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IAEE: Renewed Energy and Excitement After First Exhibitions Day on Capitol Hill
Exhibitions Day, a new and collaborative effort by seven exhibitions and events industry organizations concluded early this week and was confirmed a success by attendees who carried the industry's message to elected officials on Capitol Hill. The International Association of Exhibitions and Events™ (IAEE) in collaboration with the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), Exhibit Designers + Producers Association (EDPA), Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA), International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and U.S. Travel Association (U.S. Travel) held the first, industry-wide legislative fly-in with more than 100 industry professionals in attendance.
"We are thrilled with the initial success of the first Exhibitions Day. The excitement among the state delegations was contagious as we visited with the elected officials, and I received many reports throughout the day that this first, collective effort among the industry organizations had a lasting and positive impact on the elected officials and their aides," said IAEE President and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA.
Exhibitions Day began with a meeting between industry leaders and several government officials at the Department of Commerce to discuss the International Buyers Program and the Trade Fair Certification Program. Among the issues discussed, the focal point was the exploration of how the industry can work together strategically to develop a long-range plan that will serve the needs of organizers, planners, exhibitors and suppliers to enhance trade by bringing international buyers to U.S.-based events. Following the meeting with USDOC officials, an Educators Forum was held that brought together industry leaders, organizers and professors from area universities who were specifically interested in learning more about integrating exhibitions into their curriculum and communicating the viability of trade shows as a career path of choice with their students. Rich conversations and new ideas resulted in fresh takeaways that will be released in a forthcoming whitepaper.
After a pre-event webinar and orientation that provided the latest updates on the legislative issues and cosponsors of the bills, attendees were well-prepared to represent the exhibitions and events industry's position on the issues supported with verified statistics and data. More than 100 meetings on the Hill were held, and the main issues currently affecting the exhibitions and events industry were emphasized. These included support of the JOLT Act - Jobs Originated through Travel Act; allowing Government Employees Attending Events; the impact of the Visa Waiver Program; the importance of the International Buyers Program; and support of the Travel Promotion Act.
IAEE Chairperson Skip Cox noted, "My meetings were all very well received. I was pleased to have the opportunity to tell our story and emphasize our position because the elected officials I met did not realize how large we were and that we are an important driver of commerce that bring qualified buyers to business-to-business events."
Exhibitions Day launched an ongoing advocacy effort to reinforce the fact that Exhibitions and Events Mean Business. As part of IAEE’s multi-year strategic plan, the organization will continue to partner with industry organizations who place substantial value on face-to-face events to provide a platform to address the legislative issues under review by Congress and therefore has refined its brand to include the tagline “Exhibitions and Events Mean Business.”
VPI President and CEO Vincent Polito said, "I think Exhibitions Day is one of the most significant achievements for IAEE and the industry in the last few years. Today was a good first start and has provided a good foundation for next steps."
Trusted since 1928, IAEE provides quality and value to its members through leadership, service, education and strong relationships. IAEE is the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry in the world, with a membership of show organizers, exhibitors and exhibition suppliers. Organizers of more than 20,000 exhibitions and buyer-seller events around the world are members of IAEE, and the organization advocates and promotes the awareness of face-to-face exhibitions and events as the primary medium for business development and growth. IAEE provides relevant, timely and innovative education to its members and the industry. IAEE recognizes its strategic partners: American Airlines, Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, BearCom, Mexico Tourism Board, New Orleans Morial Convention Center, New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, Orange County Convention Center, San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visit Baltimore, Visit Orlando and VoiceLogic. Visit www.iaee.com for more information.
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