This Just In

TSE’s Fastest 50 is Next Week; Look Who’s Attending


Oceanside, CA – There is only one week left to register for Trade Show Executive’s Fastest 50  Awards & Summit which will honor the fastest-growing shows in net square feet, exhibitors and attendance, and celebrate the people who built them into the most successful and talked about shows in the nation. Join us for three exciting days of inspiration and celebration! The Fastest 50 is known as a top-tier networking and idea-swapping event for trade show leaders who have guided record-breaking growth for their events, often 10 times the benchmark.  It is also the event where co-locations, joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions and other growth strategies are explored discreetly.

The event is set for May 8-10 at The Swissôtel, Chicago. A partial list of the CEOs and show directors participating is listed at the end of this article.

During the Fastest 50 Summit, you’ll meet best-selling author Jonah Berger who will deliver a keynote sponsored by Freeman on “Contagious – Why Things Catch On”….. learn about the economic trends and global issues that could impact your show…. Hear first-hand from SxSW Interactive Festival Director Hugh Forrest about what makes the iconic South by Southwest Festival tick and how he keeps participants obsessed and coming back for more …. Sit in on a Power Lunch with Questex CEO Kerry Gumas who has faced every challenge and success in his career ….. Learn how to finance growth and big ideas….Get an insider’s look on how potential acquirers look at your show….. Participate in panels on burning issues including hotel contracts, international challenges, the inadequate tech infrastructure at many convention centers, and new business models taking shape at convention centers….. and more.

But there is more to business than hard-driving sessions. At the Fastest 50, you will work hard and play hard.  Network with the other leading minds in the industry while “Experiencing Exclusivity™” in the Budweiser Bleacher Suite at Chicago’s famed Wrigley Field during the Cubs vs. the Cardinals game….Maybe you will be further upgraded to “personal guest” status and visit the field during batting practice or take photos in the on-deck circle or watch the game from team owner Tom Ricketts’ personal seats…..

Later, take advantage of more networking opportunities at the Fastest 50 Opening Reception at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse sponsored by Global Experience Specialists (GES) …. Meet newcomers and connect with old friends in the upbeat and jovial Fastest 50 Reception and Awards Dinner sponsored by Choose Chicago…. Walk the red carpet…. Get photos with colleagues … Get seated with other winners and leaders you have wanted to meet for years….. Speculate on who will win a Fastest 50 Grand Award – maybe you?!? …. and end the night at the Fastest 50 Afterglow.

Who’s Coming to the Fastest 50? [Updated 4/23/13]

Trade Show Executive’s Fastest 50 serves as a scorecard that lets the industry know which shows are on the fast track with more exhibitors chasing bigger crowds of buyers. And the fastest-growing shows are not just the small and mid-sized ones; the Class of 2012 has strong representation from shows across the board:

–        3% are 1,000,000 nsf or larger;

–        12% range from 350,000 nsf to 999,999 nsf;

–        26% span 125,000 nsf to 349,999 nsf;

–        31% cover 50,000 nsf to 124,999 nsf; and

–        28% are 15,000 nsf to 49,999 nsf

From long-time experts to the 30-somethings rapidly rising to the top, this partial list of Fastest 50 registrants as of April 12 is a true reflection of the industry:

Access Intelligence, LLC: Don Pazour, president & CEOJenn Heinold, VP, events of OR Manager Conference

Advanstar Communications: Tony Calanca, executive vice president of exhibitionsLeslie Gallin, vice president of FN PLATFORM (Footwear News) – August, FN PLATFORM (Footwear News) – February

American Academy of Dermatology: Tim Moses, CMP, director, meetings & conventions, American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting

American Amusement Machine Association: John Schultz, executive vice president, Amusement Expo

American Business Media: Claudia Flowers, vice president

American Coatings Association: Cheryl Matthews, VP, events and professional development, American Coatings Show & Conference

American Sportfishing Association: Kenneth Andres, trade show director, ICAST (International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades)

American Thoracic Society: Stacy Blackshaw, CEM, associate director, corporate alliances & exhibition operations, American Thoracic Society International Conference

Association of Equipment Manufacturers: Rich Prausa, operations manager, AGG1 Aggregates Forum & Expo, World of Asphalt Show & Conference

Biotechnology Industry Organization: Robbi Lycett, CEM, VP, conventions & conferences, BIO International Convention

Bobit Business Media: Ty Bobit, president & CEO of Bobit Business Media; Kristen Messineo, senior event manager of International LCT Show

Business Journals, Inc.: Britton Jones, president & CEO, AccessoriesTheShow – January, AccessoriesTheShow – February, Fame, Moda Manhattan, MRket andSharon Enright, Vice President, Trade Show Division

Center for Exhibition Industry Research: Cathy Breden, COO

Clarion Events North America: David Audrain, president & CEO

Consumer Electronics Association:  Christine Franca, director, CES Marketing, International Consumer Electronics Show

Crain Communications Inc.: Christopher Crain, vice president/group publisher

Cygnus Business Media: Ed Nichols, vice president, Firehouse World

Diversified Business Communications: Mary Larkin, group VP of International Boston Seafood Show and Seafood Processing America; Liz Plizga, shows director of International Boston Seafood Show and Seafood Processing America

Food Processing Suppliers Association: David Seckman, president & CEO

Formula4Media, LLC: Troy Leonard, show director, The Running Event

GLM: Penny Sikalis, vice president, SURTEX

Hall-Erickson, Inc.: Carol Fojtik, managing director, MINExpo INTERNATIONAL© and managing director, EXHIBITOR2012

Hanley Wood Exhibitions: Dana Teague, Vice President, SURFACES/StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas, and Donovan Shanahan, International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society: Rob Bailey, senior director, sales, HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition

Helicopter Association International: Tina Jones, director of conventions, HELI-EXPO®

International Association of Exhibitions & Events:  David DuBois, president & CEO

International Council of Shopping Centers: Tim McGuinness, staff vice president, global trade, RECon, The Global Retail Real Estate Convention

Institute of Food Technologists: Christine Klein, VP meetings & business partnerships of IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo; Tracy Garcia, director of exhibits of IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo

International Sanitary Supply Association:Kim Althoff, Director of Conventions, ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America

Jewelers International Showcase, Inc.: Michael      Breslow, president, Jewelers International Showcase – January, Jewelers International Showcase – October

LIGHTFAIR International: Rochelle Burt,CEM, vice president

Lippman Connects: Sam Lippman, producer

Messe Frankfurt USA: John Gallagher, president & CEO, Texworld USA (Winter Edition)

National Association of Music Merchants: Kevin Johnstone, former director of trade shows

National Catholic Educational Association: Amy Durkin, CEM, director of association events, NCEA Convention & Expo

National Electrical Contractors Association: Susan McCart, marketing manager, NECA Convention & Trade Show

National Retail Federation: Susan Newman, senior VP, conferences, Retail’s Big Show, Annual Summit

National Trade Productions, Inc.: Robert Harar, NTP chairman and Andrew Ortale, executive vice president of Coverings; ASPE Convention & Exposition;  EVS26 – Electric Vehicle Symposium

Nielsen Expositions: Tim Fearney, Show Director, Retail Design Group and Liz Crawford, senior marketing director, Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and show director, Sports Licensing & Tailgate Show

NürnbergMesse North America: Heather Kuznetz, event & marketing manager, American Coatings Show & Conference

Questex Media Group LLC: Kerry Gumas, president & CEO

Randall – Reilly: Alan Sims, VP & executive director of events of The Great American Trucking Show; Shane Elmore, chief process officer of The Great American Trucking Show

Reed Exhibitions: Greg Topalian, senior vice president of new business

Radiological Society of North America: Tom Shimala, director of technical exhibits

Sellers Expositions: Warren Sellers, president

South by Southwest Interactive Festival: Hugh Forrest, director

Specialty Graphic Imaging Association:        Michael           Robertson, president & CEO, SGIA Expo

Specialty Coffee Association of America: Cindy Cohn, Director of Events

Tarsus Expositions, Inc.: Todd Fabos, marketing manager, OFFPRICE Show

Texas High School Coaches Association: DW Rutledge, executive director of Texas High School Coaches Association Convention; Joe Martin, assistant executive director of Texas High School Coaches Association Convention

Trade Press Media Group, Inc.: Todd Kotlarek, director of live events, National Facilities Management & Technology Conference & Expo

William T. Glasgow Inc.: Brian Glasgow, senior vice president, Amusement Expo

Wire Processing Expo: Richard A. Geyer, owner of National Electrical Wire Processing Technology Expo

Have You Registered?

Participation in the Fastest 50 is not restricted to the honorees but open to all senior show executives and managers who want to explore new ideas and business opportunities.

Register at

Although the room block is closed, TSE is holding a few more rooms for late registrants.

Reach Darlene Gudea, TSE president at (760) 930-9111 or; Diane Bjorklund, TSE vice president of events, at (630) 312-8915 or

TSE Data Center