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IAFE Awards

San Mateo County Event Center Wins Five Prestigious Awards From The International Association Of Fair & Expositions (IAFE)

San Mateo County Event Center is pleased to announce the achievement of five different awards from the International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE).  Most importantly, San Mateo County Event Center won the Best of Show: Hall of Honor Communications Awards for the highest overall score by any state and county fair.


“The Hall of Honor Communications contest recognizes the top fairs in our industry exceeding in promotional and advertising efforts. Categories range from radio commercials to newspaper and everything in between. Submissions were judged based on originality, creativity, consistency and overall achievement,” said Brittney Harper, Member Services Coordinator for IAFE.


“This is such a thrill for us,” said Dana Stoehr, CEO of the Event Center.  “Many of the awards centered on our focus around fighting COVID.  We had events to get Vaccinated at the fair and this clearly impressed the judges.”  The San Mateo County Event Center & Fair is one of 77 fairgrounds in California, but the only one to be part of the Office of Emergency Services.”  The Event Center administered over 250,000 COVID tests and over 100,000 vaccinations over the preceding 12 months, much of which happened at the fair this past year.


The five ribbons won by San Mateo are as follows:

Best of Show Award – The fair scoring the highest total in three separate categories. This recipient will receive a special award at the Annual IAFE Convention.

  • 1st Place: Hall of Honor Communications Awards / Souvenirs and Commemorative Items for “SMCF Masks.”
  • 1st Place: Hall of Honor Communications Awards / Out-of-the-Box Marketing/Promotion for “Get Vaccinated at the Fair.”
  • 2nd Place: Hall of Honor Communications Awards for “Social Media”
  • 2nd Place: Agricultural Awards / Agricultural exhibitor events, awards, participation incentives or retention programs for “Livestock Corner Section in Fair Newsletter and on Social Media”


“The San Mateo County Event Center and County Fair are there for our residents in both times of celebration and times of crisis,” said Stoehr.  “Our awards centered around finding a way to celebrate in a time of crisis, by helping our residents come to the fair and leave vaccinated and with a free N95 mask!”  The San Mateo fairgrounds are the only fairgrounds in the state which are part of the Office of Emergency Services but also receive no TOT hotel tax funding, making the achievement even more impressive.


ABOUT THE SAN MATEO COUNTY EVENTS CENTER: For the past year, the San Mateo County Events Center has been unable to host most events, but instead played a vital role in protecting our health care workers and most vulnerable populations by serving as a COVID-19 testing site, operations hub and supply center, 250-bed temporary overflow hospital, and vaccine distribution center for the San Francisco Bay Area. To date, the Event Center has administered 250,000 COVID-19 tests and vaccinated more than 90,000 individuals. Visit our website at https://www.smchealth.org/covidvaccine to stay up to date regarding our most up to date COVID-19 Vaccine information.


ABOUT IAFE The International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), based in Springfield, Mo., is a voluntary, nonprofit corporation, serving state, provincial, regional, and county agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions, and expositions. Its associate members include state and provincial associations of fairs, nonagricultural expositions and festivals, associations, corporations, and individuals engaged in providing products and services to its members, all of whom are interested in the improvement of fairs, shows, expositions, and allied fields.

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