Originally published in Trade Show Executive, February 2016 Edition
As some of you have heard me say, the “I” in IAEE is not just a letter; it stands for a concept that IAEE is steadfastly growing and nurturing the international community within the exhibitions and events industry. I recently returned from Paris, where I met with key members of various international organizations and had the opportunity to help develop an exciting new idea we are taking on a global scale.
It is a subject near and dear to me, as one of IAEE’s primary functions is to promote the value that face-to-face interaction brings to the overall business paradigm. One of the challenges our industry faces is the idea that distance may inhibit our ability to take advantage of the unique return on investment that bringing buyers and sellers together in a face-to-face marketplace. So when I meet with industry leaders from across the globe to discuss ways in which we can join together and build an even stronger international community, well, I must admit it’s pretty cool.
IAEE is no stranger to the international scene. We’ve spent decades solidifying our foreign ties as is reflected in the reciprocity agreements we have for education, training and information exchange with more than 23 organizations worldwide. We work with our global partners to guide us on the needs and growing trends affecting them on a local level, as well as how they relate to the global scene to which we all belong. It was only a matter of time before the need for a unifying voice emerged to pull it all together.
Which brings me to Paris. I joined colleagues from France, Lebanon, Poland and Russia at UFI Headquarters for a global task force meeting to prepare for the first ever Global Exhibitions Day that will take place on 8 June 2016. The goal of Global Exhibitions Day is to spread the word worldwide that exhibitions really do mean business and that there is really no better way to conduct business than face-to-face. Our highly successful Exhibitions Day initiative, also taking place on 8 June in Washington, D.C. again, will be one of many initiatives taking place around the world. This will be the third year for Exhibitions Day as show organizers and key suppliers meet with leaders of Congress to discuss current issues affecting the exhibitions and event community.
Another international initiative underway is Global Connect, our collaboration with Trade Show Executive. IAEE is the proud exclusive strategic partner in this hosted buyer event that will bring together qualified U.S. show organizers looking to expand abroad with exhibition and convention centers from outside the Unites States. Global Connect takes place on 13-15 July 2017 in Las Vegas and promises to serve up boundless opportunities for industry members to either break new ground, or advance, their exhibitions and events in the global market.
Summer is heating up and it’s only February!
What this means for you is that now more than ever is the time to contribute to the advancement and awareness of our industry. If you have not shared your story to the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign as to how you’ve experienced the value of face-to-face events, then there is no time like the present. Whether your experience was on the home front or overseas, the effectiveness of spreading the word about how powerful our industry is cannot be overstated.
2016 is already shaping up to be a very good year for reaching new heights in our industry. I’ve thrown my hat in the ring, have you? The momentum and realm of possibilities is truly exciting and I encourage you to join us!
David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO