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TSE Releases 2017 Fastest 50 and Next 50 Rosters


CHICAGO — The exhibitions that led the pack in the trade show industry last year have been assembled for this summer’s Trade Show Executive (TSE) Fastest 50 Awards & Summit in Chicago.

The Fastest 50 is the industry’s annual grand salute to the shows that put their figurative foot on the gas in 2017 and outdid themselves in terms of growing their exhibit space, number of exhibitors and attendance. These metric marvels will be the guests of honor at the prestigious Hyatt Regency Chicago on June 13-15. They will be joined by members of the Next 50, the shows that also grew impressively this past year, but at a slightly steadier pace.

“The Fastest 50 and the Next 50 are the pacesetters of the trade show industry, and everyone can take note of their stellar accomplishments,” said TSE Publisher/Editor Gabrielle Weiss. “Along with Choose Chicago and our other elite sponsors, everyone at TSE is looking forward to welcoming a blue-ribbon crowd to the Fastest 50 Awards & Summit.”

Registration and housing information for the Fastest 50 Awards & Summit is available at: Details of the agenda can be found on the Fastest 50 website and social media channels.

Nearly 100 Shows Make the Fastest 50

This year’s Fastest 50 includes 93 different shows that were ranked in one or more of the three metric categories used to determine the rankings. The roster includes the top 50 shows in terms of growth in exhibit space, number of exhibitors and attendance. That compares with a total of 87 shows in the Class of 2017.

There were 19 shows that appeared in all three metric categories and 18 events that were also ranked on the most recent TSE Gold 100. The Fastest 50 shows ranged in exhibit-space size from the Clinical Laboratory Management Association’s CLMA KnowledgeLab with 15,800 net square feet (nsf) up to the mighty CONEXPO-CON/AGG with 2,665,713 nsf.

The grand totals for each metric included:

  • Exhibit Space for 2017 totaled 4,733,782 up 17.3% over 2016
  • Exhibitors totaled 20,060, a 16.0% increase over 2016
  • Attendance totaled 563,261, an increase of 18.5% over 2016

The statistics tell a big part of the story. But there will be more to analyze and learn straight from the source when the organizers and managers who are behind these double-digit success stories convene in June.

Summer Scene

Summer in Chicago is always a tempting destination, especially for show organizers who know the place as a trade show icon and a place where it’s impossible to not have a good time. Choose Chicago, the title sponsor of the Fastest 50, will be front and center to help make sure all attendees leave with more great memories. “Chicago and the Fastest 50 have made a great team over the years, and this year will be no exception,” said David Whitaker, President & CEO of Choose Chicago. “The new dates are right in the sweet spot of summer, and the city will be at its best when the festivities begin.”

There will be opportunities for sightseeing, socializing and enjoying the warm summer breezes of Lake Michigan, plus a solid educational program followed by the highlight of the week, the Fastest 50 Awards Gala and the presentation of the Grand Awards in categories that honor show growth and the year’s top achievements in fields including marketing, operations and strategy.

“The Fastest 50 Awards & Summit brings together the documented leaders in trade shows in a setting that is always conducive to networking and peer-to-peer learning,” said TSE Vice President of Events Diane Bjorklund.

For a full list of the Fastest 50 and Next 50 honorees click HERE.

Reach Gabrielle Weiss at (312) 493-7753 or; Diane Bjorklund at (630) 312-8915 or; David Whitaker at (312) 567-8588 or

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