Best of Show Awards Finalists


Best of Show Awards Finalists

Voting closed end of business Oct. 18th. The final two winners will be announced at the TSNN Awards Gala Nov. 16th...


Why a finalist? Because IAAPA (The Global Association for the Attractions Industry) knows how to keep things fun, fresh and rockin' even when faced with a roller coaster of challenges. Their ability to adjust to tight turns (celebrate 100 years while setting up a strategic plan for the next 100 years), conquer steep slopes (unveiling a new brand for both the association and show) and master inversions (move the company from Virginia to Florida) impressed. This was all managed while maintaining the year over year momentum that was achieved the previous five years! Whoa - when the ride was all over the IAAPA team was thrilled to close out the centennial year of the show by achieving both the largest trade show floor and attendance in event history! 

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104th RSNA Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting 

Why a finalist? Because RSNA (Radiological Society America) has a clear picture on continuously improving their show. They placed a sharp focus on their exhibitors - especially the smaller/newer ones which really paid off. We loved how they supported these exhibitors and helped them achieve their specific goals with a fresh (paid) exhibitor program. We admire their team attitude of "no matter how well we're doing, we know we can always do better!" By devoting this extra attention to this segment of new exhibitors they grew their exhibit hall and ensured a positive reputation as an association that values exhibitors and overall success - in other words, it was just what the Doctor ordered. 

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ASI Show Fort Worth 

Why a finalist? Because ASI (Advertising Specialty Institute) knocked our "swaggy" socks off with their keen ability to listen to their members and create a "better sense of community." I guess you could say they really know the promotional angle of the event business! Their decision to move their show to Fort Worth from Dallas allowed them to offer a "total city takeover." This resulted in showgoers running into each other everywhere and enjoying many WOW experiences together, fostering deeper connections. They rolled out the red carpet for more networking by hosting Texas-themed parties everywhere - really "showing" off how to create buzz and a lasting impression. The move and strategy resulted in attendance being up nearly 14% YOY, along with exhibiting increasing almost 12% YOY - way to go and grow! 

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Bar Convent Brooklyn (BCB) 

Why a finalist? Because Bar Convent Brooklyn was able to tastefully "shake things up" and replicate an international event, stateside; while educating the bar and beverage industry and fill a void - phew! Impressively, the show opened on day one with a line down the Brooklyn block and continued to impress from there. They addressed very important issues through education sessions and onsite exhibits that were relevant to the bar and beverage community around health and wellness, inclusion and sustainability. We "raise a glass" to their creativity too - sending donuts to press and top influencers. BCB was named "Launch of the Year" by Reed Exhibitions North America - that deserves a toast! 

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Coterie, February 2019

Why a finalist? Because Coterie really nailed it - bringing a sense of fashion and excitement to the convention center in NYC. To overcome their challenge and deliver extra enthusiasm to the show floor (while creating product-focused content) they turned the North Concourse of the Javits Center into a live photo shoot. This was complete with a behind the scenes look at hair, makeup and video editing. Images were shared on Instagram and all exhibitor products were tagged with booth numbers (talk about creating buzz!) We admired their response to trends in retail by offering panel discussions on working with influencers to drive sales (it was standing room only!) To increase promotion of new international exhibitors they created an insert dedicated to new brands. Looking good all around Coterie.

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Cultivate '19

Why a finalist? Because of Cultivate's drive to stay relevant while creating that "wow" factor, ensuring attendees come back year after year (not easy when you just celebrated your 90th year!) We liked their emphasis on industry-relevant cultural trends throughout their show (living walls/structures), like an 18 foot tall mannequin with a dress made entirely of plants and an oversized chess set, complete with sod and landscape tile board pieces and chessmen for lots of networking, play and photo opportunities (all shared on social media). They were very creative with engaging sponsorship opportunities too, like a Graffiti Wall where attendees would stand in front of a sponsored screen and get their picture taken and then post on Snapchat ; they could add text saying all the things they love about Cultivate (nice!) Another fun sponsorship experience was a DIY T-shirt station - an unrivaled branding opportunity which sent guests home with memorabilia. Their show's value statements of "Grow Faster," Perform Better" and "Prepare for the Future" really paid off because Cultivate '19 had a record breaking year! 

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PGA Merchandise Show 

Why a finalist? Because the PGA Merchandise show has stayed on par over the course of 60 plus years delivering unparalleled resources to help their customers and the golf industry thrive. They're experts in engagement and building hands on experiences which foster business relationships and we applaud that! Attendees experienced a dynamic, experiential PGA Show floor featuring more than 900 interactive exhibits (whoa!) We found it impressive how the show organizers focused on extra digital media outreach efforts in addition to engaging with top social media influencers. This yielded some 50 first time media attendees in the social media category. Additionally, national social media influencers including Brodie Smith, Mel Reid and Greg Norman shared the stage to highlight how attendees and exhibitors alike could leverage social media to enhance personal brands and business. The results? Overall revenue grew, net promoter scores increased dramatically (with exhibitor scores rising to record high levels) and attendee scores also rose dramatically; a win-win! 

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JCK Las Vegas 

Why a finalist? Because the JCK team were gems and really shined when it came to re-imagining their show (and floor plan) at a new location. Tasked with bringing over 30,000 global jewerly industry professionals together under one roof, they were set on developing programs, events and moments to drive inspiration, new business connections and produce an unforgettable experience. They did not disappoint when they provided an unmatched customer experience which offered a lot of fun; featuring a curated theme. They conquered a seating and navigation problem by creatively implementing park themed decor, allowing for more seating with park benches and main aisles named after famous city streets. Along the way there was an Army of "Ask Me" specialists to answer any questions (talk about customer service!) Throughout the show floor, visitors found jewelry focused "Instagrammable" moments and even a daytime DJ welcomed them at the entrance to build excitement. They blew us away with the "fun" factor at every turn. 

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National Retail Federation: NRF: Retail's Big Show

Why a finalist? Because NRF: Retail's Big Show really shopped around and created unique experiences to overcome key challenges. Its not easy putting on a show when your venue is under construction and you need to increase revenue with less space, or when you need an event so big to feel small so attendees feel individually considered and not part of the masses! How did they do it, plus feed everyone with limited space? Their team got clever with an Innovation Lab/Start Up Zone - a new area off the Expo floor reserved for the newest and most forward future products. They thought "out of the box" with an American Express Activation Lounge that changed activation every four hours (this kept attendees engaged and excited about what they would find in the lounge throughout the day - we're talking puppies, cotton candy, logo'ed big marshmallows and hand massages - wow!) They rolled out the red carpet for VIP's, accommodated 800 press, enlisted food trucks - all while selling sponsorships around these ideas; very forward thinking and ingenious.  

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NRA-ILA Leadership Forum Event 

Why a finalist? Because the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum overcame the challenge of hosting the President and Vice President of the United States within an hour of each other at an event that had 15 acres of firearms on display and attracts 80,000 attendees, many of them carrying firearms (talk about a security issue.) Their massive communication efforts included an extensive list of prohibited items and daily briefings with the White House Advance Team, US Secret Service, Homeland Security and local police. They contracted with a local Boy Scout troop and a local non-profit to help staff a check station (talk about all hands on deck - smart!) In an industry where sales have been challenging they really tapped into the pulse of their attendees and exhibitors by maximizing the positive energy of the speeches (providing a live video feed to exhibitors to show on their monitors and video screens in the booth display.) This raised enthusiasm tremendously. We salute their detailed efforts keeping the event running incredibly smooth, successful and safe. 

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Questions on any of the shows or the process? Reach out to Arlene Shows, TSNN Marketing Director: 


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Arlene Shows



Rachel Wimberly