Originally published in Trade Show Executive, January 2016 Edition
For many of us, January marks a time of reflection and assessment. At IAEE Headquarters this is particularly true, as we celebrate another highly successful Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition, held this past December in Baltimore, Maryland. The feedback we have received from attendees has been phenomenal; it is very fulfilling to know IAEE delivered the great experience we set out to accomplish.
The focus of Expo! Expo! centered around providing the utmost value to attendees, exhibitors and IAEE members. The education sessions were as diverse as their intended audiences, addressing the gamut of experience levels and job functions. However varied those may be, a common thread among them is the role that technology plays in all facets of how we do business. Staying on top of tech trends is very much a shared objective across the board, as we saw with the popularity of the TechCenter Showcase on the show floor. The Expo! Expo! mobile app proved invaluable to attendees, as it allowed for on-the-spot networking and up-to-the-moment notifications of event activities.
There were so many incredible moments during the event – and in the whole of 2015 for that matter – that I highly encourage you to see them for yourself at The Exhibitions Channel, produced by Convention News Television. CNTV has wrapped up a year’s worth of industry achievement at http://video.theexhibitionschannel.com and it is a perfect way to warm up for the goals and objectives we have lined up in 2016, because yes, we are ready to make it another banner year in the exhibitions and events industry!
The IAEE Board of Directors is reviewing and updating our strategic plan, which encompasses three years of initiatives and goals. I can already tell you that among them is the continuation of the progress we have made in our advocacy and education efforts through the Exhibitions Mean Business Campaign. We will debut Global Exhibitions Week in June as part of IAEE’s third annual Exhibitions Day activities in Washington, D.C. Global Exhibitions Week will serve to expand on the message that is making headway among our government as to the value proposition of our industry and impact we have on the overall economy – not only in the U.S., but around the globe.
Continuing with the theme of grassroots efforts, we are anticipating a great response from IAEE members to the Chapter Challenge set forth by Visit Anaheim President and CEO Jay Burress during Expo! Expo!’s Annual Networking and Awards Luncheon on 3 December. The challenge extends to IAEE chapter members to partner with organizations within the cities of their corresponding exhibitions and events, and to give back to the local community as part of their event activities. It is a true representation of the Golden Rule, and an acknowledgement of how the industry and local communities hold a genuinely reciprocating relationship. IAEE Chapters will connect quarterly to share the stories, successes and impacts that each chapter has made. This presents an opportunity unlike any other to engage in hands-on advocacy for our industry.
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View the IAEE Chapter Event’s Calendar
2016 is going to be another milestone year for the exhibitions and events industry, and IAEE has hit the ground running. I invite you to join us in promoting and advancing this powerful industry of ours, which as noted by both 2015 IAEE Chairperson Megan Tanel, CEM and 2016 IAEE Chairperson Julie Smith, CTA, CEM during Expo! Expo!, is now recognized as its own career path by the U.S. Department of Labor (yet another breakthrough for the industry in 2015). We are off to a great start and, true to form, moving at full speed ahead. Happy New Year!
David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO