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What’s on Tap at TSE’s Fastest 50 Next Month?


Chicago, IL – Spring is here and it’s time for May flowers, baseball, and the Trade Show Executive (TSE) Fastest 50 Awards & Summit, the annual salute to the exhibitions that have energized the entire industry.

The organizers of the fastest-growing trade shows in the U.S. will rally at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on May 19-21 for a full and productive schedule of networking, education and well-earned kudos for their shows, which they have grown by leaps and bounds. They will be joined by CEOs and senior-level leaders of associations and independent organizers, who are always on the lookout for new ideas and hot shows to add to their portfolio.

The Fastest 50 is open to organizers and managers of shows of all sizes. The event will take place at the Hyatt Regency Chicago in the heart of the city’s vibrant downtown. See the TSE web site for registration details.

The Summit portion of the Fastest 50 moves quickly and covers key issues and ideas in eight hours instead of three days. It includes interactive panels and presentations featuring industry thought leaders as well as some fresh faces that haven’t spoken at other industry events and who will give you fresh perspectives. Before and after the Summit, attendees will have plenty of time for socializing and networking with organizers who could become partners in new launches, co-locations and/or acquisitions.

The event culminates on the evening of May 20 with the exciting Awards Dinner, highlighted by the presentation of the Grand Awards to the shows that have enjoyed the highest percentages of growth, or have demonstrated a level of innovation and skill that the entire industry will take note of.

A fast-moving roster of speakers will show you how to adapt the strongest tailwinds in the business world to your shows to make them sparkle financially in the years ahead.

The event opens with dynamic keynotespeaker Nicholas Webb, CEO, business futurist, author of The Innovation Playbook, and entrepreneur with 40 patents. “Businesses that will grow and prosper well into the future will do so through a completely different set of beliefs, business processes, tools and strategies,” Webb advises. In this interactive session, Webb will share the five stupid things organizations do to destroy their business and how you can avoid making the same mistakes. You will get concrete ideas on reducing risk in your markets and ideas on future-casting to tweak your strategies in today’s innovation-obsessed marketplace.

Rob Mesirow has been named a 2015 TSE Leader & Legend and will be the featured guest of “TSE’s Power Lunch” live interview which will also run as the June issue’s cover story. Rob is vice president and show director of CTIA, The Wireless Association, which organizes the CTIA Super Mobility show for the booming wireless industry. He will be on stage with TSE’s Danica Tormohlen to share his experiences at the center of one of the fastest-moving industries out there.

Last September, the inaugural Super Mobility Week brought together two CTIA shows — CTIA 2014 and MobileCon — as well as 4G World and the Competitive Carriers’ Association Annual Conference. The combined events drew 1,100 exhibitors and 40,000 attendees.

CTIA had a real-time view on where those attendees were gathering and how long they were spending in each area. Using perhaps the world’s largest deployment of indoor mobile sensors, CTIA partnered with MEXIA Interactive to install more than 130 sensors around the show floor, enabling a first-of-its-kind event hall experience. CTIA worked with many of its suppliers to gather the data in real-time and display a heat map on its Big Data Wall. Find out how this cutting-edge deployment was a boon to exhibitors, attendees and show management.

On the “Trade Show Mavericks” panel, Henry Dicker, vice president of global events for ALM/Legal Tech, and David Weil, vice president of SmithBucklin, are among the forward-looking show organizers who are blazing new frontiers in attendee co-creation and acquisition techniques as well as new floor plans that present exhibitors’ products more effectively and better engage attendees.

Paige Cardwell, president of CSG Creative, dissects audiences and what they want in “Research: Driven by What Matters.” Unlike targeting customers by demographics, Cardwell says attitudinal audience segmentation looks at how buyers feel and what they want — not their age, job title, income or educational level.  It also sheds light on why they’ve purchased and what other offerings (current or new) might interest them. This session explains how this innovative approach to research can serve as a powerful basis for brand messaging, marketing, operational changes, program content, and new product development.

John Baker, former COO of American Express and author of “The Asking Formula,” tackles the art of persuasion and how to grease the wheels and head off sticky issues. His ideas on speeding up the sales cycle and untangling conflicting points will work for show managers in their relationships with exhibitors, board members and partners.

Another session, to be announced next week, focuses on how you can adapt ideas from Shark Tank, the hit reality television series, for increasing exhibitors and attendees – and global buzz about your event. Stay tuned for the announcement next week in TSE’s Eclips Breaking News.

Not all of the learning at the Fastest 50 takes place in the meeting rooms. Early arrivals will enjoy a rare opportunity to up their expertise in the kitchen with a personal pasta lesson from Chef Christian Fantoni of the famed steakhouse Phil Steffani’s 437 Rush. Chef Fantoni will demonstrate the classic technique for making pasta from scratch using the “volcano” method, and then turn teams of attendees loose to create their own unique recipes that will wow both their colleagues and family back home.

From Phil’s, it’s on to another Chicago landmark for the opening reception. Harry Caray’s at Water Tower Place is no ordinary restaurant; its seventh-story location gives visitors a one-of-a-kind view of the lights of Chicago and lakefront. There is also the popular Chicago Sports Museum celebrating the Windy City’s immortal athletes and legendary teams. You can look and also touch:  the museum includes interactive exhibits that allow attendees to test their skills on the virtual basketball court, football gridiron and baseball diamond — against the likes of Michael Jordan and their trade show colleagues.

Games and good times are a perfect way to kick off a fast-paced summit, awards program, and in general, a fantastic time in Chicago during the May 19-21 TSE Fastest 50 Awards & Summit.

Reach Darlene Gudea at (760) 630-9111 or; Diane Bjorklund at (630) 312-8915 or; Mike McGuire at (760) 630-9110 or

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