Originally published by TSNN on 30 December 2018

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events’ Expo! Expo! Annual Meeting & Exhibition attracted more than 2,300 attendees representing 26 countries (pending verified audit) to the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

“I cannot think of a better way to celebrate IAEE’s 90th anniversary than with the Expo! Expo! we had last week,” said IAEE President and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA.

He added, “The diversity in learning experiences offered, combined with one of our largest trade show floors ever and outstanding networking events in wonderful locations, provided attendees with information and resources that will serve them well in 2019 and beyond.”

IAEE’s annual conference kicked off Dec. 11 with preconference education, the Opening General Session and the CEM Class of 2018 Presentation.

Lieutenant Gov. of Louisiana Billy Nungesser presented DuBois and attendees with a proclamation declaring last week Exhibitions and Events Week 2018. I

AEE recognized this year’s 304 graduates to date of the CEM Learning Program (international courses are pending), who joined the ranks of the more than 3,000 CEMs worldwide who have earned and maintained their designation.

Strategic futurist Nancy Giordano gave audience members a glimpse into the future of technology and business practices during her keynote presentation, followed by members being led to the trade show floor in true New Orleans style by a second line jazz band featuring Dancing Man 504.

This year’s Expo! Expo! exhibition was the largest in 17 years, featuring a sold-out showfloor with 298 exhibitors in 41,400 net square feet of sold exhibit space and more than 15,000 sq. ft. of on-show floor education and networking activations.

Attendees closed the evening at the Krewe Party Opening Reception where they enjoyed the spirit of New Orleans at Mardi Gras World.

The General Session featured entrepreneur Mandy Rennehan who energized and inspired audience members with her “respectfully uncensored” message of staying true to one’s creative and professional passions.

The same day, attendees, along with founding sponsor GES, helped raise $16,000 at the 10th annual Humanity Rocks: A Celebration with a Cause held at the House of Blues New Orleans.

Proceeds benefit Kingsley House, an organization that has served New Orleans since 1896 through its commitment to ensuring that individuals and families have the supports necessary to be successful at all stages of life.

The Annual Networking Luncheon and Awards Ceremony recognized graduates of the IAEE Robert L. Krakoff Leadership Institute, 20 Under 30 honorees, Platinum Circle inductees, winners of IAEE’s Art of the Show Competition, Helen Brett Scholarship recipients and Bob Dallmeyer Education Fund grant recipients.

The recipients of IAEE’s individual awards were also honored with a special presentation.

August Robotics was announced as the winner of the second annual Tech Start Up Competition.

This year, IAEE collaborated with the Experiential Designers and Producers Association (EDPA) in its first ever Student Design Competition.

Students from FIT and Bemidji State University were tasked with developing an activation theme, space and structure design, and pre- and post-show audience engagement ideas for a “brand activation” that aligns with IAEE’s objectives and to be featured at Expo! Expo! 2019 in Las Vegas.

Fifteen students submitted proposals and design, and the three finalists were featured on the Expo! Expo! show floor.

A panel of judges from EDPA, Exhibitor Group and IAEE selected Kylee Beaver from Bemidji State University as the winner of this year’s competition, which was announced during the luncheon as well.

2018 IAEE Chairperson Daniel McKinnon, CEM recapped IAEE’s successes during the year, then passed the gavel to 2019 Chairperson Tom Cindric, Jr., CEM who discussed his vision for the coming year. Cindric emphasized the changing trade show model, increasing IAEE’s global presence, and the expansion of IAEE’s CEM Learning Program and Women’s Initiatives.

Expociety, the closing event for Expo! Expo!, provided attendees with the perfect platform to further develop connections made at the event, as well as create new ones that will flourish at next year’s meeting.

Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2019 will be held Dec. 3-5 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Posted by Shay Sibley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.