand at throwing footballs, shooting baskets and even squaring off in goal against a digital version of Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane.

The attendees’ culinary skills were also put to the test at Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush. A high-spirited pasta-making competition featuring five teams of Fastest 50 guests was followed by a relaxing lunch presented by the landmark downtown restaurant’s chefs.

The day of the Fastest 50 Awards Ceremony and Dinner was dedicated to feeding the brain. A full day of sessions featuring industry leaders and cutting-edge speakers flew by before attendees adjourned and turned their attention to the highlight of the event: the presentation of the Grand Awards followed by the relaxing Afterglow.

A full roundup of the sessions and the awards presentations will headline the June issue of TSE. In the meantime, planning is underway for next year’s Fastest 50 as well as the TSE Gold 100 Awards & Summit, which will honor the 100 largest trade shows held in the U.S. last year, September 30-October 2.


Top Organizer in Number of Fastest 50 Shows
Emerald Expositions, with an incredible five Fastest 50 Shows in 2014.

Rock Star Award
The ASSEMBLY Show, produced by BNP Media, was not only the fastest-growing newcomer to the list, but also shot up nearly to the top of the charts, ranking No. 3 in all three metrics.

Growth Leader in Net Square Feet [Sheer Numbers]
NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, which grew by an incredible 116,500 net square feet of exhibit space.

Growth Leader in Exhibitors [Sheer Numbers]
MAGIC –August, produced by Advanstar Communications,  signed 1,147 new exhibitors at its 2014 show.

Growth Leader in Attendees [Sheer Numbers]
The KBIS – Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, produced by Emerald Expositions,  drew 12,284 more attendees in 2014 than in 2013.

Growth Leader in Net Square Feet [Percentage Growth]
New York National Deal Making, produced by the International Council of Shopping Centers, grew a hefty 79.4%  in exhibit space  to 161,492 net square feet.

Growth Leader in Exhibitors [Percentage Growth]
New York National Deal Making, produced by the International Council of Shopping Centers, won its second award of the evening by growing an amazing 79.4%  in exhibitors, from 310 in 2013 to 484 in 2014.

Growth Leader in Attendance  [Percentage Growth]
The KBIS – Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, produced by Emerald Expositions, grew 65.3%, yielding a second Grand Award for the show and a third for Emerald.

Fastest-Growing Biennial Show [Sheer Numbers]
PACK  EXPO, produced by PMMI – The Association for Packaging & Processing Technologies, jumped in size by 75,338 net sf, 387 exhibitors and 6,363 attendees from its 2012 event.

Fastest-Growing Biennial Show [Percentage Growth]
The American Coatings Show, managed by NurnbergMesse North America, excelled all around with a blended growth rate [net square feet, exhibitors and attendance] of 7.1%.

Fastest-Growing Medical Show
ENDO – The Endocrine Society’s Annual Meeting & Expo,  managed by Hall-Erickson, Inc., faced stiff competition from 17 other medical shows but grew a healthy 15.7%.

Congratulations to the TSE Fastest 50 GRAND AWARD winners as well as to the all the Fastest 50 honorees!

Reach Darlene Gudea at (760) 630-9111 or; Diane Bjorklund, vice president of events, at (630) 312-8915 or; Mike McGuire, vice president of global events, at (760) 630-9110 or

TSE Data Center