IAEE MATSO Council Home

Defining The Major American Trade Show
Major American Trade Shows are comprised of not-for-profit and for-profit exhibitions with at least 200,000 NSF of exhibition space.

The founding of MATSO began in the late 1970s and formalized as a corporation in 1985 when it was originally chartered in Chicago as a means of coordinating dialogue among the city’s major trade show producers. Over the years, the exchanges focused on operational challenges particularly relevant to events of scale and complexity. There was a larger vision to broaden its geographic reach beyond Chicago and expand the internal focus from solely operations to include all functional aspects of major show production, including marketing and sales, legislation, labor, international challenges and operation. The founders wanted to create a collective voice reflecting the unique perspective of the producers of major, industry-leading events. MATSO’s initial fundamentals included:

  • Wide-open exchange of ideas and solutions in a competition-free environment
  • A forum to support in-depth problem-solving as a group , addressing major-scale challenges that threaten the stability of the industry
  • Ongoing dialogue to support establishing meaningful Best Practices for major events
  • The collective voice to influence the industry marketplace for the betterment of major event producers
  • Perpetuating a non-commercial environment

After a year of in-depth discussion between IAEE and MATSO leadership, the IAEE MATSO Council was announced in December 2013 in Houston at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition. The focus of the MATSO Council is on all functional aspects of major show production in keeping with the original vision. The MATSO Council is governed by the IAEE Bylaws, Article IX, which outlines the council’s authority (detailed in the MATSO charge). MATSO will have an ex-officio representative on the IAEE board of directors and a staff liaison assigned to coordinate support between IAEE departments.

Mission: To present the viewpoint and advance the success of the major trade show [at least 200,000 NSF] and to provide a mechanism for the exchange and dissemination of information relevant to that audience.

Vision: To be viewed as the authority on issues relevant to all stakeholders of major trade shows [at least 200,000 NSF].

Terri Phillips, CEM
Director, Board and Committee Administration
tphillips@iaee.com   •   972-687-9213
International Association of Exhibitions and Events
12700 Park Central Drive, Suite 308, Dallas, TX 75251