Originally published in Trade Show Executive, June 2014 Issue

Like many of my peers and our mentors before us, when I started my career, there was a defined path. For me, when I was a sales trainee with Sheraton Corporation, I went through the Sheraton Sales Training Program which gave me the training I needed to deliver on the brand promise and create loyal customers. This comprehensive training program outlined a precise plan for the skills I needed to understand and deliver a service-oriented culture unique to the brand itself. We understood the plan, the path and what was needed to grow in our career, and it was our personal responsibility to deliver results.

As a result of participating in this core development, I think I was more prepared to take on new challenges, assume roles of greater responsibility, volunteer on executive boards and ultimately lead service organizations into their next phases of strategic growth.

Times have changed. Sure, there are still orientation programs, certification processes and leadership training for the chosen few, but the instances of immersive, talent development programs are dwindling.

IAEE takes special pride in creating a series of leadership programs for professionals in the exhibitions and events industry. Whether you are a young professional or a seasoned professional, there are always opportunities to learn from each other, and a multi-generational platform enriches the experience.

We provide a multi-year tailored education program for everyone who aspires to be involved with IAEE and obtain an industry or organizational leadership role. As many in the industry know, industry pioneer and leader Robert Krakoff was an inspiration to many who have become successful organizing their own exhibitions today. Upon his passing many years ago, IAEE chose to honor him in naming its leadership events for him thus creating the Krakoff Leadership Institute and for those more advanced in their careers, the Krakoff Advanced Leadership Institute was born.

The Leadership Institutes provide participants with the intelligence and connection they will need as tomorrow’s industry leaders. Both programs offer emerging leaders the opportunity to learn from industry experts while enjoying the intimacy of a small group learning environment designed to build lasting relationships. Individuals come together to learn more about themselves so they can get involved and become effective strategists, contributors, facilitators and the innovators. This highly-interactive curriculum integrates theory and practice to ensure institute participants leave capable of both thinking better and doing better in their careers and ultimately making a positive impact on the industry. Regardless of which country a person resides and in what level position they currently hold, both of these programs will enrich one’s career by providing insights on their leadership strengths and areas for growth. Many alumni of the Leadership Institutes have served in key leadership positions for IAEE Chapters, the IAEE Board of Directors and even as Chairperson of the Board – so we know they work!

In addition to the rich program that centers on personal leadership, work styles, team building, communication skills, conflict resolution, DISC training and strategic thinking, there are multiple group projects and idea shares that allow participants to connect with each other and form the business relationships that will last throughout their careers.

One unique highlight of the Leadership Institutes is the selection of the Legend of the Industry. Seven individuals have received this honor, and this year, Doug Ducate, former President and CEO of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research has been chosen. He will share his background, expertise and best practices about exhibition management, the importance of a career in the exhibitions and events industry and the rewards of leadership with the group. With Doug’s background and passion for the industry, I am sure that attendees will appreciate his mentorship of the group.

In August, in collaboration with the IAEE Southeast Chapter, we will hold the Krakoff Leadership Institute and IAEE Krakoff Advanced Leadership Institute in Savannah, Ga. If there is one investment you can make in your leadership development this year, I would encourage you to attend – your personal ROI will be priceless.

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President and CEO

Posted by Elizabeth McQuade

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