The Power of Advocacy and Why You Need to Get Involved

Originally published by Trade Show Executive September 2017 Edition

In July, I wrote about our advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill during the fourth annual Exhibitions Day. Let me start by emphasizing once again how important advocacy is and why you should get involved. The exhibitions and events industry contributed more than $80 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2016. There are exhibitions in all 50 states and the industry sees more than 33 million attendees at business-to-business shows with 1.35 million exhibiting companies. The exhibitions industry is a force to be reckoned with and through advocacy, we continually beat the drum that exhibitions mean business. Out of the success of Exhibitions Day, Global Exhibitions Day was born and now takes place with more than 75 countries participating in activities to promote the exhibitions industry.

During the 2017 Exhibitions Day on June 6-7 in Washington, D.C., attendees met with U.S. representatives to emphasize the importance of fair and free trade, raise awareness for the economic power of trade shows and discuss specific issues that are directly impacting the industry’s ability to conduct business. These issues included Protecting Brand USA; Rebuilding America’s Airport Infrastructure Act – H.R. 1265; Exhibitions and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI); and Stop Online Booking Scams Act – H.R. 2495 and S. 1164.

On July 18, the House Appropriations Committee passed the FY18 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill, which noted the redirection of Brand USA would not be supported. The bill is currently on the House floor.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a funding boost for the Department of Transportation (DOT) in July, which includes raising the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) from $4.50 to $8.50. The bill will move to the full U.S. House.

The Exhibitions and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI) is in its final iteration with a targeted completion date of early October. Once completed, hundreds of convention centers will be requesting certification from the DHS SAFETY Act Office – a significant undertaking that would require immense time and resources.

Since Exhibitions Day, 20 additional Members of Congress have agreed to co-sponsor H.R. 2495 and S. 1164.

It is important to also note that 2017 attendees told me and staff that these representatives and their office staff remembered our group. This is key because as you know, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Stay tuned this fall for additional efforts by the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign including a post-Exhibitions Day advocacy strategy that includes ways to contact Members of Congress regarding the issues we addressed this past June. Also mark your calendars for the 2018 Exhibitions Day taking place on June 6.

Equally important is the work we do on the state level. In August, the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign exhibited at the National Conference of State Legislatures which saw more than 1,000 staffers from all 50 states. The campaign is heavily involved with destination management organizations (DMOs) when the issue of discriminatory legislation is put forth during state sessions, most recently in Texas.

I will leave you with this final thought. We all have a responsibility to promote the value of face-to-face events. Whether you join me on Capitol Hill each June, have an event focused outside the US for Global Exhibitions Day, or simply post information on social media about exhibitions, it is vital to keep the positive message going that Exhibitions Mean Business! Visit for blogs, advocacy toolkits and quarterly campaign reports.

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO





Expo! Expo! Sneak Peak

Originally published by Trade Show Executive August 2017 Edition

I always enjoy writing this month’s article because I get to officially tell you about all the great new things we have planned for attendees at this year’s Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition. I can confidently say that IAEE is in a unique position to provide attendees what no other organization can, and that is the “show for shows.” But if we step back for a moment, isn’t that what we’re all trying to do? To create that definitive “something” that makes our organizations and, ultimately, our shows THE event to attend in your specific industry? Planning for each year’s Expo! Expo! starts more than a year out from show date and I am truly grateful for the awesome staff that not only puts on the “show for shows,” but brings you, the exhibitions and events community, year-round content and programming that is timely and relevant.

It’s All About Connections at this year’s Expo! Expo! on 28-30 November in San Antonio, Texas. This theme has given us plenty to think about, and we have taken the opportunity to focus on the feedback we have received from members on the areas of interest that are at the top of most people’s “meeting wish list” right now.

One of the accomplishments we are most proud of is the reputation Expo! Expo! has built on its exceptional education programming and networking opportunities, making it the “show for shows.” Our Education Committee received more than 130 session proposals this year! The vast expanse of information presented helped us hone in on the following three areas of development: research informed; data guided; and experience design, all infused with technology and innovation in mind.

Expo! Expo! continues its strong commitment to providing the most diverse product mix marketplace in the industry and as the leading industry platform for innovative solutions. The Tech Start Up Program, now in its third year, will design greater experiences for attendees to interact and engage with emerging technologies. The attendee and exhibitor mobile app and beacon tech will provide a brand-new user experience that will enhance connections with peers and give greater insight and interaction with show content. New show technology partners have come into the mix, further emphasizing Expo! Expo! as the tech laboratory for the industry.

Other new initiatives created to enhance the Connections made at Expo! Expo! include the Women’s Leadership Experience, sponsored by Experient, which will include a panel discussion with a life-hack gathering activity; a unique, communal learning and networking experience that will include six rounds of 15-minute discussions on various topics such as Ask the Expert, Leadership and Personal Development, Technology Use Cases and Personal Style Inspiration; and special programming for university/college students and faculty.

View the Expo! Expo! Schedule at a Glance!

In the coming months, I will be delving further into the new ideas and concepts we are exploring at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2017. In the meantime, visit the Expo! Expo! website at

I look forward to connecting with you in San Antonio this November!

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO

The Voice of the Industry on Capitol Hill

Originally published by Trade Show Executive July 2017 Edition

For the past several months, I have been talking about the importance of advocating for the exhibitions and events industry at the grass roots and national levels. Last month, members of the industry came together for the fourth annual Exhibitions Day where we present our key interests to representatives of the U.S. Congress. On 6-7 June, 112 Exhibitions Day attendees made their voices heard on Capitol Hill with 84 meetings, 12 of which were at the member level. The overarching message of Exhibitions Day was the promotion of free and fair trade.

Promoting Free and Fair Trade

This call to action emphasizes the importance of business travel: its role in generating economic growth and job creation through Brand USA, a federally supported organization that promotes the U.S. overseas as a business and tourist destination. President Trump’s FY2018 budget proposal calls for the elimination of funding for the program, which was responsible for adding $8.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016. Our call to action was to urge Congress to oppose any measures to defund Brand USA and recognize reduced funding as a measure that would hurt the health of our economy.

Another goal was to show our support for Investing in America: Rebuilding America’s Airport Infrastructure Act – H.R. 1265. According to the World Economic Forum’s annual competitiveness report, the U.S. ranks 11th in the world in infrastructure quality. Without proper travel, housing and dining infrastructure, it is impossible to attract trade shows. H.R. 1265 presents an action that could deliver an immediate and positive impact on infrastructure by generating billions of dollars in much-needed revenue through the removal of an outdated cap on the passenger facility charge (PFC), a fee that has not been changed since 2000 and does not reflect today’s inflation rates or capacity needs.

Ensuring Safety and Security at Exhibitions and Events

As an industry, we fully support the idea of enhancing safety and security measures to protect the U.S. from potential threats. We believe this requires active dialogue and participation from all parties, not just Congress. As I mentioned in April, IAEE and its membership have aligned with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Safety Act Office to develop the Exhibitions and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI). This initiative will produce a comprehensive security benchmark that aligns with the Department of Homeland Security’s SAFETY Act, helping create safer and more secure large-scale events, such as trade shows and exhibitions.

EMSSI is in its final iteration with a targeted completion date of early October. Once completed, we will have hundreds of convention centers requesting certification from the DHS SAFETY Act Office – a significant undertaking that would require immense time and resources. Our proposal to members of Congress was to consider the necessary resource needs of the DHS SAFETY Act Office to effectively foster the development and deployment of new anti-terrorism technologies as it begins budget talks for FY 2018.

Stopping Online Booking Scams

Upwards of 15 million fraudulent bookings are caused by these scams, resulting in more than $1.3 billion in lost revenue for hotels and money from consumers. The House and Senate have introduced H.R. 2495 and S. 1164 – Stop Online Booking Scams Act, which would prohibit websites from pretending to be the hotel and allow state attorneys general to pursue restitution and refunds on behalf of the victims. We urged lawmakers to co-sponsor and support H.R. 2495 and S. 1164, and empower the FTC to investigate this growing issue.

Global Exhibitions Day

On 7 June, the exhibitions industry also promoted Global Exhibitions Day – an industry wide collaboration that spans the globe. Exhibitions mean business in every country, as reflected in the growth of the industry around the world. Our international partners in this initiative have done a great job in spreading this message and we are very proud to play an integral part in the success of this initiative.

Next year’s Exhibitions Day will be held on June 5-6. I congratulate all who attended Exhibitions Day and urge everyone to continue spreading the message that Exhibitions Mean Business.

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO

Free and Open Trade is Valuable: Exhibitions and Events Mean Business

Originally published by Trade Show Executive June 2017

As I noted in last month’s column, the latest findings from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) report that the exhibitions and events industry generated $80 billion toward the U.S. GDP in 2016. According to the latest CEIR Census, more than 9,400 Business-to-Business (B2B) events were held in the U.S., drawing 33.2 million attendees to these B2B events.

These figures reflect the importance of our industry in the overall business market, which means that the current administration and Congress have a lot of decisions to make regarding our position on international trade in terms of how it affects the business of exhibitions and events. As they review U.S. international trade policies, their deliberations will influence trade shows that depend on inbound and outbound travel for international attendees and exhibitors.

One of the models that our industry strongly supports is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program (IBP). The IBP is a joint government-industry effort that brings thousands of international buyers to the United States for business-to-business matchmaking with U.S. firms exhibiting at major industry trade shows. As noted on the IBP website at, the program pre-screens potential buyers, representatives and distributors for increased compatibility. Participants in the program are also able to list their products and services in the Export Interest Directory, which is distributed to all international visitors.

The IBP also offers customized services such as:

  • “Plan and Assess” to develop an international business strategy;
  • “Promote and Expand” to increase your brand awareness and market exposure; and
  • “Export Successes” to learn how to achieve export sales.

Many of IAEE’s members have used this program to apply for grants and receive aid in funding pavilions for U.S. companies exhibiting abroad, for example, and working with U.S. embassies in foreign countries to drive promotions for upcoming events. The collaborative relationship that our industry has built with the U.S. government allows us to continue improving upon successes we have achieved through initiatives such as Exhibitions Day and the Exhibitions Mean Business Campaign.

The important thing to remember is that this is a relationship – meaning it depends on continued participation from our industry. We must, as an industry, continue to contribute our collective knowledge and voice so that programs such as the IBP can continue to support the key understandings that free and fair trade is vital to our economy and that exhibitions and events mean business. I strongly recommend visiting to find out more about the IBP, including how to apply.

Speaking of Exhibitions Day, I will have an update for you on this year’s event in next month’s column. I can tell you that some of the issues being addressed on Capitol Hill this year include safety and security, and improvements to travel infrastructure. Once again, IAEE and this year’s 20 participating industry organizations worked with our Advocacy Committee and Voices of Advocacy® Founder Roger Rickard to represent the interests of our thriving industry. This initiative is growing stronger each year, and I look forward to giving you the details of what we accomplished.

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO

Be the Voice of Your Industry

Originally published by Trade Show Executive May 2017 Edition

Last month, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) released its annual CEIR Index Report, a detailed review of the U.S. industry’s performance over the previous year as well as a preview of what to expect over the next three years in comparison to the overall U.S. economy. For the most part, the overall economy has kept a slow and steady upward pace, which the majority of our industry’s sectors have mirrored. Although some sectors experienced a decline in 2016, exhibitions and events increased from a $77 billion per year industry to contributing $80 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2016.

It comes as no surprise to those of us who genuinely understand the impact of our industry that we are a formidable contributor to the nation’s economic growth. But the understanding must extend beyond our own business “universe” in order to continue the upward trends we have enjoyed over the last seven consecutive years. More importantly, it must extend to the governing entities that determine much of what affects any business universe. This is why being involved in the legislative process and advocating on behalf of your industry is important. We, as an industry, must make sure that Capitol Hill knows exactly who we are and what is important to us. This is the opportunity that Exhibitions Day offers – the chance to raise a unified voice to members of Congress and work in our best interest as an industry.

Organizations representing show organizers, vendors, venues, trade publications, destination representatives – anyone and everyone who holds a stake in our future – have joined in the effort to educate Congressional members and staff on why our industry is powerful and weigh in on issues that affect us. Hot buttons such as visa acquisitions, overtime regulations, piracy and booking scams, and travel bans significantly affect how we do business. As such, it is imperative that we “show up” when it comes to making sure our legislators have a clear understanding of how their decisions will affect us.

And “show up” we have. Since the launch of this initiative in 2014, no less than 100 industry members each year have heeded the call to represent our best interests. Last year, we had more than 100 advocates making a difference. Today we have 21 industry organizations supporting Exhibitions Day – and to think that we started with only seven partner organizations! What this tells me is that we are on the right track with Exhibitions Day, along with the Global Exhibitions Day, which was added last year as industry members in more than 60 countries celebrated the importance of our industry and its effect on a global scale.

This year’s Exhibitions Day will take place on 6-7 June concurrently with Global Exhibitions Day. As I mentioned in March, we are collaborating with Voices in Advocacy® Founder Roger Rickard on this year’s points of interest to present to Congress members, and will rely on our industry voices to deliver the information. You still have time to register for this event. Visit for complete information including video coverage and photos of last year’s activities.

And if you cannot attend the event, you can still advocate at the local level! Remember that the Exhibitions Mean Business Campaign is always open and ready to hear your success stories about how exhibitions and events affect communities. Find out more at, including how to submit your testimonial and make a financial donation.

Be the voice of your industry! I hope to see you on Capitol Hill next month.

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO

2016: Year in Review

Originally published by Trade Show Executive, December 2016 Edition

As is typical with most of us around this time of year, I would like to take a moment to reflect on what I believe to have been another great year for the exhibitions and events industry. This year, I have traveled more than 150,000 miles to meet and speak with IAEE members and industry leaders across the world. I can attest to the solidarity of our industry, and it brings me great confidence in the direction our industry is headed when I hear of the future plans our global community holds for exhibitions and events.

IAEE is first and foremost a trade association, whose primary concern and function is to serve our members. In fact, you could say our members are our raison d’être. This year, IAEE achieved an incredible milestone by being able to serve more than 10,000 members in 52 countries. I am very proud of this accomplishment because, as you’ve heard me say many times, the “I” in IAEE is not just a letter. The global reach of IAEE members is in a constant state of growth, which means our industry in a constant state of growth – and that is always a good thing.

For many years now, one of IAEE’s crowning achievements has been its CEM Learning Program, and this year is no different. As 2016 closes, we have welcomed more than 300 new CEM graduates! The CEM Learning Program is now offered in 28 nations, reflecting yet again that continuing education and common ground in terms of best practices serve as ties that bind the power of our industry across the globe.

Speaking of the power of the face-to-face industry, this year’s Exhibitions Day and first-ever Global Exhibitions Day strengthened awareness about the economic impact of the meetings industry and drove home the message that Exhibitions Mean Business. IAEE and 20 supporting organizations were successful in bringing together more than 100 exhibitions and events professionals to Capitol Hill to educate members of Congress about the industry that contributes $80 billion to the U.S. economy. In addition, social media channels were profoundly effective in spreading the message of how our industry contributes to local, national and global economies.

Another powerful voice of the industry is that of our female professionals, aptly reflected in IAEE’s wildly successful Women’s Leadership Forum. This event sold out yet again in 2016, drawing more than 200 attendees interested in advancing and collaborating on topics of interest to the women who contribute to our industry’s success.

And, of course, Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Anaheim caps off the year’s success with incredible education and networking opportunities that serve to not only close the current year with the sense of accomplishment and camaraderie so familiar to those of us in this industry, but also to inspire and motivate us for the year ahead. Speaking of which, we have some great things in store for 2017 – such as a new Certified Exhibitions Program and Women’s Leadership Initiative. But I will tell you more about those initiatives next month!

I would like to close this year’s column by sharing with you my deep gratitude and appreciation for the members of our industry. I make no bones about my respect for the great people whose hard work and personal contributions make our industry one in which I am proud to be a part of. From the industry veterans who have laid the solid foundation upon which we continue to build our upward successes, to the impressive young professionals who bring their enthusiasm and innovative ideas to the table – we have cause to celebrate! And while I know many of us are already rocket launching ourselves into the coming year (that’s just how we roll), I encourage you to take the time to congratulate yourselves on an incredible 2016.

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO

Expo! Expo!

Originally published by Trade Show Executive, November 2016 Edition

We are only a few weeks away from Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Anaheim, California and I could not be more pleased with the program we have in store for attendees. With more than 70 education sessions on and off the show floor, great networking opportunities and social events, this year’s meeting is all about the experience of sharing information with colleagues and keeping our industry thriving.

This year’s show focuses on five key strategies that provide an “inside out” approach to the Expo! Expo! experience. We will offer show organizers inspiration and solutions that they can apply to their own events, which includes providing product/service providers the appropriate platform to educate on their unique offerings. Here is just a taste of what to expect at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition in December.

2016 Expo Expo Banner 740x200

Interaction and Engagement

There is no denying the power of conducting business in a face-to-face setting. The connections made at exhibitions and events are all potential investments – at the end of the day, this is serious business! At the same time, we are not robots (at least not yet) and the ability to connect on a personal level with current and potential associates is an essential part of doing business. With this in mind, Expo! Expo! has integrated various tools of interaction and engagement such as mobile app beacon programs, crowd sourced content, a general session backstage tour, IAEE chapter meet-ups, networking events for young professionals and LGBTQ meet-ups.

Check out these Expo! Expo! Featured Networking Events


Whether you are a technophile or technophobe, Expo! Expo! has something for you, even beyond knowing what is available or what is new. What is your technology need? Are you interested in collecting big data? Tracking attendee behavior? Maximizing your marketing efforts?  Or, perhaps, your goal is to have attendees walk into your show and simply say, “oh wow!” The innovation is out there; quite often the challenge lies in deciphering the best approach to meet your objectives. That is when you take full advantage of Expo! Expo!’s Tech Center Showcase, Tech Start Up Pavilion, Beacons, New Product Showcase and Show Tech Partner Highlights.

Giving Back: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)


There is much information regarding the economic impact our industry has on its destinations. In fact, we are quite proud of the local revenue that exhibitions and events deliver. It is only natural to extend this positive corporate effect and contribute in a social sense to the local communities that host our meetings. For many years, Expo! Expo!’s Gift of Service has exercised local volunteerism and this year is no different. This year, we are working with the Orange County Family Justice Center. In addition, proceeds from the eighth annual Humanity Rocks: A Celebration with a Cause will be donated to the organization. Last year, we launched the IAEE Chapter Challenge that extended our CSR to a national level, with each chapter contributing to their local communities through various activities. They will be reporting their results in Anaheim.

Encouraging a Global Spirit and Community

By now you already know that the “I” in IAEE is not just a letter – it is a call to action. Expo! Expo!’s International Reception celebrates attendees who understand and embrace just how globally connected our industry is, and who are ready to take the power of face-to-face meetings to the next level. Our gracious host Visit Anaheim has welcoming programs in store, and Expo! Expo!’s concierge programs are ready to serve attendees at every turn.

Learning: Plan, Perform and Lead

As I mentioned in my September column, we have taken a very thorough approach to our education programs at Expo! Expo! We have meshed cutting-edge principles of neuroscience with good, old-fashioned industry experience to create an innovative array of learning opportunities for all levels of job experience and functions.


Expo! Expo! is a great opportunity to surround yourself with the best of the best in the exhibitions and events industry, and I look forward to seeing you in Anaheim at the “show for shows”!


David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO

Security and Safety

Originally published by Trade Show Executive October 2016 Edition

One of the greatest advantages to being a part of the exhibitions and events industry is witnessing the direct effect that face-to-face interaction has on the overall business paradigm. The ability for buyers and sellers to engage in dialogue and hands-on demonstrations, as well as build and expand their professional networks is a unique experience that continually stands the test of time.

Decades after entering this industry, it still brings me immense satisfaction to look across a crowded venue and see people connecting in such a thriving business environment. I have seen our industry grow and change, and like many of you, one of the issues at the forefront of my mind these days is that of the security and safety of our meetings. We have all been witness to the detrimental effect terrorism is having on our society, and as exhibitions and events professionals we cannot ignore the effect it could potentially have on our industry.

Read the blog: Safety and Security at Trade Shows – What IAEE is Doing

For many years, we have dealt in emergency preparedness and contingency plans for our events should we experience an attack. Show organizers have worked closely with venues to ensure there is a plan of action in place should such a tragedy occur. For example, IAEE’s CEM Learning Program includes the Security, Risk & Crisis Management module which provides professionals who attain their CEM certification with the skill to evaluate the security needs for their events and develop a preparedness plan accordingly.

However, the time has come to take this approach a step further. The time has come to offer a national standard that the entire industry can implement so that we can work together as an industry to ensure the safety of our attendees. Therefore IAEE, IAVM (International Association of Venue Managers), ESCA (Exhibition Services and Contractors Association) and The Keyway Group have joined forces to work toward industry-wide standards to submit to the Safety Act Office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This initiative will bring convention centers, show organizers, event planners and service providers together to share best practices and implement the latest security protocols and procedures in a proactive collaboration.

Industry Security Council meets for the first time to discuss security in the exhibitions industry.

Our goal is to examine individual best practices currently used by members of our industry around the country, and work with experts in the safety and security industry to produce a comprehensive benchmark for security that also aligns with the Department of Homeland Security’s SAFETY Act. This benchmark will not only help venues continue to operate with security as a top priority, but it will also give show organizers and meeting planners more leeway to align the needs of their events and meetings with the appropriate venue.

This is a work in progress, but the exhibitions and events industry is no stranger to what it takes to make things happen! Our industry is built on the ability to look into the future and plan accordingly – it is what we do every day. We are now looking into the future and seeing that there is a need for a stronger plan of action for what is an unfortunate reality of the world we live in. In order to do that, our main priority at this point is to gather as much information as we can about the security and safety management tactics currently in place.

If you are interested in becoming a part of this very important initiative, I would love to hear from you. You can find out more information on IAEE’s website at

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO

Safety and Security at Trade Shows – What IAEE is Doing.

In the past few months, terrorism has taken a significant toll upon our society. For the exhibitions and events industry, the safety of our attendees and event staff is our highest priority as evidenced by the many members who employ a variety of security measures at each event. But in light of recent terror attacks around the world, it is now time to proactively strengthen our security by setting a national standard that will provide safeguards for the safety and security of our attendees and the preparedness of our industry.

In an effort to create this benchmark, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events TM (IAEE) and the Exhibition Services and Contractors Association (ESCA) have recently announced they will work together to provide industry-wide standards for event security to the Safety Act Office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Facilitated by Keyway, who has gathered a strong team of career law enforcement officials, this initiative will bring convention centers, show organizers, event planners and service providers together to share best practices and establish a national standard of security for the entire industry.

The individual security efforts currently employed around the country have supported exhibitions and events for years, however our industry is always focused on improvement and preparedness. Our next step should be to outline a national security benchmark that will enable convention centers and other event venues to continue making security a top priority. Additionally, show organizers and event planners will be able to use the benchmark as a factor when examining venues that best align with the security needs of their events and meetings.

There is no way to predict where or when an attack will occur. But if we combine our resources and knowledge to create a national standard, it will ensure that our industry is constantly assessing and implementing the latest security protocols and procedures to ensure the safety of our attendees and staff.

For more information, please contact David DuBois at

The Best is Yet to Come at EXPO! EXPO!

Originally published in Trade Show Executive, August 2016 Edition

We have entered the second half of the year, which means that if you see me grinning from ear to ear (more so than usual, anyway), it is because IAEE headquarters is all about this December’s Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Anaheim, California. The office is buzzing about the new features we will be unveiling as well as the back-by-popular-demand experiences we have in store for this year’s attendees.

Each year at Expo! Expo!, we look at the latest trends in education and technology as they apply to the exhibitions and events industry, and strive to explore these trends in the best way so that attendees can put them to good use immediately when they return to their own meetings. This year, we will be focusing our education efforts on the following learning tracks: Planning & Strategy, Marketing, Technology, Design, Leadership and Management.


Attendees will be presented with a wide variety of dynamic learning opportunities through information sessions and case study presentations, as well as interactive experiences such as the Tech Center Showcase, Crowd Sourcing and Micro Learning sessions that are sure to engage all levels of industry experience.

Of course, technology is always a big draw at any exhibition and Expo! Expo! is all about staying on top of the latest tech trends. Not only will the show floor feature the latest developments particular to our industry, but our vast learning opportunities will delve into the technology disruptors and offerings at the forefront of providing the most memorable attendee experiences.

Get more information on the Expo! Expo! Tech Startup Pavilion

I have said it before and will say it again – the “I” in IAEE is not just a letter! Our international presence is strong with IAEE members in 51 countries. I have no doubt we will have a greater international presence than ever before at Expo! Expo!, so we have also focused on the global perspective of our industry. An international concierge service will be available for our guests who have put in long hours on a plane to be a part of Expo! Expo!, and I highly recommend connecting with fellow colleagues from around the world during the wide range of networking events presented.


One of my favorite features of Expo! Expo! is its combination of networking activities and opportunities to give back to the local community. The Chapter Challenge presented last year by Visit Anaheim is still underway, and I cannot wait to see the good work done by IAEE’s local chapters. For the eighth year in a row, IAEE will team with GES to present Humanity Rocks: A Celebration with a Cause to raise funds for a deserving organization based in our host city.

Start planning your experience, view the Expo! Expo! Schedule of Events!

But my absolute favorite part of Expo! Expo! is its one-of-a-kind chance to connect with the best the exhibitions and events industry has to offer – YOU! The mix of industry veterans and rising stars, seasoned pros and new ideas, tried-and-true experience and refreshing enthusiasm – this is exactly what makes our industry such a strong and vibrant community. It is no secret that I am very proud to be a part of such an outstanding group, and Expo! Expo! encompasses what our industry is all about.

Registration for Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2016 is open. Be sure to register by 21 October to receive the best deals on your Expo! Expo! experience. Stay tuned to for the latest education, networking and Expo! Expo! show floor developments.


I look forward to seeing you in Anaheim!

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO