By Tim Hemphill, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, New Orleans Morial Convention Center
I touched my first pipe and drape as soon as I was legal to work, over 40 years ago, having no idea at the time that there was a career path involved. Selling destinations became my fortuitous career and I’ve witnessed Expo! Expo! evolve. It has never been better. It has never been better to connect with existing clients and meet new prospects. It has been my experience that Expo! Expo! is where the “real” decision makers are to be found, with less peripheral distractions and more focus on doing business as trade shows are intended. I cannot recall ever returning home without a new lead or a surprise confirmation.
The Expo! Expo! Advisory Committee has listened to both the show organizer and supplier sides. The Committee has helped further shape the event to meet present-day expectations as they consider new technologies, compressed sales cycles and shrinking resources, both funding and staffing.
The Committee, as well as IAEE staff also understands that there may not ever be a new normal and has demonstrated the willingness to adjust annually to meet the industry’s needs. I’ve had the pleasure of serving on the Committee these past three years and have observed first-hand how the subject matter experts are committed to the future of Expo! Expo! I am now cycling off and wish my colleagues continued success in responding to the industry’s needs.
After many years at DMOs, I find myself back where I cut my teeth in the industry, at a Convention Center. And, New Orleans hosted Expo! Expo! in 2010 when our city was back on its feet after Hurricane Katrina. It was invaluable to showcase New Orleans to the 1,919 industry professionals attending the event and could not have been better timing. In 2018 New Orleans celebrates its 300th birthday and Expo! Expo! returns. New Orleans has never been better and the attendees will benefit from a multitude of celebrations that a tri-centennial brings.
Many IAEE members have honored New Orleans with their business over the years and can always be counted on as the ultimate professionals. Those who plan, produce and service the industry gather annually at Expo! Expo! and you should too.
See you in Baltimore!