By Mary Tucker, Sr. PR/Communications Manager
IAEE Expo! Expo! Advisory Committee member Alice Mathu, CEM, CMP has honed her expertise in sales, logistics, project oversight and event management over her 16 years with IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry. IAAPA serves a diverse and dynamic community of professionals representing permanently located attractions including amusement and theme parks, attractions, water parks, resorts, zoos, aquariums, museums, sciences centers and cruise lines, and the manufacturers and suppliers that support them.
Alice joined the association as an Expo and Conference Coordinator in 2006, and has served as Exhibition Sales and Services Executive, Manager, Senior Manager, and as Senior Director of Sales and Exhibitor Marketing. Now, as IAAPA’s Vice President of Trade Sales, she oversees IAAPA’s global exhibit, advertising, and sponsorship pricing strategy for IAAPA’s events, works on sponsorship programs and packages as well as new revenue opportunities.
Alice holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in community development with a minor in communications from Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya. She has a certificate in event management from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in addition to her CEM and CMP certifications. In addition to IAEE, she is a member of Meeting Planner International (MPI), Major American Trade Show Organizer (MATSO) and attends PCMA events.
Alice enjoys being in the “business of fun” and lives in Orlando, Florida. Here, she shares why she believes Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2022 is THE PLACE TO BE and why she looks forward to being at Expo! Expo! in Louisville, Kentucky on 13-15 December.
IAEE: What are your favorite aspects about the education sessions at Expo! Expo!?
Alice: Attending education sessions at Expo! Expo! is one of the primary reasons why I attend the event. Firstly, having the CEM courses at the beginning of the week helps me and my colleagues attend courses that might be harder to fit into our schedule during the year. What a great way to get certified/recertified and earn your CEM.
The education sessions provide an opportunity to keep up with latest trends and best practices within our industry and tap into the knowledge of the speaker. They tend to highlight the problems show organizers are experiencing and offer nice tips that can be applied as one begins the new year. My favorite aspect of the sessions is engaging with other industry peers during a session or immediately following to exchange ideas.
IAEE: What stands out to you when you walk the Expo! Expo! show floor?
Alice: Walking on the show floor enables me to see a lot of our existing partners, and learn about new products and technologies they have acquired. I particularly enjoy visiting new exhibits and that I map out well in advance of my arrival. The various pavilions such as the Global and Tech pavilion or the CNTV and CEM lounge give one a VIP feel to be able to network in an exclusive area for like-minded people.
IAEE: What do you enjoy most about the networking activities at Expo! Expo!?
Alice: Networking events provide an atmosphere at the end of the day to interact with industry peers. I particularly like the exhibitor hospitality hours and having to jump from one event to the next. The invite-only meetings provide a more focused moment to really dive deep on issues, learn from one another and remain as a resource for each other way past the end of Expo! Expo!.
IAEE: What are some of your favorite moments from past Expo! Expo! experiences?
Alice: I really enjoyed Expo! Expo! in Vegas (2019). First, it was in Vegas (need I say more?). The sessions were so top-notch that it was hard to pick and choose which ones to attend, as the tracks were relevant to everything we were planning that year. The Orange County Convention Center/Visit Orlando hospitality party was also cool. I got to see all my partners in one place, and they had excellent food and drink. It was really an evening to remember. Finally, some of the vendors we met in the Tech area are now partners of our association and offering solutions that have helped improve our show.
IAEE: What are you looking forward to experiencing at this year’s Expo! Expo! in Louisville, KY?
Alice: The opening reception at Churchill Downs!
IAEE: What inspired you to serve on this year’s Expo! Expo! Advisory Committee?
Alice: IAEE is an association that has given me so much professional expertise through CEM courses, webinars and other events throughout the year. Volunteering on a committee enables me to learn more in-depth about the operation of the association, solve problems and provide strategic input that can enhance how business gets run through information exchange.
Registration is open for this year’s Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2022. Get the BE SMART RATE before it ends on 1 November and prepare to experience THE PLACE TO BE in the exhibitions and events industry this December!