Editorial Note: Originally published in the November 2021 issue of Trade Show Executive magazine.
It has been incredibly satisfying to see the return of face-to-face events over the past several months as the industry continues to navigate through the effects of COVID-19. At IAEE, we are extremely pleased to bring back the in-person experience at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition along with its accompanying digital experience for those unable to join us at the Philadelphia Convention Center this year.
As the industry pushes forward in coming together, it has been extremely important to exercise the utmost duty of care in providing the safest environment possible. In September, the IAEE Board of Directors voted to join a number of shows requiring in-person attendees to be fully vaccinated. This is just one of many safety measures we are working with our show partners to implement as we strive to offer the one-stop-shop experience that makes trade shows such an important business channel.
Given that Expo! Expo! is “the show for shows,” the content will focus on issues and strategies that attendees can immediately apply to their own efforts toward regaining their pre-pandemic momentum as well as achieve greater goals beyond pandemic-related concerns. As such, we have tailored education content for targeted audiences in order to maximize each attendee’s scope of interest and needs.
Whether attendees specialize in organizing business-to-business association or independent shows, organizing business-to-consumer and live events, providing services and products to the industry, show operations, sales and marketing, or international events, the content created will provide timely, relevant and actionable knowledge.
With a focus on topics that are top of mind for decision makers, high-level sessions will cover strategic skills needed for leaders and companies to respond to future challenges and weather crisis including cultivating content; communication and community; building networks with partners, exhibitors and attendees; and leading internal teams with empathy and optimism.
Expo! Expo! education programming will address a broad range of subjects including Attendee and Exhibitor Acquisition and Retention; Event Technologies; Leadership and Management; Operational Efficiencies; Partner Sales and Sponsorships; Research and Trends; Safety, Security and Risk Management; Show Design; and Wellness and Personal Care. As you can see, we have a robust program planned for attendees to leave fully armed to respond to future challenges.
It would not be Expo! Expo! without the networking opportunities that industry members look forward to year after year. We will continue our mindfulness toward health and safety at the general sessions and networking receptions, however we look forward to bringing our trade show community together in the ways that make Expo! Expo! such an eagerly anticipated event for members of our industry.
Those who are not able to physically join us in Philadelphia on 7-9 December will also find tremendous benefit in the digital Expo! Expo! which will be held simultaneously.
Streamed general sessions and mobile exhibitor sessions from the show floor on 7-8 December, along with pre-recorded content focused on event operations as well as global perspectives including the IAEE Asia Forum on 9 December, will round out the content experience. Sessions will focus on personal development as well as professional sessions diving into attendee acquisition and engagement, partner ROI, data analytics, departmental alignment and more.
Exhibitor-driven presentations will provide overviews of new products and services, and on 9 December, dedicated hours are planned for attendees to learn about solutions being offered by exhibiting companies connected digitally via IAEE’s MarketHub. Expo! Expo! exhibitors will have dedicated hours on the virtual platform for attendees to meet with them one-on-one or to browse through products/services.
On behalf of the IAEE Board of Directors and IAEE Team, we look forward to welcoming you next month in Philadelphia and online at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2021.
David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
IAEE President & CEO