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Trade Show Executive to Launch Award Gala & Summit to Honor the Top Trade Shows in the U.S.


Carlsbad, CA – A unique event debuting this Fall will salute the leading trade shows in the United States and offer the media a rare opportunity to learn more about our $85 billion industry.

Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100 Award Gala & Summit will salute the producers of the 100 largest trade shows in the nation as ranked by net square feet of exhibit space and will also present Grand Awards in ten categories ranging from  “The Show with the Highest Economic Impact” to “The Top Brand.” The event will be held Sept. 17-19 at the seaside Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Laguna Niguel, CA, one of the top hotels in the world.  The event is expected to draw 200 top executives and more than 30 journalists to the by-invitation-only gala and summit,  as well as 350 to the opening night reception.

Television personality Bill Kurtis will be the master of ceremonies for the event.  Kurtis is a former CBS News correspondent and anchorman for the CBS Morning News and is often called the  “Walter Cronkite of our generation.”  Kurtis has since become a fixture on cable television as the host of the long-running true-crime series American Justice on A&E, and producer of Cold Case Files and Investigative Reports.

Criteria for TSE’s Gold 100 Awards:  Mandatory Standards

  • To be eligible, the event must be a B-to-B exposition held in the U.S. in 2007
  • It must be managed by an association, society, independent show organization, publishing company, corporation or user group.
  • Specifically, the show must be a B-to-B exposition,  serving industry professionals in a given sector(s).  B-to-C exhibitions are not eligible for Trade Show Executive’s 1st Annual Gold 100 Award Gala & Summit but may be considered in future years.
  • 50% or more of the event must be held in an exhibition facility, not outdoors.
  • Exhibitions held at market centers are eligible, but only “temporary” exhibit space will be admissible for the ranking data. Exhibit space in permanent showrooms will be excluded from the ranking statistics,  however, the show manager may include  that “added dimension”  of their show in their 100-word statement about the show.
  • The show manager must complete the TSE Gold Gala Award entry and allow TSE to publish the data in an annual directory and other media.
  • The show manager must certify the net square footage, number of exhibiting companies and attendance. If clarification is requested, the organizer must be able to provide independent 3rd party backup such as an audit, survey, or statement from an accounting firm, registration contractor or general service contractor, and/or the floor plan.
  • Unresolved complaints about the accuracy of data submitted will render the show ineligible in future years until satisfactory documentation is provided.

Exceptions to the mandatory standards listed above must be submitted in writing to the editor of Trade Show Executive and will be considered by TSE’s Advisory Review Panel.

How the Winners will be Determined
The 100 largest shows will be ranked by net square feet of exhibit space. Ten of the top 100 shows will be further honored with the TSE Grand Award, in the following categories:

  • The Largest Show managed by an Association or Society
  • The Largest Show managed by an Independent Show Organizer
  • The Top Show Organizer among the Gold 100 (i.e. the association or independent organizer with the most number of Gold 100 shows).
  • The Top Brand (the parent show must be U.S. based and among the Gold 100; other shows under the brand name can be held in any other city in the U.S. or overseas as long as they were held in  2007)
  • The Show with the Most Dramatic Growth
  • The Show with the Highest Economic Impact on the Local Economy
  • The Show with the Most Innovative Practices
  • The Show with  the Highest Global Participation
  • The Show at the Forefront of Technology
  • The Greenest Show


Additional award categories may be developed.There is a maximum of two awards per show.  The decision of the judges is final.

Sponsors of TSE’s Gold 100 Gala & Summit include:

Title Sponsor:

  •  Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Gold Sponsors:

  • Hargrove, Inc.
  • SMART-reg International, Inc.
  • United Service Companies

Silver Sponsors:

  • Boston Convention Marketing Center
  • GES Exposition Services
  • New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Rosemont Convention & Visitors Bureau

Bronze Sponsors:

  • Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority
  • Chicago Convention & Tourism Board
  • Hi Tech Rentals & Staging
  • Production Transport, Inc.
  • SMG

For further information contact Darlene Gudea, vp/publisher & editor at (760) 929-9666 or or Diane Bjorklund, director of events, at (630) 312-8915 or

For more information, please register your interest in the event by going to:

TSE Data Center