Breaking the Mold: The 2014 Expo Elite
The trade show and events industry is a far-flung enterprise. That is evident from the names and faces you can see in the fourth annual Expo Elite. There are managers of small for-profit shows and operations directors of large association trade events, CEOs of corporations and conference managers for professional societies. There are venue operators and show managers and salespeople and operations directors.
All have this in common: Something substantial they achieved, an innovation that they took a leadership role in, over the last year.
Expo acknowledges and honors those who are the best of the best in the events industry with this list. Each individual on the list will be recognized for their innovations and achievements at a special awards ceremony in conjunction with ExpoNext 2014 June 25-27 in Baltimore.
CEO, Marketplace Events
Under his leadership, Marketplace Events has—at last count—acquired six consumer shows and launched three in less than a year.
Vice president, meetings & events, Toy Industry Association
The TIA Toy Fair broke records this year with 414,060 net square feet and 26,493 total attendees.
General manager, McCormick Place
Named an SMG regional vice president in the convention center division, in addition to his day job at McCormick Place. Also steered the convention center through a transition to private-sector management.
Senior vice president of events and conferences, Consumer Electronics Association
International CES broke records with an audited report of 2.06 million net square feet this year.
Senior manager, meetings and travel, GameStop
At the most recent GameStop event, Anderson grew square footage by 70 percent, attendance by 44 percent and ticket sales by 54 percent.
President & CEO, Exposition Development Co.
Organized the Atlanta Foodservice Expo in conjunction with the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.
Regional president, The Americas, Reed Exhibitions
Late last year, Reed Exhibitions acquired Travelweek Sao Paolo, only the latest of multiple acquisitions and launches for the company in Brazil.
President & CEO, Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau
Put the final touches on a long-needed expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center that will add about 200,000 square feet by the fall of 2016.
Vice president, Hanley Wood
A mobile game app, Rig Racin’, designed to promote World of Concrete, hit 100,000 downloads in the month before the February show.
President & CEO, JD Events
Sold two collocated New York-based show to the National Association of Broadcasters late last year.
Trade show director, SnowSports Industries America
At the end of the second day of the SIA SnowShow in downtown Denver, the show routinely hauls 3,600 attendees and about a quarter of its 425 exhibitors to the mountains around Denver for real-time demonstrations.
Director of operations & conferences, National Trade Productions
Managed the growth of the American Public Transportation Association’s Expo this year to 280,000 net square feet.
President & CEO, International Association of Exhibitions & Events
Launched the first-ever Exhibitions Day in which the events industry collectively lobbied the U.S. Congress, explaining the value of face-to-face marketing on Capitol Hill.
Senior vice president & show director, GLM Shows
After several decades as the New York International Gift Fair, rebranded the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center mainstay as NY NOW.
Global vice president, ReedPOP
ReedPOP, the Reed Exhibitions division Fensterman leads, announced the launch of four new events this year and six since the beginning of 2013.
Managing director, events, Penton’s Aviation Week
Has led MRO Americas from a 75-booth show 20 years ago to one of the largest aviation-related events in the Western Hemisphere.
Senior sales & development manager, National FFA
Last year, because the event maxed out attendance at 63,000, started webcasting portions of it to FFA members in remote locations.
President & CEO, E.J. Krause & Associates
Acquisition of the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show capped a busy M&A period for the company.
President & CEO, ITN International
In its first year providing registration for International CES, ITN International distributed 150,000 badges with an average wait time of less than 10 minutes.
President & CEO, Emerald Expositions
Navigated purchase process as the former Nielsen Exhibitions was bought by Onex Corp. for $950 million and renamed Emerald Expositions. Six months later, acquired GLM Shows for $335 million.
President & CEO, Apprise Media
A mere four years ago, sold Canon Communications to UBM for $287 million. Next, in conjunction with Providence Equity Partners, he acquired George Little Management for $173 million. And two years later he sold what had become GLM Shows to Emerald Expositions for $335 million.
Conference manager, NACE International
The NACE International show manager grew revenue on the CORROSION trade show by nearly 30 percent in one year.
Director, trade shows & events, International Sign Association
ISA’s largest show, the ISA International Sign Expo, has had two back-to-back record-breaking years in terms of square footage and attendance.
Vice president of global business sales, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Association
Guided the Las Vegas trade show and convention business through the economic recession and back to recovery. The number of people attending business-related events in the city grew 3.3 percent to reach nearly 5 million, the largest number since 2008.
President of licensing & executive vice president, Advanstar Communications
Took Advanstar into the pop culture world by signing a management agreement with Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles. Then created a link between Comikaze Expo and Advanstar’s Licensing Expo.
Director of research, CEIR
The workhorse—and brains— behind the Center for Exhibition Industry Research’s reports on the trade show industry. Responsible for a benchmark report for trade show organizers.
Vice president, conferences & continuing education, American Dental Association
Introduced at last year’s show in New Orleans for the first time an oral health clinic in which more than 1,000 dental professionals contributed a day. Pioneered the use of hands-on cadavers in educational demonstrations at the show.
Director of expositions, National Auto Dealers Association
Grew sponsorship sales 83 percent for the 2014 NADA Show. Reorganized a maxed-out showfloor and created a multi-tiered variable-pricing strategy for all the exhibitors.
CEO, UBM Tech
Initiated UBM Tech’s Data Warehouse Project, launched in February to analyze content consumption and target products.
Senior trade show marketing manager, National Safety Council
Has worked to attract college-aged and a mid-20s demographic to events, to the point where nearly 50 percent of attendees at the NSC Texas Safety Conference & Expo are under 30.
President, Messe Dusseldorf North America
Organized the launch of MedicalWorld Americas at the George R. Brown Convention Center in conjunction with the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, a rare collaboration between convention venue and show organizer.
Oversaw negotiations in Chicago last summer that led to a new five-year agreement with the carpenters union after a prolonged standoff over wage increases.
Group vice president, Emerald Expositions
As lead Emerald executive on the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, participated in the successful collocation with the International Builders Show to create a new Design & Construction Week.
Vice President, trade shows, PMMI
Managing the launch of PACK EXPO East next year in Philadelphia. Early exhibitor demand turns out to be so strong that dates had to be changed to accommodate a larger than expected showfloor.
Set to become president and COO of Freeman in June, after taking over the COO title last year, replacing the retiring John O’Connell.
Director of exhibits and meeting services, HIMSS
Taking advantage of new technology, grew onsite space selection from 368,000 net square feet in 2013 to 535,000 net sq. ft. this year.
President, Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show
Sold a majority interest in the popular nine-year-old Washington, D.C., food show after launching it as the event-related spin-off of a cookbook she wrote.
Senior vice president, conferences National Retail Federation
Oversaw an increase in the net square footage of Retail’s BIG Show of nearly 11 percent.
With only a matter of months to work with, took over operations for the SHOT Show at the Sands Convention Center.
Senior vice president, National Association of Home Builders
Pulled off one of the largest collocations in trade show history with less than 18 months lead time.
President, All Baby & Child Corp.
Created pavilions at juvenile products shows in China and the United Kingdom with exhibitors from the U.S.-based ABC Kids Expo.
Director, event development, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
Developed one of the first business units at a convention center to launch conferences and trade shows.
Event director, ISC Events, Reed Exhibitions
Even with the tight quarters at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas, reconfigured the floorplan for ISC West and found a way to create a 307,000 net square foot showfloor.
Director, technical exhibits, Radiological Society of North America
Has pioneered the use of video in researching attendee habits and traffic patterns at the RSNA Scientific Assembly & Annual Meeting.
President & CEO, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
Oversaw the final phase of an overhaul of Javits Center that has allowed several large long-standing shows to reconfigure their showfloors.
Vice president, exhibitions & events, Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Tanel’s main event, CONEXPO/CON-AGG, topped out in early March at 2.35 million net square feet, making it the largest trade show ever held in North America.
SANDRA TOMS LAPEDIS
Vice president, RSA Conference
In less than 10 years, has moved the RSA Conference from a user event to a major cyber-security trade show.
President & CEO, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau
Named president and CEO of the Louisville convention bureau in April after the resignation of Jim Wood, CEO for the previous 11 years.
Vice president, events, AARP
Responsible for the creation of the TEK Pavilion at last year’s Life@50+ event, which took up 22,000 square feet of a 71,000 sq. ft. showfloor.
President, Mid-America Trucking Show
Led the premiere trucking industry through the economic recession relatively intact and back to levels well above 2008 levels.