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Tradeshow firms are among the fastest growing companies in the US

Inc 500A slew of tradeshow businesses have earned prestigious recognition for being among the fastest growing companies in the U.S. and within their respective industries. These companies were honored with inclusion among Inc. Magazine’s 500/5000 fastest growing firms in the nation during 2011.

Leading the way among tradeshow businesses is Meeting Tomorrow, which placed 1,581 among all U.S. companies and 137th among the business products and services industry. Based in Chicago, Meeting Tomorrow provides audio and video rental equipment, webcasting and satellite broadcasting for conferences, tradeshows and special events. The firm has posted a 174 percent growth rate over the past three years.

“This recognition reflects the hard work our team does every day to ensure the flawless execution of our clients’ most important events,” said Mark Aistrope, CEO, Meeting Tomorrow. “Our loyal customers have fueled our growth and enabled our success.”

Los Angeles-based Ace Exhibits earned a 2011 ranking of 2,113 among U.S. companies and a 205 rank among advertising and marketing firms after posting a three-year growth rate of 119 percent from 2008 through 2011. Ace Exhibits builds and markets exhibition and tradeshow displays, including modular pop-ups, table covers, banner stands and displays.

While many companies suffered losses during the recent economic downturn, Ace Exhibits grew at a rapid pace. A focus on personalized and expert customer service has helped Ace Exhibits build its clientele base even as competing companies failed.

“We are not automated. When you call here, you get someone who picks up the phone and knows what they are doing,” said Tom Hand, general manager, Ace Exhibits. “Customers know exactly what they will get and when they will get it.”

And with Ace Exhibit’s business continuing to grow, inclusion on the 2012 list of fastest-growing firms should be a near certainty, especially with the firm having recently relocated into new offices and expanding its warehouse facilities.

“We’re very excited. We look to Inc., so to have them recognize us back is an honor,” said Hand. “If we’re not on that list next year, that would be very surprising. It helps us to know we are doing something right, so long as our customers and employees are happy.”

Exploring.com, the parent company for Brumark Total Flooring Solutions, ranked 2,773 among the fastest-growing firms in 2011 with an 80 percent growth rate, earning the company a rank of 253 in the business products and services industry. Based in Atlanta, Brumark designs and markets custom flooring for tradeshow displays, exhibits and special events.

“We’ve been named to the list for three consecutive years, which is indicative that we have a very solid company that just keeps growing. We’re always measuring and evaluating to find areas for improvement and further growth,” said Dave Walens, president of Brumark. “We also have a continued, unwavering focus on providing customers with the exhibit and event flooring solutions they need. That focus on providing value and benefit to our customers is the biggest contributor to our continued growth and success.”

Miami-based Forums Event Design & Production comes in at number 2,851 among U.S. companies and 259 among advertising and marketing industry firms with a 76 percent growth rate from 2008 through 2011. Forums Event Design & Production specializes in producing and managing conferences, tradeshows and other large events for Hispanic businesses.

Company officials anticipate continued success and inclusion among future Inc.500/5000 lists at least into the near future, particularly with the firm’s emphasis on serving the emerging Spanish events market.

“Our team believes in the company, is passionate about it and has a hunger and drive to grow. We all have a collective dream to keep growing and achieve success,” said Ali Pena, CEO, Forums Event Designs & Production. “Our growth reflects a trend toward spending and investing in emerging markets. It looks like we are on track to improve our standing.”

Based in Grand Prairie, Texas, Skyline DFW Exhibits & Graphics came in at position 2,955 among all companies and 271 among the business products and services industry with a 71 percent revenue-growth rate since 2008. Skyline DFW creates tradeshow graphics and exhibits and provides logistical, warehousing and event-management in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas.

Earning a ranking of 3,270 among U.S. firms and 296 within the business products and services industry, Robinson, New Jersey-based Meeting Alliance posted a three-year growth rate of 58 percent in gross revenue. The firm provides its customers with logistical planning and services for their meetings and events.

Another Texas firm, Houston-based Catch the Moment, earned high marks with a ranking of 4,167 among all companies and 366 among the advertising and marketing industry businesses with a 27 percent revenue growth rate. Catch the Moment provides digital photography and video-based marketing services for conventions, tradeshows and sporting events.

Blue Sky Exhibits of Marietta, Ga., posted a 22 percent growth rate over the prior three years to rank 4,364 among all companies and 380 among firms in the advertising and marketing industry. Blue Sky Exhibits creates tradeshow exhibits for clients like Magellan and Fruit of the Loom.

Convention Data Services (CDS) of Bourne, Mass., posted a three-year growth rate of 15 percent to rank of 4,585 among all companies and 492 among firms in the business products and services category. CDS provides event-marketing services including lead retrieval and event registration.

“Our focus is to be consistent with our level of service, deliver a high quality product and continue to look for ways to improve and expand upon our service levels. I believe this is what has built loyalty and value with our clients, which has allowed the business to grow,” said John Kimball, CEO of CDS.

Focusing on a diversified client base has also helped the business grow.

“The B2B tradeshow industry has definitely taken a hit over the past few years with some sectors faring better than others. Our current clients represent a diverse mix of shows in various sectors,” said Kimball. “Also, we have been able to attract new clients, including those who represent international shows, which have allowed the company to grow despite the economic downturn.”

Posting a double digit three-year growth rate of 10 percent, software firm a2z earned an overall ranking of 4,775 and ranked 295 among software firms in the U.S. Based in Columbia, Md., a2z creates web-based event-management software to help organize conferences and tradeshows.

“A2z is honored and excited to be included in the Inc. 5000 list. This is our sixth straight year, and I am deeply humbled by this recognition,” said Rajiv Jain, CEO, a2z. “This consecutive win reflects our ongoing commitment to quality, service, and innovation for our clients.”

To qualify for the 2011 Inc. 500/5000 list, firms must be privately owned, for-profit businesses that are not subsidiaries of other companies and rank among the 500 fastest growing firm within their specific industries as well as among the fastest growing 5,000 in the U.S. over a three-year period.

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