This Just In

Pizza, Google Glass®, Stellar Speakers and a Touch of Glamour Await Fastest 50 Participants


Chicago, IL – Tips on shattering attendance records and mastering the fine art of making Chicago-style pizza await the delegates and honorees at the Trade Show Executive Fastest 50 Awards & Summit next week. The finishing touches have been made to the list of timely educational sessions, the networking events and the star-studded awards dinner.  All together, that makes Chicago THE place to be May 20-22, during a week which Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has officially declared to be TSE’s Fastest 50 Week throughout the city of Chicago.

Topics on the table include the latest in trade show technology. Does that mean the Google Glass will become a fixture on the show floor? One lucky F50 delegate will win a pair and find out. Another delegate will win a Williams-Sonoma pizza oven. And there are more surprises in store for participants as well.

There is still time to register for the Fastest 50. Details are available on Additional rooms at the downtown Hyatt Regency Chicago have been made available to last-minute registrants. Contact Marilou Delosantos, assistant director of events at TSE, to make your reservations. Marilou can be reached at (760) 630-9108 or


Chicago in May is always a great experience, and the Fastest 50 brings out the best the Windy City has to offer. With a boost from title sponsor Choose Chicago, TSE has put together a fast-paced and fascinating program.

The networking begins Tuesday afternoon. And since the majority of honorees have never attended a Fastest 50 or Gold 100 before, there will be plenty of new friends and potential business partners to get to know.

Join the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority for lunch at the State Street landmark Osteria via Stato where attendees will get a hands-on lesson in the fine art of building a genuine Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. After taking in the lake air aboard the excursion boat Chicago’s Fair Lady, it’s off to Rebar Lounge at the fabulous Trump International Hotel & Tower for the opening reception sponsored by Choose Chicago.


The meeting of the minds begins bright and early with the Summit portion of the Fastest 50.

onPeak will have breakfast ready at 7 a.m. The summit begins an hour later with the keynote address by digital marketing maven Amber MacArthur, sponsored by Experient. Other sessions in the lineup:

  • Fast Talk brings five well-known trade show executives for a look at the cutting-edge issues in under an hour. The moderator is James Kelley, VP of industry relations for PRG, Production Resource Group.  Hugh Forrest, director of SXSW spills the secrets of Edward Snowden’s high-profile video appearance at his event.  Heidi Voorhees, senior VP of housing for Experient discusses strategies for foiling hotel room poachers. They will be joined by Chris Nemchek, senior VP of the Specialty Food Association, and Megan Tanel, VP of exhibitions and events for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, who is chair-elect of IAEE. Nemchek will speak on boosting international participation, and Tanel will address ideas for helping elected officials understand the importance of trade shows. Chris Price, vice president of Graphic Arts Show Company, will participate remotely, with sage advice on co-location strategies.
  • What the Heck is Up with Tech?  The trade show industry is bustling with new software, apps and all-around gadgets. Industry guru Francis Friedman, who heads up IAEE’s Future Trends Task Force, leads an all-star lineup that brings this dynamic field into 20/20 clarity and provides the meat-and-potatoes information on how it will affect your shows in the years to come. On tap:  Mark Bogdansky, vice president of operations for the National Retail Federation, and Mike Putman, vice president of media for Reed Exhibitions, along with Jay Tokosch, CEO of Core-apps.
  • Achieving Record Gains in Attendance looks at one of the three metrics that earned many show organizers a slot on the Fastest 50 rankings. Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes, president of Marketing Design Group, talks strategies with Surf Expo Show Director Roy Turner; Jennifer Jessup, general manager of UBM Tech’s Interop; and Sacha Carey, director of exhibition sales and operations for the Water Environment Federation.
  • The Leaders & Legends Power Lunch features Johnnie White, executive director of the Center for Education at the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, as the guest of honor. Darrell Denny, senior vice president of Emerald Expositions, conducts a live interview while attendees enjoy a fine lunch courtesy of Freeman.
  • In Mastering the Fine Art of Appearing on Camera and Dealing with Incorrigible Reporters, veteran CNN newsman Mark Bernheimer shares his advice  on dealing with tough issues and tough reporters. Mark is the founder of MediaWorks Resource Group and has a wealth of tips on how show organizers can make their show – and themselves – shine when reporters, camera crews and bloggers show up.

    A special opportunity is available to a limited number of Fastest 50 delegates:
 a private, one-on-one workshop with Mark Bernheimer on the fine art of appearing on camera whether you are preparing for the morning news shows, YouTube or your own event web site. The session includes: (1) A message discussion exercise to help you emphasize what’s really important to focus on when talking about your event. (2) One or two on-camera interview drills where you will have a chance to face “a reporter” without any negative consequences. (3) A media training workbook with proprietary tips, rules, and lessons, and (4) Ample feedback and critique of your on- camera performance including a DVD of your on-camera drill. Contact Marilou Delosantos at to register.

  • Fastest 50 delegates will also be able to take a special behind-the-scenes tour of McCormick Place on Thursday morning. Contact Marilou Delosantos at to sign up.


The TSE Fastest 50 is more than a great party. But it sure is a great party.

After a full day of absorbing insights from the best and brightest of the trade show industry, the Fastest 50 reaches a crescendo of why everyone is gathered:  the Fastest 50 Dinner and Awards presentation, where the shows and the individuals who skyrocketed above benchmark growth rates will be honored at one of the best parties of the year.

The festivities begin with an elegant reception hosted by Global Experience Specialists (GES), and a walk down the red carpet with trade show paparazzi snapping photos for the Fastest 50 Facebook page, Twitter feed as well as for our post-event coverage in the June issue. Each of the Fastest 50 honorees will be presented with a plaque, honoring their high growth rate(s).

The Fastest 50 is open not only to the honorees but also to the astute and visionary organizers who are making their mark in the industry and looking to partner, acquire, co-locate or network with the most accomplished of show producers. It’s an event you won’t want to miss, and Choose Chicago, the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 40 sponsors and Trade Show Executive have the welcome mat out.

Reach Darlene Gudea, president, at (760) 889-8585 or; or Diane Bjorklund, vice president of events, at (630) 312 8915 or

TSE Data Center