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The brain child of an executive at Classic Exhibits Inc., an inaugural Awards Night Gala from the owner of EXHIBITOR2014 rewards exhibitors for their efforts while giving them what they want.

2014 marks the first time a design-inspired awards event is affiliated with Exhibitor Media Group’s Las Vegas-based face-to-face training conference and expo for tradeshow and event marketers.

“This is an event that’s long overdue, and we’re very excited it’s happening,” said Kevin Carty, vice president, Classic Exhibits. “It will be an awesome night!”

AwardsNight_trophy (244x640)Last year at EXHIBITOR, Carty approached Exhibitor Media Group’s President and CEO Randy Acker and Chief Marketing Officer John Pavek about the need for a show-sponsored awards program to highlight exhibit design.

“In the past, there were awards ceremonies not affiliated with EXHIBITOR. As a longtime exhibitor and supporter of the show, it was something we needed,” Carty explained. “I credit [Acker and Pavek] because they listened to what exhibitors are looking for. Over the course of the following year, I was closely involved with the development [of the gala], gathered sponsorships and helped decide what the night would be about.”

An event highlighting how exhibitors regularly operate is what Carty had in mind and what he said he knew other exhibitors wanted too, but Exhibitor Media Group took an extra step with awards categories that were further segmented.

“The Awards Night is going to honor all aspects of exhibit design and portable/modular, which is a segment of our industry that will highlight systems manufacturers like Classics Exhibits,” said Carty. “There are also Corporate Event Awards and Buyers Choice Awards chosen by EXHIBITOR attendees as well as Best of Show Awards.”

Getting a Best of Show Award for anything ranging from the best booth staff to the best inline exhibit on the show floor is perhaps the most desired, according to Carty.

“Best of Show used to be announced on the show floor and now will be recognized in an event space,” Carty added.

The most coveted award, Carty said, also depends on a finalist’s perspective. Systems manufacturers will no doubt eye a Portable/Modular Award, and chances are custom builders will hope for an Exhibit Design Award.

In the Portable/Modular Awards segment, Classic Exhibits is a finalist for a 20 x 30 island it manufactured for distributor Atlantic Exhibits, which in turn had the island created for its end user Silk Road.

“We’re actually using a Classic Exhibits-branded version of that island for EXHIBITOR,” added Carty.

Also at the gala, a major contributor who made a significant impact on the tradeshow industry will be inducted into the EXHIBITOR Legends Hall of Fame. In subsequent years, other legends will be honored.

Aside from Classic Exhibits, other sponsors of the event include Creative Technology, Derse, Exposures Ltd., Freeman, Group Delphi, Mirror Show Management, Moss Exhibits, Nuvista and TOTALLY MOD.

Similar to Carty, Group Delphi and Moss Exhibits have taken on other roles for the gala. Moss is providing hardware, and Group Delphi, led by Founder and CEO Justin Hersh, is producing the event.

Knowing [Group Delphi] well and being a partner, customer and vendor to them, I know the quality of work they do, and I’m looking forward to everyone seeing what I know will be a beautiful presentation,” said Carty. “It will be a top-notch event — I guarantee that. I know how detail-oriented Justin Hersh and his team are when putting on a grand event.”

Between 250 and 400 people are expected to attend EXHIBITOR Magazine’s inaugural Awards Night Gala. It takes place Mar. 18 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas during EXHIBITOR2014.

Classic Exhibits Inc. is a designer and manufacturer of portable, modular and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. To find out more about the company, visit classicexhibits.com.

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