By Melinda Hill, on Feb 18, 2019
You couldn’t help but notice the JWU connections at the recent Expo! Expo! held in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dubbed the “show for shows,” it’s the must-attend event for anyone plugged–in to the exhibitions and events field to learn about the latest trends, technology and tools of the trade while networking with like-minded enthusiasts.
Expo! Expo! is the annual meeting and exhibition of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the largest association for the industry in the world. More than 2,300 people from 26 countries attended the latest event, which offered education sessions rich with insight and expertise on topics ranging from strategy, design and marketing, to management and leadership.
On location were a group of JWU alumni who worked collectively on designing and setting up the exhibition. Students that attended include Jolyne Doyle ’20, who works for IAEE, and Courtney Daniels ’21, who was recognized as an IAEE scholarship recipient during the event. Supporting the students was Associate Professor Andrew Fraser, who is the faculty advisor to the JWU IAEE Student Chapter and chair of the IAEE Faculty Advisory Task Force. Fraser was also the 2015 IAEE Educator of the Year.
SEEM Students Awarded Scholarships
Daniels and Rita Ellis ’20 (who was not able to attend the event) were named as winners of the Helen Brett Scholarship, given to students whose studies focus on event and exhibition management. Both students are Sports, Entertainment, Event — Management (SEEM) majors, and both became interested in events at an early age.
Daniels, a double gold-medal-winner for U.S. Figure Skating in 2017, first experienced the excitement of events when she began competing as an 8-year-old. She’s grateful for the scholarship and the opportunity to attend the Expo in person.
“Receiving the Helen Brett Scholarship and going to IAEE’s Expo! Expo! was invaluable,” said Daniels. “I was able to explore my interest in exhibitions and events management further, attend education sessions and see the latest industry trends. I also connected with industry professionals and networked far outside of the classroom.”
Ellis also became interested in working on events at a young age when she began volunteering for nonprofit events including decorating and creating themed fundraising events for a homeless shelter. Like Daniels, Ellis appreciates the benefits of the scholarship for her education and future career.
“I’m grateful for this scholarship and confident that it’s a big stepping stone toward my future goals. I realize that through my drive and determination I can make big accomplishments, and I thank the Helen Brett Scholarship Foundation … for helping to pay for my education and opening my eyes to all that the exhibition and events industry has to offer.”
Alumni Play Key Role in Expo! Expo!
Another shout out for JWU at the Expo was the group of alumni who helped make it a success. Seven of them are SEEM graduates, and one is an MBA alum. They all work for T3 Expo, the service contractor in charge of the design and set up of Expo! Expo!
- Maren Cameron ’05, Account Executive
- Katelin Coyne ’14, Estimator, Finance Project Manager, Custom Exhibits
- Pete Crepeau ’07, Director of Operations
- Lexie Hostetler ’17, Exhibitor Services Project Manager
- Sarah Lilley ’12, Account Executive
- Greg McCormack ’05 MBA, Vice President of Sales
- Patrick McGlynn ’09, Account Executive / Sales
- Kasey Webb ’16, Account Executive
An extra highlight of the Expo was the alumni reconnecting with Associate Professor Andrew Fraser and getting to know the current students who attended.
“As a professor, it’s rewarding to see former students at IAEE Expo! Expo! A few years ago I was chaperoning them as students to the conference. Now they’re excelling in their careers in the exhibition and events industry and representing their company on the show floor,” said Fraser. “As alumni, they embraced the opportunity to meet with current students to give them insight into the industry and offer them career advice. Making a difference and giving back is what it’s all about.”