TSNN Awards Celebrates the Trade Show Industry’s Best of 2023 in Puerto Rico

October 31, 2023
group winners

Held Oct. 27-28, the 2023 TSNN Awards drew about 140 attendees to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for two days of celebration, education and living “boricua,” a spirit, flavor and rhythm honoring the island’s heritage. 

"The 2023 TSNN Awards Gala was a magical night, with awards given out to all of the overall Innovation winners, Outstanding Show Pros and the DEI, Industry Support and Industry Icon honorees," said TSNN President Rachel Wimberly. "The energy was electric, with salsa dancers kicking off the night with a fantastic performance, followed by a night filled with incredible food, music and celebrating the very best in our industry. Thank you Discover Puerto Rico for an amazing time!" 

Watch the highlight video, sponsored by Map Your Show and produced by CNTV, of the 2023 TSNN Awards here.

Event highlights

The event kicked off with an opening reception on Fri., Oct. 27, at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino, a modern urban resort with stunning views of San Juan Bay from its rooftop infinity pool. With live music, a curated dinner menu and an open bar, the industry gathering had a festive and fun vibe. Following the opening reception, the party continued in a hospitality suite. 

Snacks during the morning break at the TSNN Awards at the Puerto Rico Convention Center

On Sat., Oct. 28, the day started with a bountiful breakfast — which featured guava pastries, mallorcas and plant-based chorizo and avocado toast — at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, a venue managed by ASM Global. During the morning break, attendees were treated to local ice cream, toasted nuts and french macarons. A networking luncheon featured a sit-down meal with lamb, pork and vegan options.

A robust education conference featured a half-day of sessions, including: 

  • Opening remarks and welcome by Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean
  • State of the Industry, a panel featuring International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Interim President and CEO Cathy Breden, Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) CEO Vinnie Polito and Lippman Connects President Sam Lippman, moderated by Wimberly
  • Sustainability: Questex, a presentation by Event and Partnership Director Elizabeth Fantetti Trevorrow and Show Director Jessi Cybulski
  • Fireside Chat on DEI Leadership with Don Pietranczyk, VP, Experience & Education at Informa Markets, moderated by TSNN VP, Content Danica Tormohlen
  • Fireside Chat on Advocacy Leadership with Beth Cowperthwaite, SVP, Communications, Emerald, moderated by Tormohlen
  • Consumer Show Conversation, a panel featuring All Show Services President and CEO Eric Udler, Leftfield Media VP Marketing Lauren Dabb and Raccoon Media Group CEO Mike Seaman
  • Keynote by Rita Moreno, a Puerto Rican actor, singer and dancer who is one of 18 people who have been honored with an EGOT – Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards
The 2023 TSNN Awards featured a keynote by Rita Moreno, a Puerto Rican actor, singer and dancer.

And the winners are …

Several award winners were announced before the event and celebrated at the awards gala, including:

  • Robert Maricich — Industry Icon Award
  • Beth Cowperthwaite –– Industry Support Award
  • Don Pietranczyk –– DEI Leadership Award
  • Questex  – Sustainability Award

In 2023, a record-breaking number of nominations were submitted for the 2023 TSNN Awards, including nominations in 12 categories for the Innovation Awards and an incredible number of nominations for the Outstanding Show Pro Awards. The finalists were announced in September.

During the awards gala held at the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico — a historic neoclassic structure built and designed by the architect William H. Shimmelphening in 1920 — the winners were announced and recognized on stage. The 2023 TSNN Award Winners include:

Innovation Awards Winner

  • Best Engagement (Think Fun!) — International Beauty Show Questex
  • Best Exhibitor Program — National Restaurant Association Show Informa
  • Best Use of Data — FDIC International Clarion Events
  • Best Use of Technology — Premiere Orlando Informa Markets
  • Created (Maintained) Community — Abilities Expo 5Net4 Productions
  • Created (Maintained) Culture — Coverings 2023 Taffy Event Strategies
  • Giving Back (Charitable) — Clarion Cares by Clarion Events Inc.
  • Hybrid Virtual Experience — eMerge Americas eMerge Americas LLC
  • Most Innovative Design — The Experiential Marketing Summit 2023, produced by Access Intelligence
  • Most Creative Way Revenue Was Generated — Retail's Big Show, produced the National Retail Federation
  • Savvy Marketing Campaign — CONEXPO-CON/AGG, produced by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
  • Team Building — IAAPA Expo 2022, produced by IAAPA
  • Best Consumer Shows — The Boston Run Show, produced by Raccoon Media Group and Anime NYC, produced by LeftField Media

Outstanding Show Pros 

  • Eric Udler, Producer, Super Pet Expo, All Show Services
  • Tricia Barglof, Executive Director, Informa
  • Amie Gilmore, Show Director, Informa Markets
  • Joe Sorrentino, Senior Vice President, Live Events, North American Veterinary Community (NAVC)
The education program featured a Fireside Chat on Advocacy Leadership with Emerald's Beth Cowperthwaite.

Support from Sponsors

The 2023 TSNN Awards would not be possible without the amazing support of the following sponsors: Host Sponsor Discover Puerto Rico; Venue Sponsor Puerto Rico Convention Center; Hotel Sponsor Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino; Registration Sponsor - Maritz; Presenting Sponsors SmartSource; SMT Expo; Personify; Fern; EventsPass; Expo Convention Contractors; Gold Sponsor ASP; Photography Sponsor The Photo Group; as well as Silver Sponsors Expocad; Map Your Show; Convention Data Services and MCI Group.


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