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The Fastest 50 Class of 2022 Hits Unprecedented Growth Rates for All Metrics

image of graph trending upwards from 2021 to 2022, representing the impressive growth the Fastest 50 honorees saw at their 2022 editions of their shows

CHICAGO — Analysis of Trade Show Executive’s proprietary data shows that the Fastest 50 Class of 2022 grew at unprecedented rates, signaling the trade show industry is experiencing a strong recovery from the pandemic lockdowns. Likewise, the TSE Next 50 also displayed incredible growth.

The Fastest 50 and Next 50 are comprised of 131 shows totaling more than 20 million net square feet (nsf) of paid exhibit space, 66,655 exhibiting companies and more than 1.5 million attendees. This year’s honorees far exceeded previous years’ Fastest 50 and Next 50 growth rates and 69 of the honored shows were ranked on the most recent TSE Gold 100, which ranked the largest trade shows held in 2021. 

“Coming off of a year when shows were just returning to in-person events, we expected to see considerable growth across the board in 2022 and shows spanning all industry sectors certainly delivered with unprecedented growth,” TSE Director of Research Carri Jensen said. “We haven’t seen growth rates of this magnitude in the history of TSE’s Fastest 50.”   

The Fastest 50 and Next 50 show management was closely split, with 56.5% being managed by independent organizers and 43.5% managed by associations, societies or other not-for-profit organizations. 

The Fastest 50 

TSE identifies the 50 fastest-growing shows in three metric categories – exhibit space sold, number of exhibitors and attendance. Spanning 10, 274,465 nsf and attracting 40,706 exhibiting companies in total, the Fastest 50 Class of 2022 represent the fastest-growing trade shows of last year, and the numbers are both an accomplishment and a sign of optimism that the trade show industry is strong. 

This year the Fastest 50 Class of 2022 is made up of 75 shows, with 48 shows ranking in more than one metric category and 27 shows ranking in all three metric categories. Coming off an impressive year, 17 of the Fastest 50 shows reported that their 2022 edition was the largest show to date, not considering shows that took place in 2023, and 38 of the shows were ranked in the most recent TSE Gold 100.

Using a same-show comparison, the 2022 Fastest 50 shows grew by an average of 82.8% in exhibit space, 76.5% in exhibiting companies and 88.2% in attendance. 

Related. Trade Show Executive’s Class of 2022 Fastest 50 Honorees Announced 

The total attendance for the Fastest 50 shows that reported the metric totaled more than 900,000 attendees. The majority of the Fastest 50 shows were managed by independent organizers (67%), while roughly one-third (33%) were produced by associations, societies or other not-for-profit organizations.

“We are thrilled to have our entire jewelry industry portfolio be a part of TSE’s Fastest 50,” Sarin Bachmann, Group Vice President, RX Jewelry Portfolio, said.  “JCK and Luxury’s growth in 2022 led to one of the most memorable and energized events to date. JCK exceeded pre-pandemic levels while bringing in a collective attendance of 30,000 jewelry industry professionals from more than 130 countries. Continuing to maintain its curated structure, Luxury’s reimagined experience created an elevated atmosphere for customers while successfully increasing attendance by over 30% from 2021. JIS excelled for both its spring and fall events providing a platform for product sourcing and delivery for seasonal restocking. Having all four RX jewelry portfolio events receiving a place on the Fastest 50 list, with JCK represented across the board on all three Fastest 50 category lists, is a wonderful achievement that speaks to the entire team’s efforts to exceed expectations and delight customers with can’t-miss valuable face-to-face experiences.” 

Growth rates of the Fastest 50 shows were mainly in the double-digits, although some shows reported triple-digit growth over their last in-person edition. The biennial MODEX, produced by MHI, grew 127.3% in attendance over 2020 and 13.7% in nsf, making the 2022 show their largest edition of MODEX to date. 

“Being recognized on such a prestigious list is not only a great accomplishment, but a great reminder of the success of the MODEX brand and of the resilience of the supply chain industry,” MHI Executive Vice President Daniel McKinnon said. “We’re thrilled to be included and look forward to an amazing ProMat this year and an even more successful MODEX event in 2024.” 

The Next 50 

On the heels of the Fastest 50 are the Next 50, the shows that saw significant growth in 2022, but not at a high enough rate to make the Fastest 50 list. A total of 89 shows made the Next 50 list, with multiple shows ranking in more than one metric category. 

Ranging in size from 19,500 nsf to 1,116,814 nsf, the Next 50 collectively featured 45,584 exhibiting companies and more than 1,100,000 attendees.  

Using a same-show comparison, the Next 50 shows ranked by nsf grew 30%; shows ranked by exhibiting companies climbed 33.3%; and shows ranked by attendance grew 33.5%.

The Fastest 50 and Next 50 shows will be recognized at TSE’s Fastest 50 Awards & Summit, taking place May 1-3 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Registration for the event is now open. 

Reach Carri Jensen at (541) 286-4014 or; Daniel McKinnon at; Sarin Bachmann at 

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