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A Promising Outlook in 2024

Marie Browne
IAEE Chairperson Marie Browne welcomes the new year by sharing her vision for IAEE and the industry in 2024.

Editorial Note: Originally published in the January 2024 issue of Trade Show Executive magazine.

As the 2024 IAEE Chairperson, I am thrilled to serve in this position as our industry transitions into a year that is ripe with potential. For the past two years, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) has consistently noted in its quarterly industry performance reports that we can look forward to leaving the hard-hitting effects of the pandemic behind as shows are fully expected to return to their pre-pandemic levels in 2024. I am optimistic that – even better – the industry will deliver increasing reports of surpassing those levels as the year progresses.

This year holds significant promise for us, as we continue to adapt and innovate in response to a rapidly evolving business landscape. Our industry is embracing groundbreaking developments that will advance and grow our shows in the coming years, and it is an exciting time to be a part of where these advancements will take us.

Technology continues to be a driving force behind the success of many (if not most) industries, and ours is no exception. This year, we can expect to see further integration of cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) within our events. These advancements will enhance attendee engagement through interactive experiences and allow for unprecedented levels of personalization.

As environmental awareness continues to grow, our industry is actively striving to play its part in reducing its ecological footprint. While it is true that it has taken us a little while to figure out exactly how to go about it, we expect continued efforts on behalf of many shows to increase and/or improve their sustainability practices. This is being done in various ways, including increased eco-friendly venues, incorporating green technology into our events, and adopting sustainable event management processes to reduce waste and conserve energy.

All initiatives rely on collaboration and partnership, which are key drivers of success for any industry. Fortunately for us, our industry is adept at fostering meaningful collaboration among stakeholders including event organizers, vendors and sponsors. I can attest that IAEE has consistently driven collaboration via partnerships with our fellow industry organizations and will continue to do so in 2024. By bringing diverse perspectives together, we can collectively address industry challenges, share best practices and drive innovation.

Workforce development has been a strong area of focus for our industry that will continue in the coming year. By investing in upskilling initiatives, executive leaders empower their team members to adapt to new technologies, trends and market demands, ultimately benefiting the industry as a whole. Trade associations play a critical role in providing relevant training opportunities, certifications and resources to support the ongoing professional development of industry practitioners.

Finally, we can expect to continue to see our industry strive to create more inclusive and diverse environments that reflect the values and demographics of our global society. By actively promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, we foster creativity, innovation and rich cultural exchanges. I highly encourage show organizers to prioritize diverse representation among speakers, exhibitors and attendees to promote equal opportunities for all. I also encourage executive leaders to increase their workforce and organizational potential by applying the DE&I advantage to their recruitment and hiring practices.

I look forward to what I feel confident will be an exceptional year ahead for the exhibitions and events industry. We have demonstrated our resilience and commitment to lifting each other up in solidarity and our love for what we do. I am proud to share in this incredible work with all of you and wish you an outstanding year ahead.

Happy new year!

Marie Browne
2024 IAEE Chairperson
Group Vice President

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