Cleveland, Ohio Nov. 14-16, 2014

Celebrating Trade Show Excellence


Categories for 2014 TSNN Awards: Celebrating Trade Show Excellence

Fastest-Growing Net Square Footage Shows

  • Trade Show
  • Association Show
  • Top Overall

Based on net-square foot growth during a three-year period. Calculations were based on a combination of actual growth and percentage growth. Click HERE to view this year's winners! 

Fastest-Growing Attendance

  • Trade Show
  • Association Show
  • Top Overall

Based on paid or qualified attendee growth during a three-year period.  Calculations were based on a combination of actual growth and percentage growth. Click HERE to view this year's winners! 

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Industry Icon Award


Trade Show News Network will celebrate Karen Malone, vice president of meeting services for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, as the TSNN Industry Icon Award honoree at the 5th annual TSNN Awards Nov. 14-16 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Malone has more than 30 years of meetings industry experience and has been with HIMSS since 1997.

She oversees a staff of 18 in logistics, exhibits and sales activities, including oversight for the planning of HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, a $34 million event that is No. 34 on the 2013 TSNN Top 250 trade show list.   

“I am incredibly humbled and honored to be the recipient of this wonderful award,” Malone said. “It is especially gratifying to be acknowledged for working in an industry I truly have a passion for. I am blessed to work for an amazing organization whose culture and leadership values instill entrepreneurialism and innovation, which has shaped the person I am today.”

Rachel Wimberly, TSNN president and editor-in-chief, said, “We are thrilled to honor Karen at this year’s awards. Her passion, hard work and commitment to the industry are exemplary, and we look forward to celebrating her achievements.”

Malone will be feted, along with 50 fast-growing shows and five Show  Manager of the Year award winners, during a three-day weekend that will feature an opening night party at the Cleveland Browns private club, followed by a Saturday conference and awards gala at the Cleveland Convention Center and ending with a Sunday brunch at the International Exposition Center’s Fabulous Food Show.

The HIMSS Annual Conference boasts nearly 1,250 exhibitors, 39,000 attendees and 21,000 hotel rooms on peak night.  HIMSS also hosts 60-plus small to mid-size meetings each year as well as conferences in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Since joining HIMSS, Malone successfully has managed the meetings department, which included the launch of HIMSS international meetings and significant growth in the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition.

With the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition going to Las Vegas for the first time in 2012, Malone successfully managed the growth of the conference which included a 19 percent jump in attendance, 6 percent growth on the exhibit floor (space was sold out) and an 18 percent increase in housing pick up.

During Malone’s tenure the HIMSS Conference has doubled in size from 160,000 net square feet and 18,000 attendees to 467,000 net square feet and nearly 40,000 attendees.

In Cleveland, Malone and her team supported exhibit services/set up for the HIMSS Innovation Center at the Global Center for Health Innovation and now are responsible for sales in the space.

Malone frequently is a speaker for PCMA, IAEE and other industry organizations and featured in many industry publications on issues ranging from housing management to conference programming to exhibit floor services and planning. 

She is a prior advisory board member for citywide convention planning for the cities of San Diego and Chicago and currently sits on the client advisory board for Orlando, Boston and IHG Hotels.

Malone also has been a strong supporter of the Greater Midwest PCMA’s student mentorship/membership committee actively pursuing the importance of cultivating new talent into the industry.  

She’s been instrumental in creating a program and speaking to students about the business skills and knowledge necessary in today’s environment for successful meeting planners.

Malone currently sits on IAEE’s education committee for the annual meeting.

“Best of Show” Award

For the “Best of Show” award we left it up to YOU to tell us which show you deemed the BEST.

View the 2014 nominees HERE. (The overall winner was announced in Cleveland! - Congrats to Abilities Expo for winning!) 

The Expo Group’s Show Manager of the Year Awards

The Expo Group Show Manager of the Year (SMOTY) Awards! 

Since 2000, The Expo Group Show Manager of the Year (SMOTY) Awards have been presented to individuals who are creating amazing experiences with their exhibition and in their marketplace community. 

"The independent panel of judges struggles annually to choose winners from among the group of smart, talented nominees," said Ray Pekowski, President and CEO of The Expo Group.

Click HERE to view the 2014 winners! 

Any individual responsible for the production of a trade or association show is eligible to win, regardless of any affiliation with The Expo Group. Self-nominations are always accepted as well as those from clients, colleagues and vendors.

Winners will be honored during the 2014 TSNN Awards in November, receiving complimentary event access as well as the iconic SMOTY obelisk trophy and a donation for a charity of their choice. Over $75,000 has been donated to various charitable organizations as a result of the SMOTY awards.

Visit to meet previous award winners and learn more about the program. 

The awards will be presented this year at the TSNN Awards industry celebration!

$5,000 Student Scholarship Sponsored by Reno-Sparks CVA to be Presented at TSNN Awards
When the TSNN Awards kicks off Nov. 14-16 in Cleveland, Ohio, 50 show organizers who will be feted for their fastest-growing shows won’t be the only ones celebrating that weekend.
A student looking to start a career in the trade show industry also will receive the 2nd Annual TSNN Awards Student Scholarship for $5,000 sponsored by the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority. This year the TSNN Awards $5,000 Student Scholarship awardee is Shauna H. Clark, a student pursuing event management at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality.
The RSCVA hosted the TSNN Awards Nov. 1-3 last year. 
Signing on as sponsor of the award for three years total, according to John Leinen, the bureau’s vice president convention and tourism sales, added, “When presented with the opportunity to bid on the TSNN Awards, Reno Tahoe USA was not only interested in realizing the benefits associated with hosting this esteemed event, but we also had a desire to help support the overall development of the tradeshow industry.”
Leinen said, “The scholarship is designed to assist the tradeshow industry’s future leaders, and we believe it aligns well with Reno Tahoe’s exuberant spirit and vast array of inspiring, outdoor activities and experiences.”
The student, who will be fully hosted, will receive the scholarship onstage at the 5th Annual TSNN Awards during the Saturday Gala. 
Last year's scholarship recipient was Taylor Dudley, a student pursuing event management at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality. 
“We were absolutely thrilled when Reno Tahoe USA stepped up and suggested offering this very generous scholarship to a deserving student at the TSNN Awards,” said TSNN President Rachel Wimberly. 
Students who are studying for a future career in the trade show industry will be considered eligible for the scholarship. 
TSNN has reached out to several programs, including the University of Nevada Las Vegas - William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, Richland College, DePaul School of Hospitality Leadership and the University of Central Florida, to name a few.
Curtis Love, Ph.D., CHE, executive director of Graduate Studies, UNLV, said, “With the ever increasing cost of college, scholarships such as the TSNN one make a tremendous difference in the lives of students studying in the meetings and events industry. Without your generous support, many students would be unable to afford the cost of a university education. The partnership between industry and higher education will definitely impact the future of both institutions.”
For more information, please contact Rachel Wimberly -

TSNN Awards $5,000 Student Scholarship Awardee – Shauna H. Clark, learn more about her here

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The Power of Events Award: Abilities Expo - the 2013 winner! 

The Power of Events Award honors the raw power and influence of the marketplace created by a truly great tradeshow. Criteria for selection include serving a previously underserved market, truly changing the course of life for attendees and exhibitors (whether business or personal), and a relentless passion by the organizers for serving the chosen market.

The inaugural Power of Events Award was presented to Abilities Expos in 2013. Organized and operated by industry leaders and veterans Lew Shomer and David Korse, Abilities Expos has expanded to eight cities – including Singapore, and has transformed the lives of thousands of people with disabilities, their families, caregivers, seniors and healthcare professionals. Because of Lew and David’s passion and innovative thinking, their shows have brought those with special needs and their families from broken-hearted isolation to a place of acceptance, empowerment, and the ability to thrive in life.

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Watch 2014 TSNN Awards Gala