August / 30 / 2017

2017 SMOTY Honorees


Congratulations to four outstanding show managers selected to receive The Expo Group Show Manager of the Year (SMOTY) award for 2017 for excellence in serving their attendee and exhibitor communities.

Those honored include: Jennifer Wishart of SmithBucklin, Stuart Ruff-Lyon of RIMS, Christine Salmon of Diversified Communications and Tom Carbott of MHI.

Special thanks to CNTV - Convention News Television for providing this video.

SMOTY awardees are known for their commitment and drive. They pay attention to the details that create an awesome show experience, leading the SMOTY judging panel to select them from among the nominees.

The crystal SMOTY obelisk trophies were presented Aug. 22 during the TSNN Awards event in New Orleans. In addition, The Expo Group donated $500 in each honoree’s name to their preferred charity. Since 2000 the SMOTY program has resulted in more than $75,000 donated by The Expo Group and matching funds honoring individual winners.

For more information about The Expo Group SMOTY Awards and to learn about past winners, please visit here

August / 21 / 2017

Open Creative Flow


Focusing on your own creativity can lead to greater professional success and more personal fulfillment. The Expo Group Level5's EVP of Creative Michael McCauley presented these stories at the TSNN Awards Executive Conference to help simplify where a soul in search of creativity should focus.

When you reach an optimal creative “flow” state, the ideas come naturally. Here's how McCauley suggests you get in that flow state.

 1. Obey Your Hunches: Learn the power of these hunches, where they come from and how to maximize them. There is great mystery in hunches and more going on than you might think.

 2. Build Cathedrals: Think higher by assigning greater meaning to the work.

 3. Seek Your Daily Inspiration: Engage the heart to jumpstart the mind.

 4. Get into Flow State: Techniques to turn off the left-brain to let the idea generating right-brain flow.

 5. Be OK with Intangibles: It’s ok not to know all the answers or solve all the problems in one attempt. By simply talking around the issues/challenges, the right brain is quietly working overtime and will ultimately get there—if you let it.

 6. It’s Not an Accident: Great ideas happen for a reason, you just don’t know it yet.

 7. Creativity is Currency: In the age of AI, enhancing personal creativity is one of the key marketable skills in a future with more and more artificial intelligence permeating home and work life.

 8. No Naysayers: Keep the know-it-all attitudes OUT of brainstorming. 

 9.  Brainstorming CAN work, but most often DOES NOT. Why it does not work and how to optimize brainstorming!

 10. BE PRESENT! Stop being a slave to your mobile device, engage, open heart and mind to others…the ideas are all around you, don’t miss them by being consumed by your device.

Everyone loves a good quote! Tweet some of these to serve as witness to your creative quest.

“Key to creativity…immerse yourself in your subject matter, love, honor and above all, obey your hunches.” --Leo Burnett

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” --Albert Einstein

“ Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” --Socrates

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious."  --Albert Einstein 

“Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.” --David Lynch

“If the idea does not scare you…it’s probably not that good.” --Lee Clow

“Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it.” --Dee Hock

“The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears.” --Dan Stevens
 

If you missed the presentation, check out these titles for inspiration.

Social Physics – How Good Ideas Spread  by Alex Pentland

Flow: The Pyschology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil

Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford

Inside the Box by Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg

Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink

Michael McCauley is a 20-year industry veteran, Michael has led creative teams on unique projects for national television, cross-channel media and in the world live entertainment programs. On the communications front, Michael has been the driving force behind major creative programs for some of today’s most high-profile brands including: Target, VW, Intel, American Express, 3M, CBS Television and IBM.

July / 24 / 2017

The Expo Group Show Manager of the Year Awards Honorees Chosen for 2017


The Expo Group Show Manager of the Year
Awards Honorees Chosen for 2017

Irving, Texas – July 24, 2017 – Four show managers have been selected to receive The Expo Group Show Manager of the Year (SMOTY) award for excellence in serving their attendee and exhibitor communities. Since 2000 The Expo Group has honored unsung heroes committed innovation and service.

“The Expo Group SMOTY awards program is one way we give back to the industry, and we are proud to honor people adopting new ideas and creating change,” says President and COO of The Expo Group Randy Pekowski. “These honorees are not our clients, they are simply show managers doing great work that should be recognized.”

The 2017 The Expo Group Show Manager of the Year honorees are:


Tier I, 1 to 200 booths: Jennifer Wishart of SmithBucklin

  Tier II, 201 to 500 booths:Stuart Ruff-Lyon, CMP, DES of The Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc.

Tier III, 501 to 1,500 booths: Christine Salmon of Diversified Communications
 
   Tier IV, 1,501 or more: Tom Carbott of MHI

SMOTY awardees are known for their commitment and drive. They pay attention to the details that create an awesome show experience, leading the SMOTY judging panel to select them from among the nominees.
The crystal SMOTY obelisk trophies will be presented Aug. 22 during the TSNN Awards event in New Orleans. In addition, The Expo Group will donate $500 in each honoree’s name to the preferred charity. Since 2000 the SMOTY program has resulted in more than $75,000 donated by The Expo Group and matching funds honoring individual winners.

For more information about The Expo Group SMOTY Awards and to learn about past winners, please visit http://www.theexpogroup.com/smoty
 

About The Expo Group
The Expo Group is a trusted exposition, exhibits and events partner that invests in clients to help them grow attendee, sponsorship and exhibits revenue by creating compelling experiences from ideas to design to execution to results. The company has headquarters near Dallas with offices in Atlanta, Boston, Orlando, Las Vegas, Chicago, Austin/San Antonio and Washington D.C. Learn more at www.theexpogroup.com or contact Dana Freker Doody directly at 972.580.9000 x1644, ddoody@theexpogroup.com.

 

June / 1 / 2017

SMOTY Gives You Street Cred


Eric Z Horn poses with fellow SMOTY Winner Wayneston Harberson at the 2015 The Expo Group Show Manager of the Year Awards

What does it mean to win a Show Manager of the Year Award from The Expo Group? According to Eric Z Horn, Show Director for Cosmoprof North America, it means "street cred" and validation on how you do your job.

Here's what Eric had to say: 

"I am still flying over winning the SMOTY Award on Saturday night….I wanted to convey to you how wonderful this event is for associations and for the people who represent them. I am very fortunate and I work for a non-profit that is very generous, thought provoking, forward thinking and above all passionate. They take care of me and the staff and they are very hands off when it comes to event logistics and decision making. They trust us do what is right for the association, because it is like our family and we want to do right by our family members.

These awards enforce their present attitudes and support our board and the Executive Director’s hands off approach. It is a gauge to say that what they are doing and how they govern the association is correct and right. More importantly, it keeps the board believing in us…and that’s all we ask. Believe in us and let us do our jobs and we will do all we can to make our family better! I know that sounds corny, but it is true. So THANK YOU for giving us the ‘street cred’ along with a very cool crystal award! (and a great weekend in Hotlanta!) I loved it!

Show some appreciation to a deserving event professional today.  Nominations are free, easy to fill out and open to any individual responsible for a trade or association exhibition/convention.

 But hurry! The deadline is June 21. NOMINATE HERE.

 

May / 17 / 2017

Nominate Away!


SMOTY Winner Leslie Wiernik and The Expo Group's Randy Pekowski pose wth a slightly larger than normal sized check.  

We recently asked Leslie Wiernik, Executive Director at NASP, about being named one of The Expo Group's Show Managers of the Year in 2016 and her thoughts on the event and the award.

Did you have good time at the TSNN/SMOTY Awards event in New Jersey last year?
I had a great time at the TSNN/SMOTY award last year. Of course the awards banquet was the highlight. However, the Roaring 20s party was a huge hit as it provided a great networking opportunity for everybody. I met a lot of wonderful people and have lots of pics to remember the night.

Where is your award right now?
My award is proudly displayed on a shelf in our office’s reception area, and my St. Jude’s “check” is hanging on the wall.  

What qualities do you think a good show manager should have and why?
A good show manager needs to be a “people” person with strong communication skills. No matter how much time and effort goes into planning a show, things are going to happen. So, it’s all about communicating with the right people to effectively resolve those issues and make it seamless for attendees.

What would you say to people who are reluctant to nominate someone for a SMOTY award?
There are so many great show managers out there who deserve to be recognized! Don’t be reluctant! Nominate away…

Show some appreciation to a deserving event professional today.  Nominations are free, easy to fill out and open to any individual responsible for a trade or association exhibition/convention.

 But hurry! The deadline is June 21. NOMINATE HERE.

 

April / 20 / 2017

Nominate Now for 2017 SMOTY Awards


Nominate Now for The Expo Group Show Manager of the Year Awards 

Irving, Texas – April 20, 2017 – Nominations are due June 8 for the The Expo Group Show Manager of the Year Awards. All event professionals in associations and corporate entities with authority for bringing attendees and exhibitors together are eligible.

Since 2000, the crystal SMOTY obelisk trophy has been presented to those behind-the-scenes pros creating amazing experiences within their exhibition and convention. Each winner is also honored with a donation to their favorite charity and recognition industrywide. Since 2000, over $80,000 has been donated to charity by The Expo Group in honor of SMOTY winners.

Four trophies will be presented this year at the Trade Show News Network Awards, held August 21-23 in conjunction with Connect Expo. 
 
 • Tier I: 1 to 200 booths
 • Tier II: 201 to 700 booths
 • Tier III: 701 to 1500 booths
 • Tier IV: 1501 or more booths
 
“Rewarding outstanding event professionals regardless of the size of their show or their membership in any organizations is the simple objective of the SMOTY Awards,” says The Expo Group President and Chief Operating Officer Randy Pekowski. “I am always impressed by the nominees, whose achievements are examples from which we all can learn.”
 SMOTY awards are open to all trade show managers, not just clients of The Expo Group. Self-nominations are accepted and encouraged. An independent panel of judges reviews all candidates for their innovative practices, commitment to success, premier customer service and ability to overcome obstacles.
Nominations must be submitted by June 21 at theexpogroup.com.
 
 
About The Expo Group
The Expo Group is a trusted exposition, exhibits and events partner that helps organizations grow their attendee, sponsorship and exhibits revenue through the design and execution of unique, compelling and memorable experiences. The company has headquarters near Dallas with offices in Atlanta, Boston, Orlando, Las Vegas, Chicago, Austin/San Antonio and Washington D.C. Learn more at www.theexpogroup.com or contact Dana Freker Doody directly at 972.580.9000 x1644,ddoody@theexpogroup.com.

 

October / 31 / 2016

The Expo Group Show Manager of the Year Trophies Presented



 Photo courtesy ©The Photo Group

Irving, Texas – October 31, 2016 – The Expo Group Show Manager of the Year Award winners for 2016 were honored Saturday at the TSNN Awards in Atlantic City, N.J.

The five show managers, nominated by their peers and selected by an independent judging panel, were chosen for making a difference in their buyer-seller communities and for bringing passion to their work. Each received the iconic crystal obelisk trophy and a donation to their favorite charity. They join the ranks of 64 former SMOTY winners honored since The Expo Group began the awards program in 2000 as a way to shine a spotlight on the people who make this business great. 

2016 Honorees

Tier I – 1 to 150 booths
Leslie Wiernik, Executive Director, National Association of Subrogation Professionals
Charity: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
After 30 years in the insurance industry, Leslie took an event that was experiencing decline and, as Executive Director of NASP, led her team to turn it into a consistent success with an emphasis on customer service and attention to every detail.
 
Tier II – 151 to 300 booths
David Heilbrunn, Show Manager, Coffee Fest 
Charity: Café Femenino Foundation
A two-time SMOTY winner, David has led Coffee Fest into countless venues across the country in his 25-year tenure to create a successful atmosphere for independent and chain shops serving consumers as well as their supply-chain professionals.

 
Tier III – 301 to 700 booths
Amy Schwandt, Show Manager, AC Business Media
Charity: Annie’s Locker
Doubling the conference program for National Pavement Expo and creating energizing networking events such as a party at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Amy has brought new life to the trade show and reached new customers at the same time.


Tier IV – 701 to 1,500 booths
Lisa Allen, Senior Show Manager, Informa Exhibitions
Charity: National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Lisa is widely known as a true pro, and for two of Informa’s shows she has led her team to master that balance of what’s right for the company and for their association partners, not to mention the attendees, exhibitors and sponsors.


Tier V – 1,501+ booths
Jo Ann Miller Marshall, Executive Vice President, AmericasMart Atlanta
Charity: St. James United Methodist Church, Atlanta
A positive visionary, Jo Ann never hesitates to stand alongside her team facing customers and working diligently to develop programs that benefit all involved with the 13 trade shows she manages.

SMOTY awards are judged by an independent panel and are open to anyone responsible for the production of an event with exhibition space, regardless of any affiliation with The Expo Group. Nominations are accepted year-round at www.theexpogroup.com.

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


About The Expo Group

The Expo Group is a trusted exhibition and events partner that helps organizations grow their attendance, exhibitor and sponsorship revenue through the design and execution of unique, compelling and memorable experiences. The company is headquartered near Dallas with offices in Atlanta, Boston, Orlando, Las Vegas, Chicago, Austin/San Antonio and Washington D.C. Learn more at www.theexpogroup.com or contact Dana Freker Doody directly at 972.580.9000 x1644, ddoody@theexpogroup.com or on Twitter @theexpogroup.

Photo usable with The Photo Group credit.

October / 3 / 2016

2016 SMOTY Honorees Announced


The Expo Group Show Manager of the Year Honorees Announced

Irving, Texas – October 3, 2016 – The trade show community was tasked to Show Some Love for outstanding show managers with a nomination for The Expo Group Show Manager of the Year Award, and the five honorees have been chosen. This year’s SMOTY Awards will be presented Oct. 29 at the TSNN Awards to the following outstanding show managers.

Tier I – 1 to 150 booths

Leslie Wiernik, Executive Director, National Association of Subrogation Professionals

Charity: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

 

Tier II – 151 to 300 booths

David Heilbrunn, Show Manager, Coffee Fest 

Charity: Café Femenino Foundation

 

Tier III – 301 to 700 booths

Amy Schwandt, Show Manager, AC Business Media

Charity: Annie’s Locker

 

Tier IV – 701 to 1,500 booths

Lisa Allen, Senior Show Manager, Informa Exhibitions

Charity: National Multiple Sclerosis Society

 

Tier V – 1,501+ booths

Jo Ann Miller Marshall, Executive Vice President, AmericasMart Atlanta

Charity: St. James United Methodist Church, Atlanta

“We continue to be amazed at the quality of work presented by all the nominees presented for the SMOTY Awards,” says Randy Pekowski, President and COO of The Expo Group.  “This group continues the long-standing tradition of excellence and innovation that all honorees since 2000 have shared.”

The Expo Group began this awards program to give back to the community by honoring those amazing behind-the-scenes people without requiring association membership or overall show growth. The unsung heroes are honored with a donation in their name to the charity of their choice as well as the iconic SMOTY obelisk trophy. The official presentation of the 2016 SMOTY Awards will take place Oct. 29 at the TSNN Awards, an annual gala that celebrates success in our industry as a whole.

The awards are judged by an independent panel and are open to anyone responsible for the production of an event with exhibition space, regardless of any affiliation with The Expo Group. Nominations are accepted year-round at www.theexpogroup.com.

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

About The Expo Group

The Expo Group is a trusted exhibition and events partner helping clients rethink how to optimize for success. The Dallas-area company also has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, Chicago, Austin/San Antonio and Washington D.C. Learn more at www.theexpogroup.com or contact Dana Freker Doody directly at 972.580.9000 x1644, ddoody@theexpogroup.com or on Twitter @theexpogroup.

August / 29 / 2016

Interview With A SMOTY Winner - Jennifer Hoff


Just a few days left to get those nominations in for the 2016 The Expo Group's Show Manager of the Year Award.  Over the years, we've asked former SMOTY winners for their thoughts on the award and its impact.

Here is a classic post featuring an interview with 2004 SMOTY Winner Jennifer Hoff.

Jennifer Hoff

How did your life change professionally after you won the SMOTY award? It really inspired me to share my experience and mentor others.

Did you enjoy the SMOTY Awards event? Where is your award right now? The event was very special. It was a great way to come together with other show organizers to celebrate our industry. I recently started working from my home office, so my SMOTY award is currently perched on my mantle.

What qualities do you think a good show manager should have? Why? I think the best show managers need to have a good understanding of the show's goals and objectives, especially from a marketing and sales perspective. Flexibility and creativity are important for carrying through those goals and objectives to the on site experience.

Tell me why you think the SMOTY awards are important. I think it helps to show that the trade show industry is a viable career and help drive show managers to go the extra mile.

What would you say to people who are reluctant to nominate someone for a SMOTY award? Definitely make the effort. It really means a lot to the recipients.

Show some love to a deserving show manager today.  Nominations are free, easy to fill out and open to any individual responsible for a trade or association exhibition/convention.

 But hurry! The deadline is September 8. Show some love here at:

 http://bit.ly/smotynom

 

August / 5 / 2016

SMOTY Winner Says Show Some Love


SMOTY Winners and good friends, Eric Z. Horn and Wayneston Harbeson. 

We recently asked Wayneston Harbeson from NATPE about being named one of The Expo Group's Show Managers of the Year in 2015 and his thoughts on the event and the award.

Did you have good time at the TSNN/SMOTY Awards event in Atlanta?

I have a great time. It was great to reconnect with old peers and new peers and I have actually made some connections where I am using them for my show next year.

What qualities do you think a good show manager should have and why?

I think a good show manager should look at their vendors not as vendors but as an extension of your team. When I choose at a vendor I don’t look at "What can I get out of them for this show?" I look at "What is the relationship that I can have moving on?" Because I am only one person and I am going to need to trust my extended partners to execute my vision and my mission. I can't remember everything so to have a partner that can say, "You know, last year we did this. Are we doing this again for this year?" "Exactly, yes. Thank you for reminding me." It goes a long way. So I say look at your vendors as part of your team. Involve them in your organization. They want to help. That's their whole job is to help you. And to also include them 365 instead of 100 days before the show.

What would you say to people who are reluctant to nominate someone for a SMOTY award? 

I would say do it. Why would you not want to recognize somebody who has had an effect on you, who you work with, who you might know in the industry? I want to share as much love as possible and I think nominating somebody for a SMOTY award is a great way to show love.

Show some love to a deserving show manager today.  Nominations are free, easy to fill out and open to any individual responsible for a trade or association exhibition/convention.

 But hurry! The deadline is September 8. Show some love here at:

 http://bit.ly/smotynom