As we wind down from another trip around the sun, it is natural to reflect upon our accomplishments in the past year. For IAEE, 2018 was particularly special as we celebrated our 90th anniversary. I see this not only as a milestone for IAEE, but for exhibitions and events as a whole given that IAEE’s victories are, after all, victories for us all. With that in mind, I would like to focus on the successes we can all celebrate from 2018.

This year, the industry celebrated its fifth annual Exhibitions Day, which drew record attendance. As a single voice, we converged upon Capitol Hill to address online booking scams, safety and security, travel facilitation, and infrastructure investment. We have already saved the date for 5 June 2019, so mark your calendars to be a part of the action!

The Exhibitions and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI) – now called Secure Venue – has continued to evolve as IAEE, along with industry partners ESCA and IAVM, have united more than 60 organizations in the effort to create safer environments for our shows. In addition, IAEE partnered with The Power Of Preparedness, LLC (TPOP) to create a customized learning experience addressing workplace violence complete with preparedness and response strategies as part of the Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) Learning Program.

This is also the season for looking toward the year ahead, including challenges we know we will face and accomplishments we hope to put in the books around this time next year. As I noted in last month’s column, one of the most interesting developments in 2018 has been the findings of the Edelman Trust Barometer.

For me, the biggest application of this information is the question of how we, as industry leaders, are going to answer to the call for providing reliable and trustworthy information to benefit our industry. Because we ultimately have the same goal: let’s grow our shows – since trade shows are the physical representation of the health of our industry – thus growing our industry!

Partnerships are one of the best avenues for achieving this. In 2018, a partnership was forged between IAEE, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) to form the Global MICE Collaborative. In 2019, this initiative will develop resources for exhibitions, meeting and event planning, and incentive travel to help strengthen and expand the MICE profession across the globe.

The power of education is undisputed when it comes to keeping things moving forward. This year, IAEE’s CEM Learning Program extended into nine additional countries in the Middle East. The new year will include the launch of an Advanced CEM Learning Program that will bring a very exciting opportunity for the more than 3,000 industry professionals worldwide currently boasting their CEM designations. The Women’s Leadership Forum is also seeing growth as 2019 will bring the addition of three half-day forums to the program.

Education has been, and remains, one of the pillars upon which IAEE’s strategic plan is built, and we aim to make good on our promise to stay on top of the latest industry trends and provide ample learning opportunities for members of our industry. Which is why we will also continue to fully support the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) in its mission to produce and deliver knowledge-based research tools specific to what matters most to trade shows.

We have an exciting year ahead!

So as I reflect on all of this, I am grateful for the amazing people that make up our industry. Without you, there would be no story to tell. Take a moment to congratulate yourself on the part you played in making 2018 a great year! I also invite you to think about the role you will play in elevating our industry in the coming year. Let’s remain engaged and involved in this next trip around our mighty sun to keep letting the world know just how much exhibitions mean business!

Happy holidays,

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

Posted by Shay Sibley

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