Advertising Specialty Institute v. Hall-Erickson, Inc.

601 F.3d 683 (2010)


P is a trade-information publisher that facilitates the meeting of purveyors and purchasers of corporate promotional products. P has approximately 24,000 members. P holds roughly 80 shows per year throughout the United States. Of these, five are 'major,' or multi-day shows that are held in Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, New York, and Orlando. The Chicago show has been held in May or July every year since 1999. D does business as The Motivation Show. D is the exhibition manager for this show, which is held annually in the fall at McCormick Place in Chicago. On February 6, 2001, P and D entered into an agreement with P that purported to create a 'strategic alliance.' They agreed to a three-year obligation to operate a promotional-products pavilion within The Motivation Show. P sought to benefit its members by exposing them to end-buyers, as well as to promotion and advertising agencies. D stood 'to gain additional exhibitors and booths representing distributors and suppliers . . . to sell products to end-buyers.' P also got 'the right of first refusal concerning any activity, alliance, or opportunity concerning the promotional product/advertising specialty industry.' The agreement also stated it would 'not be extended to any other promotional products association, trade show, or conference.' P put on its annual Chicago trade show in 2003. PPAI is a close rival of P. Later in 2003, D 'solicited and invited' PPAI to co-locate its trade show with The Motivation Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. D failed to grant P a right of first refusal over this co-location opportunity. P sued for breach of contract. P presented lost revenue damages of between $500,000 to more than $1,000,000 based on its inability to sell booths at D's show. The testimony about damages was lacking in specificity and did not address the effect of putting on a second trade show in the same year in Chicago, identifying the companies that would participate, the amount of money that PPAI made from the show, nor any evidence about the list of companies that participate in the PPAI exhibition. The court found a breach of contract but held that P failed to prove damages and awarded $1. P appealed.