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Trade Show Executive Honors Top Achievers, Brings the Future into Focus at TSE’s Gold 100 Awards & Summit


Laguna Niguel, CA – At Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100 Awards Gala & Summit September 22-24, it was “all about them” and “all for them” as Trade Show Executive magazine honored the organizers of the 100 largest trade shows, which have set the Gold standard for the trade show industry. With the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop and the five-star Ritz-Carlton as the site, the high-powered gathering celebrated the newest crop of trade show superstars and tackled the industry’s burning issues.

“2009 was a tough year,” said Darlene Gudea, president, Trade Show Executive Media Group. “Trade shows continued to get battered by the economy, making it more difficult for even the top achievers to maintain their show rankings.” But some shows defied gravity, experiencing growth even when flat was the “new normal.”  Las Vegas Market/Fall increased 230% in net square feet, winning the TSE Grand Award for the “Most Dramatic Growth in Net Square Feet.” Solar Power International grew exhibitors by 118%, winning for “Most Dramatic Growth in Exhibitors.”  Book Expo America jumped 67%  in attendance, and captured the award for the “Most Dramatic Growth in Attendance.”

The International CES was honored as “The Largest Annual Trade Show” for the third year in a row. The giant electronics show spanned 1.7 million net square feet of exhibit space. The Grand Award for the “Largest Non-Annual Trade Show” went to The International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) and to MAGIC Marketplace as “The Largest Semi-Annual Trade  Show.”  Reed Exhibitions was honored as the “Top Show Organizer.”

“For participants, the event was a unique opportunity to debate, celebrate and network at the highest level,” said Diane Bjorklund, vice president of events for Trade Show Executive. The senior-level symposium was crowned by a red carpet reception and black-tie gala that announced the winners of the Gold Grand Awards, TSE’s highest honor. On hand were the industry’s brightest minds and biggest successes, who joined TSE magazine, 33 sponsors and six supporting associations in celebrating the accomplishments of TSE’s Gold 100 –– those trade shows that managed to excel last year, despite overall downward-trending industry metrics.

Solar Power International made an impressive impact in 2009 and came away with top honors in two categories, “Most Dramatic Growth in Exhibitors” and “The Show to Watch.” “The world is on the green-energy bandwagon, and this show is clearly in the right place at the right time,” said Gudea.

Other shows were noted for their adaptability to change and excellence on the cutting edge. Hanley Wood’s JLC Live earned the “Most Innovative Practices” award and Reed Exhibitions was applauded for being “At the Forefront of Technology” with its Reed Touch® Mobile App. The Consumer Electronics Association’s International Consumer Electronics Show tied with New Hope Natural Media’s Natural Products Expo East and West for the “Leader in Green Initiatives” award.

“We collaborate with our partners to offer as many sustainable options as possible to our attendees and exhibitors,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. “We are proud to be honored for our green efforts and hope to set a standard for green practices in the trade show community. We will be promoting this award to our audiences immediately. Being identified as the leader in green initiatives by an objective third party is significant,” he said.

“The Leading Brand of 2009” went to Canon Communication’s MEDTEC for the second time in three years. The “Highest Economic Impact of 2009” was awarded to the Radiological Society of North America for its $123 million impact on Chicago’s local economy. “The Highest Global Participation” was credited to the National Association of Broadcasters whose NAB Show drew more than 22,000 visitors from 160 nations, which translated to one out of every four attendees walking the aisles was a visitor from outside the U.S. The Toy Industry of America won in a highly competitive category, “Against All Odds,” for its American International Toy Fair.

A recurring theme at both the Awards Ceremony and the conference was the need to be nimble in a changing environment, and the industry’s top performers illustrated the ability not only to “roll with the punches,” but also to evolve and innovate.

Staying proactive, embracing innovation, and seizing opportunities created by change were hot topics at sessions throughout the day-long summit, as leading trade show execs put their heads together to strategize for success. During the Keynote Address, Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, told the audience, “The next generation is changing everything. They see things differently and communicate differently — and you have to change to give them what they want.” Sherak brought the Academy Awards’ gold Oscar statuette for the delegates to hold, and shared ideas on how the “other” show biz deals with securing funding for its grand ideas, managing cost overruns, and the role of suspense and surprise in keeping your audience coming back for more.

“We are at a crossroads,” said Kevin Johnstone, director of trade shows for NAMM  The International Music Products Association, at a “Strategies for Success” roundtable discussion. “The recession got people to rethink their business plans without us. We need to rethink, too — who our customers are, who do exhibitors want to see, who aren’t we reaching and why not?”

Other heavy hitters at the symposium who shared their expertise and insights about the industry’s burning issues included: Aaron Bludworth, COO of Fern Exposition and Event Services; Chris Brown, executive VP of conventions and business operations for the NBA; Jim Burch, communications director for Toshiba America Medical Systems; Chet Burchett, president of Reed Exhibitions Americas; Gregg Caren, senior VP of strategic business development for SMG; Frank Chow, TSE chief economist; Liz Crawford, Licensing International Expo show director; Darrel Denny, senior VP of business development for Nielsen Expositions; Bob Dallmeyer, TSE columnist; Patrick Fallon, VP of business development for CompuSystems, Inc.; Darlene Gudea, president of TSE Media Group; Mary Pat Heftman, executive VP of Conventions for the National Restaurant Association; Robbi Lycett, VP of conventions & conferences for BIO; Karen Malone, meeting services VP for HIMSS; Tim McGuinness, staff VP of global trade expositions, ICSC; Philip McKay, executive VP, Questex Media; Denise Medved, president of the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertainment Show; Cherif Moujabber, president of Creative Expos & Conferences; John Patronski, executive VP, Global Experience Specialists (GES); James Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority; Gary Sain, president and CEO of the Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau; CEA’s Gary Shapiro; Dennis Slater, president & CEO of AEM; and Alan Steel, president of GLM.

TSE’Gold 100 Awards & Summit provided its participants with an exclusive and intimate opportunity to exchange ideas with their peers, debate issues and draw inspiration from the industry’s top performers. “I loved the whole experience,” said Nancy Walsh, executive VP  for Reed Exhibitions. “The sessions were informative, the networking was fantastic and the location/venue can’t be beat. I can’t wait till next year!,”  she said.  Carter Keithley, president of the Toy Industry Association, said, “This was the first time I have attended the Gold 100 Summit and I regret that I did not start attending years ago.  The Summit is an unparalleled opportunity for organizers of major trade events to network and share ideas and create new opportunities.  The program was first rate, the event was exceptionally well managed, and the participants all were people I wanted to meet with.”

The Complete List of 2009 Grand Awards

·        Reed Exhibitions

The Top Show Organizer


·        International CES

The Largest Annual Trade Show


·        ICUEE

The Largest Non-Annual Trade Show


·        MAGIC Marketplace

The Largest Semi-Annual Trade Show


·        MEDTEC

The Leading Brand


·        Radiological Society of North America Annual Scientific Session

Highest Economic Impact


·        Las Vegas Market – Fall

Most Dramatic Growth in Net Square Feet


·        Solar Power International

Most Dramatic Growth in Exhibitors


·        Book Expo America

Most Dramatic Growth in Attendance


·        JLC Live

Most Innovative Practices


·        The National Association of Broadcasters NAB Show

Highest Global Participation in 2009


·        Reed Exhibitions Reed Touch® Mobile App

At the Forefront of Technology


·        International CES  tied with Natural Products Expo East & West

The Leader in Green Initiatives


·        American International Toy Fair

Against All Odds


·        Solar Power International

The Show to Watch

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