The winner is…

After careful consideration of countless nominees, the following Proximity Award recipients were selected for their extraordinary innovation, ambition, and creativity within their category.

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Mobile Integration

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen

The award for Mobile Integration recognizes a company that has incorporated mobile devices into their in-venue experience in a natural and meaningful way. Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen has incorporated an innovative SMS messaging strategy that has significantly boosted their loyalty club signups.

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Back of House Innovation

Buffalo Wild Wings Franchisees: Four M Franchising, LLC; Beaudoin Franchise; Potters Wings

The award for Back of House Innovation recognizes a company that has elevated their back of house experience by incorporating digital components. These Buffalo Wild Wings franchisees have pioneered an on-screen PoS platform that showcases sales performance in real time.

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Digital Screen Design

Applebee’s - RMH Franchise

The award for Digital Screen Design recognizes a company that has gone above and beyond to create a unique on-screen experience in their venue(s). Applebee’s proactively designs a full month’s worth of on-screen content in advance to create a multifaceted, ever-changing screen for customers to enjoy.


Engagement Champion

Crunch Fitness

The award for Engagement Champion recognizes a company with a strategy that drives extraordinary customer engagement statistics. Crunch Fitness’s engagement strategy has been astonishingly successful, driving as much as 15x more engagement in their clubs.

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Employee Enthusiasm

Evening Entertainment Group

The award for Employee Enthusiasm recognizes a company whose employees take an especially active and involved role in their in-venue engagement strategy. Evening Entertainment Group employees frequently use their own social media influence to drive word-of-mouth, setting an impactful example for customers to do the same.

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Influencer Magnet

Riot Hospitality Group

The award for Influencer Magnet goes to a company whose engagement strategy has an irresistible draw on influencers who become compelled to promote the brand. Riot Hospitality Group draws a significant number of influencers, and bona-fide celebrities who share their experiences across social media.

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Screen Innovation at a Live Event

Mike Stephens, Southern Entertainment

The award for Screen Innovation at a Live Event goes to the company or person who has driven spectacular innovation around the on-screen experience at live events. Mike Stephens has been a leader in bringing the next generation of on-screen engagement to live events, including interactivity with mobile devices, with his innovations at Carolina Country Music Festival.


The Emerald Award

Howl at the Moon Chicago

The Emerald Award recognizes a company local to the city of Chicago that was an early leader in the field on in-venue engagement innovation. Howl at the Moon Chicago has been driving the digital engagement movement for years before it was popular, and has stayed an active part ever since, creating fantastic results for their venue.

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Freshest Screen

ATI Physical Therapy

The award for Freshest Screen recognizes a company that is wholly committed to improving the digital in-venue experience by frequently and creatively updating content on their screen. ATI Physical Therapy clinics work hard to keep their screens extremely relevant. From telling heartfelt stories to celebrating patient journeys and sharing fun clinic events, patients only see the latest content, and nothing stale.

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Elite Entertainer

Brian Shank, FEAD

The award for Elite Entertainer goes to a company or person who strives to create a one-of-a-kind, shareable experience each and every time guests visit a venue. Brian Shank, director of entertainment for FEAD, integrates multiple entertainment platforms into his engagement strategy, including hyperlocal content and games, to build a multifaceted, highly memorable experience for customers.

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Special Events Specialist

Sky Zone

The award for Special Events Specialist recognizes a company that excels at thoughtfully incorporating digital in-venue strategies into special events for maximum impact. Sky Zone has had immense success complementing their special events with their digital strategies, driving spikes in engagement.