EXPY & EMA Awards
The Start of a Tradition
Between 1998 and 2017, as experiences proliferated in industry after industry, certain organizations and individuals demonstrated exceptional skill in envisioning, designing, and staging truly memorably and innovative experiences. Pine & Gilmore established the annual Experience Stager of the Year (EXPY) and Experience Management Achievement (EMA) awards that were given out during their annual thinkAbout event. The Experience Stager and Management awards were dedicated to recognizing these stalwart trailblazers.
EXPY and EMA award recipients remained a closely guarded secret until officially announced at the annual Strategic Horizons thinkAbout. During the award presentation, Pine & Gilmore not only honored the winners but also interviewed them on stage for insights into their accomplishments.
The Experience Stager and Management awards were utterly unique, individually cast in solid brass by master artisan Trace Guthrie. Each weighing nearly 10 pounds, the EXPY was a 3-D interpretation of the commedia dell’arte performer on the original cover of The Experience Economy, while the EMA represented the book’s influence on award winners.
Awards & Winners
The EXPY Award
First commissioned in 1999, the EXPY was, by all accounts, the first award ever established to specifically honor excellence in experience staging. Pine & Gilmore awarded the EXPY each year at the culmination of their annual countdown of the “Top Ten Experiences of the Year” at thinkAbout, which highlights advances in the art and science of experience staging. The EXPY award was given each year to a company that stood head and shoulders above its competition in applying the principles of the Experience Economy to its business.
Carnival Corp. | Doral, FL
For innovating the Ocean Medallion IoT device (and associated software & hardware) that enables it to mass customize its cruise experiences to each individual guest.
Pirch | San Diego, CA
Chick-fil-A | Atlanta, GA
SantaPark | Rovaniemi, Finland
For its dedication to details and continuous consistent improvement in offering unique Christmas experiences in Santa’s “home cavern” in the Arctic Circle.
Tough Mudder LLC | New York, NY
826 National | San Francisco, CA
TechShop | Menlo Park, CA
Build-A-Bear Workshop | St. Louis, MO
The U.S. Army | Washington D.C.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum | Springfield, IL
TST, Inc. | Fort Collins, CO
Cereality | Scottsdale, AZ
HOK Sport + Venue + Event (now Populous) | Kansas City, KS
Charthouse Learning | Burnsville, MN
Cerritos Library | Cerritos, CA
LEGO Group | Billund, Denmark
Joie de Vivre Hospitality | San Francisco, CA
Geek Squad | Minneapolis, MN
American Girl Place | Chicago, IL
The EMA Award
Sister award to the EXPY, the annual EMA was established by Pine & Gilmore in 2005 to recognize individual accomplishment in creating new-to-the-world experience offerings and approaches.
Ty Koon | Lawton Connect
Gerry Givnish & Jim Cummings | Life Celebration
Jolene Dingler | The Prime Family of Companies
Greg Bogue | Maritz Travel Company
Diane Stover-Hopkins | Beacon Health System
Laila Pawlak and Kris Østergaard | DARE2
Shareef Mahdavi | SM2 Strategic (now at ALPHAEON Corporation)
Mark Greiner | Steelcase/Workspring
Amy Sanders | American National Bank of Texas (now at Amy Sanders Experience Design & Consulting)
Doug Johnson | General Growth Properties (now at The Advisory Board Company)
Steve Dragoo | Solutions Consulting, Inc
Jeff Kallay | TargetX (now at Render Experiences)