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August 27, 2021

The past year and a half has challenged the event industry like never before, but during the tough times, shows have innovated more than ever in so many ways to still create value for their communities.

In addition, there are amazing people who have "risen to the top" in so many incredible ways.

As a result, TSNN will be "re-imagining" the 2021 TSNN Awards, on tap Dec. 1-2 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., and launching the “Best of Innovation Awards” and the “Outstanding Show Pro Awards.”

For the “Best of Innovation Awards”, shows are asked to consider the following innovative categories: Hybrid-Virtual, Team Building, Savvy Marketing Campaign, Trailblazer, Created a Community, Best Use of Technology and Brave, Courageous & Adaptable.

HERE is the nomination form for the “TSNN Best of Innovation Awards”.

Simply consider some of the following questions:

  • What challenge(s) did the show face?
  • What was the innovative solution(s)?
  • And what were the overall results and impact on the show?
  • What innovative practices, customer service and/or networking environments occurred to make a fantastic event (even though they were against all odds...) For example, what worked for engaging attendees?
  • What worked to tighten the exhibitor relationships with buyers? Was data leveraged in an outstanding way?
  • Describe how you created “WOW” experiences! Did you initiate an “out of the box” idea? If so, did it add some excitement to the event that created an unparalleled end-user experience?
  • Did your event or team celebrate a milestone? (If so, you might have some boasting to do)! Did you improve your show's social media reach?
  • Did your specific industry (and/or team) have a tough few years, but your team adapted and overcame? How did they accomplish that?

For the Outstanding Show Pro Award, do you know a show organizer or someone working for a show organizing company in the U.S. who went way over and above the last two years? Would you like to honor their work? Then nominate them today! They could end up celebrating their achievements at Mohegan Sun with other top trade show pros!

HERE is the nomination form for the “TSNN Awards Outstanding Show Pro Awards”.

Here are a few inspirational category ideas (but we are open to being dazzled by any other outstanding performances!)

  • Did a trade show organizer you know inspire you by with an amazing event program for all?
  • Did a trade show team member lead in a positive way that energized others and helped a show (whether it was virtual, hybrid or in person) move forward?
  • Did you witness a brave leader take a leap of faith and open their trade show floor (and event) in a fresh, safe way that allowed business to occur?
  • Do you know an event leader who got creative and helped his exhibitors gain leads (virtually or otherwise?)
  • Is there a Show Organizer who comes to mind because they demonstrated an "over and above" or "adapt and overcome" mentality you want to share? Maybe an overall industry leader comes to mind when you think of a person who helped our industry advocate?
  • Were you WOW'ed by a virtual or hybrid experience by an association or for-profit event?
  • Did someone pull off a community-building environment that helped build an industry or network?
  • Perhaps you were blown away by a show's savvy marketing campaign that will keep you coming back for more

Nominations for both the “Best of Innovation” and “Outstanding Show Pro” Awards are due Sept. 27 and all winners must represent U.S.-based shows.

Winners will be announced onstage at the Dec. 2 Gala Awards Celebration and must be present to receive their awards. All nominees will be hosted onsite for the two-day event, including a 2-night hotel room at Mohegan Sun and all meals.


July 9, 2021

Mohegan Sun, TSNN Awards

After the past year and a half that simply is indescribable in the impact that the pandemic has had on our industry, TSNN deliberated quite a bit before deciding to announce that we will be going ahead with the previously postponed 11th Annual 2021 TSNN Awards.

We feel strongly it is important to celebrate not only shows that have shown incredible innovation under challenging conditions, but also people who have stood above and beyond and lifted us all up in so many ways.

The 2021 TSNN Awards will be held Dec. 1-2 at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and will feature an incredible opening reception in The Vista Lounge, followed the next morning by a high-level conference in The Cabaret Theatre in which we will be discussing the state of the industry and issues everyone is facing, with a night capped off by the awards gala celebration at the Earth Expo & Convention Center.

Vista Lounge

“Mohegan Sun is honored to partner with TSNN to host their Annual Awards program.

In a year like none other, the Industry Titans supporting and being recognized at this year’s event will be treated to a destination many have never experienced, Mohegan Sun in Mystic Country, Conn.,” said John Washko, VP, Expo & Convention Sales, Nohegan Sun. 

He added, “The Trade Show Industry provides memorable experiences, and this year TSNN’s awards will celebrate the creativity and resiliency of our industry.”

The awards program will feature the “Best of Innovation Awards” – shows that have truly shone bright in the past two years with maybe a new marketing program or an amazing virtual or hybrid event or they could have created a great community or found new ways to serve their audiences.

TSNN is looking for any or all great shows to submit when the application process opens in another month. In the meantime, please send TSNN Marketing Director Arlene Shows any shows you want to brag about (even your own!)

The gala awards also will celebrate people in the trade show industry who have stepped forward and demonstrated incredible leadership throughout these difficult times.

There also have been people who have led the charge to ensure more diversity and inclusion or given selflessly to help our industry and they, too, will be celebrated, among many others.

“With the past year and a half like no other in the challenges it represented, there is no BETTER time to celebrate the incredible resiliency, creativity and innovation in our amazing industry,” said TSNN President Rachel Wimberly.

She added, “The Mohegan Sun led the way going back to live events, and we are thrilled to be able to help show off this incredible venue to an elite group of trade show industry professionals.”

Earth Ballroom

The TSNN Awards would not be possible without the support of sponsors, including primary sponsor Mohegan Sun, AV Sponsor Encore, Staging & Décor by Demers Exposition Services, Registration Sponsor Maritz Global Events, as well as sponsors SmartSource, Expocad, Map Your Show and Bear Analytics.

There are a limited number of sponsorships available. For sponsorship enquiries, please contact John Rice – or Arlene Shows



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Arlene Shows



Rachel Wimberly