Originally published by Trade Show Executive, March 2018 Edition
Advocacy is something I focus on quite a bit and I am proud of the significant amount of headway we, as an industry, have made over just the past few years. When it comes to advocating on behalf of our industry the strength really does come in numbers, and IAEE has forged incredible relationships with other industry groups to create highly effective programs such as content generated through the Exhibitions Mean Business Campaign, annual Exhibitions Day, Global Exhibitions Day, and the Exhibitions and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI).
The most recent advance for our industry efforts has been the formation of the Visit U.S. Coalition, which unites a broad spectrum of trade groups representing thousands of businesses and millions of American jobs. Through research, messaging and advocacy it aims to share how deploying every tool available to the U.S. government – including the right policy and messaging approach – can restore our global competitiveness. I highly recommend you visit the Visit U.S. Coalition page to learn more about the coalition’s initiatives, as well as travel stats and how they affect the U.S. market.
One of the strongest assets in our advocacy mission (aside from your involvement and support) is the research used to tell the story of the value of our industry. And when it comes to research, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) plays a crucial role in reporting on not only the economic performance of the industry, but the more intricate aspects of what makes us tick such as attendee behaviors and engagement, show organizer marketing trends and exhibitor offerings.
The value proposition of obtaining the best return on investment (ROI) is constantly in motion all across the board, which is where steady and reliable research provides the leading edge. CEIR research tells us that every state in the U.S. has business-to-business exhibitions, hosting more than 33 million attendees each year and contributing over $80 billion to the U.S. GDP annually. This is a powerful story to relay the effectiveness of face-to-face marketing.
As I have mentioned in previous columns, advocacy is one of the pillars in IAEE’s strategic plan. We have expanded our Advocacy Committee to further develop the various approaches we are taking to promoting the importance our industry holds within domestic and global business exchanges. As you read this, the committee is preparing for this year’s Exhibitions Day taking place 5-6 June 2018 in Washington, D.C. Speaking of which, registration for Exhibitions Day is now open! Join more than 100 of your fellow exhibitions and events professionals for the opportunity to make your voice heard on Capitol Hill.
You can also act as the voice of the industry through the Exhibitions Mean Business Campaign. Do not forget about this dynamic platform for sharing the stories about how our industry impacts our ability to connect on a global level through the face-to-face business marketplace. The wealth of information available at www.exhibitionsmeanbusiness.org really drives home the value of our industry – I encourage you to use it! Remember, it is up to each and every one of us to promote the contribution our industry makes to global business segments each and every day.
Last month I talked about “showing up” to deliver your very best to your stakeholders. I cannot emphasize enough just how powerful an opportunity advocacy presents us with to “show up” for our industry. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish this year through the collaborative efforts that these opportunities afford us. Visit www.exhibitionsmeanbusiness.org and consider contributing to this important industry wide initiative.
Onward and upward!
David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO