CPhI North America & Informex, MJBizCon Snag Overall 2018 TSNN Awards Fastest-growing Honors

August 13, 2018

The disco ball spun, and the music pumped, with winners enthusiastically dancing up to the stage to accept their awards at the 2018 TSNN Awards gala celebration held Aug. 11 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown.  

The overall fastest-growing award for attendance went to UBM/Informa’s CPhI North America & Informex, a show that launched in the last few years and has grown in leaps and bounds.

“This is an embarrassment of riches,” said Brand Director Joseph Marks. Earlier in the evening he also had accepted the award for fastest-growing for-profit show for attendance.

“Thank you, Louisville, for really rolling out the red carpet,” he added. “We’ve had a great couple of days!

MJBizCon had snagged the award for fastest-growing for-profit show for net square footage also earlier in the evening, as well as the overall fastest-growing show for net square footage.

“We really are blessed to be working in an incredibly industry and be in 30 states that have made (marijuana) legalized,” MJBizCon’s Chris Day said.

Other awards presented at the gala emceed by local Louisville broadcasting personality Joe Arnold included the TSNN “Best of Show” award that, in a heated social media contest, was given to Informa’s WasteExpo and E.J. Krause/Tarsus Group’s Expomanufactura.

Expomanufactura’s Jose Navarro said, “Doing shows in Mexico is a challenge, but we have tequila!”

Also awarded was the 2018 TSNN Awards “Best of Tech Innovation Award” that was accepted on behalf of ASCRS-ASOA (The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery) by onPeak’s Bev Hill and Beth McEntee-Rome

The 2018 TSNN Industry Icon Award honoree, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ Megan Tanel, also took the stage after a video was played in which her co-workers and family congratulated her.

Tanel’s two youngest daughters joined her onstage as she thanked her team and her family for their support.

“I work with amazing people,” Tanel said. “I have just a great team, a great boss, a great family. I think all of those things came together and enabled me to just do what I do and be what I am!”

An overall video of the 2018 TSNN Awards from CNTV and sponsored by Louisville Tourism can be found HERE.

The 2018 TSNN Awards kicked off Friday night with an incredible opening party at the four-story, brand new Old Forester Distillery in Whiskey Row.

The night was filled with live music, distillery tours and bourbon tastings, followed by an after-party at the Marriott.

The next morning was the breakfast, education conference and lunch with keynote at the newly opened Kentucky International Convention Center.

With the transformation of Louisville, marked by not only the re-opening of KICC and new distilleries, but also new hotels, restaurants and other entertainment options, the 2018 TSNN Awards adopted the transformation theme and focused on how organizers could evolve their own events.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer welcomed the packed room and remined everyone that with all the people they see at events they have the opportunity to actively practice something he said everyone needs more of right now – compassion.

The first session was led by well-known horse track commentator Nancy Ury-Holthus, along with Pat Day, the most winning jockey at Churchill Downs, and Tom Van Berg, a veteran horse trainer.

They talked about how thousands of foals are born every year, but only a handful will ever make it to the Kentucky Derby.

“Every day we transform (these horses) to be the best they can possibly be,” Van Berg said.

The Expo Group’s Michael McCauley was up next and told the story of going to an over-the-top kid’s birthday party that had all the bells and whistles, but no heart.

The message was, that events need to tell a ‘story’ that connects with their audiences and not be held just for the sake of it. Without that connection, they risk falling flat.

Carrie Lannon followed McCauley and talked about the importance of transforming someone’s own personal brand.

She gave several great examples of personal brands that worked and those that didn’t, encouraging people as a small first step to at least make sure they have a professional headshot on their LinkedIn profile.

Lannon also advised that people don’t just post ‘Look at me!’ posts on social media. “Tell me something you can’t see in the picture,” she added.

The hot topic of influencer marketing was discussed next by digital strategist Jason Falls.

“There is a big difference between influencer popularity and influencer marketing,” Falls said.

Lastly, Bear Analytics’ Joe Colangelo and the National Association of Home Builders’ Denise Miller talked about the secrets hidden in the International Builders’ Show event data.

“The data is there to tell you the story,” Miller said. “Working with Bear Analytics helps us identify (what the story was).”

An amazing lunch from Levy Restaurants was served afterward, followed by an electrifying keynote given by Dr. Nat Irvin II.

“What Happens When The Spirit of Transformation begins to change Everything—including how we live, work, think, believe, manage and lead in a world that is very different from the one we live in today?” Irvin said.

He added, “Every industry and every organization will have to transform itself in the next few years. When the spirit of innovation and transformation offers you a chance to recreate the future, what will you do with your opportunity?

The three-day weekend ended with a fun brunch at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.

Next year’s TSNN Awards’ location and dates will be announced soon!

We could never have held the 2018 TSNN Awards without the amazing support of our SPONSORS.

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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.