David McGoldrick's ninth of the season, a 73rd-minute penalty in controversial circumstances, looked like it would be enough to push Ipswich closer to the play-offs.
But Troy Deeney rescued a point with nine minutes left to leave Sannino delighted with his first few days in the job.
Speaking to the press for the first time, Sannino said: "It was a dream for me to land in England and this game was 90 minutes of my life that I was always dreaming about.
"I have only been here for two days and I am not a magician. I knew the kind of football in the Championship but my first thoughts are with (ex-Watford boss) Gianfranco Zola.
"He did an amazing job last season and this was his team."
In a largely forgettable encounter, Ipswich shaded the chances but both sides were below-par and a draw was a fair result.
When quizzed about what Watford fans could expect from his management, Sannino said: "I like to play football on the ground and create chances.
"I was able to show my passion on the touchline and I thought, tactical-wise, we were good.
"But there is a lot of work to do."
Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy felt his side just edged proceedings but had little complaints as Town extended their unbeaten run to five games.
He said: "I will take a point as Watford are a good side. Last year they came here and absolutely murdered us. So it shows how far we have come."
A turgid first half had the occasional highlight with the impressive Diego Fabbrini striking a post for Watford and recalled Hornets stopper Manuel Almunia smartly denying McGoldrick and Frank Nouble.
The second half followed a similar pattern of half-chances and defences on top before the moment of controversy in the 71st minute.
Nouble's weak cross deflected off the arm of Gabriele Angella and referee Graham Scott had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Ice-cool McGoldrick stroked the ball into the corner, but Town's celebration lasted just eight minutes as the game finally burst into life.
Marco Cassetti's dangerous cross was aided by a deflection and Deeney reacted quickest to slide the ball home at the near post.
There was still time for Ipswich to go agonisingly close to claiming all three points after Almunia parried McGoldrick's fierce drive but Luke Hyam could only head the rebound onto the crossbar.
McCarthy, who admitted he was disappointed by some of the dissent aimed at Hyam from his own fans, added: "I think Luke missed that because it came off the egg on his head after he had a collision in the first half.
"I want our fans to be partisan but that should be directed at the other team - not our own players."