Steelhead Productions Named to Inc.’s Second Annual Power Partner Awards

November 8, 2023

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (November 8th, 2023) – Recently, Inc. Business Media announced the second annual Power Partner Awards, honoring B2B organizations across the globe that have proven track records supporting entrepreneurs and helping support companies empower growth. The list recognizes 389 firms in marketing and advertising, health and wellness, financial services, legal, logistics, and productivity, as well as other business areas.

Steelhead Productions and the other 388 companies on the list received top marks from clients for being instrumental in helping leadership navigate the dynamic world of B2B. These B2B partners support entrepreneurs across various facets of the business, including hiring, compliance, infrastructure development, cloud migration, fundraising, etc., allowing founders to focus on their core missions.

“Trusted B2B partners provide guidance and expertise that founders rely on at various steps of their organization’s journey. Partners that possess a demonstrated ability to deliver quality support are at the core of entrepreneurship and help bring big ideas to life,” says Scott Omelianuk, editor-in-chief of Inc. Business Media.
“Steelhead is so proud to help our clients solve what seems to be a long-time conflict in live events, which is how to present fresh brand activations at live events each and every time while doing so in a way that reduces waste and is much more sustainable,” says Sean Combs, CEO, Steelhead Productions.  

One of Steelhead's flagship clients, Cox Automotive, was just one of many to provide Inc. with feedback on what a partnership with the premiere exhibit house looks like.

In 2019, the event marketing team at Cox Automotive and their family of Brands, such as Kelly Blue Book, Autotrader, and Manheim, to name a few, were beginning to develop their event marketing plan for 2020 and realized they had a problem. Their most important customer and business development event of the year, the National Automobile Dealer Association (which kicks off its event schedule each year), was in need of a major refresh.  

Their problem was twofold. First, they wanted out of this cycle of showing up year after year at their most important tradeshow(s) with similar or, worse yet, the same activation as the previous year. They had an exhibit, but it was aging. In the past, that meant designing and buying a new exhibit, which in their case was significant in size, some 25,000 square feet (about four times the area of a basketball court), as well as in cost, in the three-to-five-million-dollar range.  

Secondly, via their internal sustainability program, Cox Conserves, they had significant sustainability goals to reach throughout their enterprise, mainly through waste management, carbon neutrality, and water conservation. So, the notion that their exhibit would ultimately sit idle when not in use to then be landfilled was certainly not a fit for their sustainability goals. Looking to solve this conflict, the Cox Automotive team reached out to Steelhead, known for having a unique approach to this problem.  

Steelhead is like the Airbnb of the trade show industry; they own the assets, so their customers (like travelers for Airbnb) don’t have to. Unlike Airbnb, though, if Steelhead doesn’t have the unique assets a customer wants, they will design and build them internally or buy them.  In the Cox Automotive case, given their specific needs and the mere scale of their project, Steelhead had very few of the required elements needed. This is where the partnership really took shape. Steelhead worked closely with the Cox team to develop the assets needed for the 2020 NADA show. And rather than buying these assets, Cox Automotive just paid to use them for that show.  

At the conclusion of that show, those new assets then became available to all of Steelhead’s client base to rent. As for future events, Cox Automotive can save even more money by selecting from Steelhead’s existing inventory or beginning the creation process all over again. This approach achieves both Cox Automotive’s goals of creativity and sustainability because these physical assets are not just thrown away; they are used across multiple industries by other brands.  

It was the tremendous kudos and reviews from clients like Cox Automotive that helped land Steelhead on this year's Power Partner list. To view the complete list, go to: The November 2023 Issue of Inc. magazine is available online now at and will be on newsstands beginning October 31, 2023.


About Inc. Business Media

The world’s most trusted business-media brand, Inc. offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community they need to build great companies. Its award-winning multiplatform content reaches more than 50 million people each month across various channels, including websites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print. Its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, produced yearly since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. The global recognition that comes with inclusion in the 5000 gives the founders of the best businesses an opportunity to engage with an exclusive community of their peers and the credibility that helps them drive sales and recruit talent. The associated Inc. 5000 Conference is part of a highly acclaimed portfolio of bespoke events produced by Inc. For more information, visit

About Steelhead Productions

Steelhead Productions designs and produces branded environments for trade shows and other temporary marketing events. Our company and services exist to support the brand’s event marketing professionals. We believe we are in the Human-to-Human business rather than the more typical B2B model. Event marketers constantly seek innovative strategies to elevate their brands using live marketing events. Doing so consistently promotes their success and shines a light on the brand and the brilliant marketing minds behind them—our customers.

This press release was originally featured on EIN Presswire.

November 8, 2023
November 8, 2023
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