Originally published by Trade Show Executive, April 2018 Edition

Last month I talked about the importance of advocacy, and how much value support from each and every member of this industry holds toward our continued success. But support goes both ways and as I noted in February, I feel it’s important for industry associations to make sure we uphold our end of the commitment we make to our members. With this in mind, IAEE devotes a considerable amount of its strategic plan to supporting key stakeholders.

One of the biggest challenges facing our industry is attracting the next generation of the workforce. As many of us in the industry can attest, the pattern has been to “fall into” a career in exhibitions and events. Even then, most of us didn’t know exactly how to describe what we do, much less tell someone how to actively choose to do it!

This hurdle gave rise to the extensive process of establishing exhibitions and events as its own industry sector with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Through the creation of a competency model, we are now able to define a career path for new talent considering what profession to pursue. Our skills matrix model is being used by universities and institutes of higher learning to perform a gap analysis used to develop their curricula to match the DOL’s model for today’s jobs.

But that’s just the beginning. Once young professionals enter the industry, we must keep them engaged. Which is why IAEE has developed an array of specialized programs and activities geared toward YPs. One of the most impressive traits of our YPs is the enthusiasm with which they approach these opportunities – talk about taking the bull by the horns!

YPs are quite literally the future of our industry, and their motivation is the stuff great leaders are made of. Again, we support that ambition – from all our members – with programs such as the Krakoff Leadership Institute, which provides an intense experience in an environment tailored to professionals who are driven to push the limits of what they can contribute to the industry.

The Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) designation offers yet another avenue for motivated individuals, since it is globally recognized as one’s commitment to upholding the highest level of professional standard to the industry. Taught by industry experts who maintain their own CEM designations, our CEM Faculty supports more than 2,600 graduates of the CEM Learning Program all over the world and counting!

Another key faction of our industry is the female professional. Women’s initiatives hold great priority for us and has led to the creation of the annual Women’s Leadership Forum, as well as a dedicated task force focused on programming throughout the year and learning experiences at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition.

Although the business-to-business sector comprises the majority of our membership, IAEE is committed to representing the equally important business-to-consumer sector. This month brings the launch of the inaugural IAEELive Consumer Events Forum, which will key in on outside-the-box thinking and strategies most relevant to organizers of consumer-focused shows and live events.

Another equally important constituency is the major trade show organizer. The MATSO Spring Program in May is an annual collaboration between the IAEE MATSO Council and a MATSO event that focuses on the common interests and issues unique to shows featuring 200,000 net square feet or more of exhibition space.

The team work involved in all of these endeavors epitomize support! Our industry is all about mutually beneficial relationships and you achieve the best results when you are 100% “in.” To me that means making sure we’ve got you covered – wherever you fall within the spectrum.

How do you support your industry?

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


Posted by Elizabeth McQuade

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