Joe Federbush, President & Chief Strategist, of EVOLIO Marketing
Hometown: New York, NY
University of Education: Monmouth University (undergrad); Columbia University (Current, MBA)
How long have you been an IAEE member? 15+ years
IAEE Chapter: New York Chapter
How did you start your career in this industry?
I unknowingly started in this industry early on while in high school, working at Exhibit Surveys, in the mailroom, stuffing envelopes with surveys to tradeshow attendees and exhibitors (pre-Internet) and sending research reports to clients. I got intrigued by the business, read the research reports I was mailing, and constantly wanted to learn more about it, evolving me into every possible role within the company while there for 25+ years. Again, early on, seeing the staff constantly traveling had me really interested in learning more, attending shows, learning the ins and outs, and ultimately conducting, marketing, and selling tradeshow and event strategy and research.
How has IAEE shaped your career?
IAEE has been a huge asset in shaping my career in many ways. When I was new to the industry, I met other newbies that I’m still tight with 15+ years later. Additionally, IAEE introduced me to many event marketing professionals that unofficially mentored me and shared a lot of their wisdom and war stories. Lastly, IAEE contributed to inspiring me to want to pursue a career in the event marketing because of the dedication, loyalty and longevity it has, and members have, with the industry.
What advice would you give to a new member?
Network! IAEE makes networking easy, and fun. IAEE members are not cliquey and they are extremely inviting, making it easy to meet and connect with new people. Networking is not easy for some and can be really intimidating. Between MemberLink, local chapters, Welcome Wednesdays, online meetups/Coffee Talks, and Expo! Expo! networking becomes second nature because you get to cross paths with many of the same people, who introduce you to their peers and so on.
Fun fact about you – What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
The first time I ever spoke at an event and owned the stage was at an NYIAEE Chapter Meeting about 12 years ago. So many people attended to support me. UGH – it was a flop looking back. But worth it. I received a lot of encouraging feedback which motivated me to speak whenever possible until this day.
What do you like most about your chapter?
What I like most, and miss most, are the NYIAEE Chapter Holiday Party and the Summer Outing. Both are always great times, so much fun, and raise money for great causes
What community service projects do you like to be involved in? Why?
Mentoring – not just event industry-related stuff, but on health/wellness and encouraging people to push themselves and work hard at things they enjoy
What would you say is the #1 IAEE member benefit?
The #1 IAEE member benefit is the abundance of education — and to take advantage of all of the various forms offered. IAEE does not pump out cliché, dated, or old news. It’s literally the most up-to-date and relevant industry information out there, and it’s not editorialized or commercialized for profit. 2020 and 2021 have been an absolute nightmare for our industry, and IAEE has consistently published news, education, and information to keep us current, learn from one another, stay connected, and stay motivated. I love MemberLink and how members get to share their actual experiences. IAEE advocacy initiatives like Exhibitions Mean Business and the Events Industry Council constantly have news on the economic impact of events and is the voice to Washington, DC via activities like Exhibitions Day. The IAEE CEM Professional Designation and Certification program is top-notch and again, the sessions and topics are relevant and current, along with the ongoing webinars always available on-demand.
What do you like most about Expo! Expo!?
Expo! Expo! is awesome on so many levels. First and foremost is the event is fun, followed by all of the networking opportunities and education/sessions. Put them all together and it’s a great use of a few days, no matter how long you’ve been in the industry.
How do you use CEIR research, and what reports have you downloaded?
I consider CEIR research to be one of the most important IAEE member benefits and industry resources. I am a data geek, and data is the foundation of my business. I refer to CEIR data constantly to help my clients and evolve my business strategy. I suggest every IAEEE member, and really anyone in the industry, take advantage of CEIR reports, review the reports library, and read them. Finally, CEIR – I consider to be the best educational resource as a member and as a data geek. I refer to CEIR data constantly to help my clients and develop my business strategy. In the last month alone, I’ve downloaded and read the following five reports: A Briefing on the Current U.S. Economic Environment (May 2021), CEIR Global Virtual Event Trends Reports (Part 1 and 2), CEIR Marketing Spend Decision Report, and Matchmaking Before & During COVID-19: How North American B2B Exhibition Organizers Use Technology to Connect People and Products.
Without using a specific company name, what new technology on the market can you just not live without? Why?
For me and my business personally, AI (artificial intelligence) is critical. The smarter survey platforms and features being introduced make research more relevant and impactful. We’re now using AI to recommend the right types of survey questions to ask based on objectives, and to group responses to open-ended questions into similar categories, which saves a lot of time and money, and increases accuracy. This leads to more efficient research timelines, helps control prices, and helps drive more relevant event industry benchmarks, which most organizers and exhibitors crave.
On an industry-level, so many online event platform companies have really stepped up their game by improving the UX/UI, reporting/metrics, and networking options. While they’ll never replace in-person, it’s a good option for what we’ve been through due to the pandemic and as we move to hybrid, at least for the time being.