SMOTY Award Winners Announced

The 2012 Expo Group Show Manager of the Year Awards have been announced, recognizing the managers of some of the largest and fastest-growing shows in the tradeshow industry

The awards, also known as the SMOTY Awards, are given each year to individual show managers—not their shows—to recognize innovation, commitment and creativity.

This year’s winners are:
• Tier I (1 to 150 booths)—Molly Merez, executive director of Ticket Summit
• Tier II (151 to 300 booths)—Margery Palonis, exhibits manager of the Academy of General Dentistry and producer of the AGD Annual Meeting and Exhibition
• Tier III (301 to 700 booths)—Nancy Johnson, event director for the Brewers Association and producer of the Association Craft Brewers Conference & Brew Expo
• Tier IV (701 to 1,500 booths)—Deborah Swift, owner and president of Swift Solutions and producer of the Halloween & Party Expo
• Tier V (more than 1,500 booths)—Gene Sanders, senior vice president of tradeshows and conferences for SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association and producer of the NPE: The International Plastics Showcase

“The dedication of these individuals are the exact reasons we started the SMOTY awards program,” says Ray Pekowski, president and CEO of The Expo Group, “to give credit where it is due.”

The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Louisville, Ky., the first weekend in November.

The most recent edition of the triennial NPE show (the Tier V winner) was held in April in Orlando, attracting more than 55,000 attendees. On the other hand, the Tier I winner, Ticket Summit, was on EXPO Magazine’s list of 25 Fastest-Growing Shows in 2011, having attracted about 750 attendees, and received a silver EXCITE Award, also from EXPO Magazine, earlier this year for its use of social media.

SMOTY winners receive a trophy and a donation is given to the charity of their choice.

SMOTY Award judges were Glenda Brungardt, an event manager with HP and a former winner herself; David DuBois, executive director of the International Association for Exhibitions & Events; Jennifer Hoff, COO of VP International and a former winner; Sam Lippman, president of Lippman Connects; and Rachel Wimberly, president of TSNN.

Posted by Michael Hart

Michael Hart is the executive editor of Expo. Reach him at View all articles by Michael Hart →