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Ringing in the New Year

Originally published by Trade Show Executive January 2018 Edition

Happy New Year TSE Readers! Like many of you, IAEE is hitting the ground running as we prepare for another productive year and there is no time like the present to take stock in what was accomplished in 2017, as well as how we will approach the coming year. The way in which we approach our goals played an integral role in the conversation at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition in San Antonio this past November, and has been an ongoing subject at IAEE Headquarters as we shape our strategic plan.

Ryan Estis and Valorie Burton delivered inspiring keynotes that included concepts such as building powerful branding campaigns by making personalized connections with your audience and applying positive psychology when evaluating your strategies. The recurring theme of It’s All About Connections rang throughout the education gamut of General Sessions, Mega Rooms and Pit Stops on the Expo! Expo! show floor.

Success is measured beyond numbers these days and many organizations – including IAEE – are aligning their strategic plans accordingly. As mentioned by 2018 IAEE Chairperson Daniel McKinnon, CEM during his inaugural address, IAEE’s strategic plan focuses on three pillars: Advocacy, Learning and Marketplaces.

IAEE has teamed with the exhibitions and events industry’s most prominent organizations in initiatives such as the Exhibitions Mean Business Campaign, Exhibitions Day, Global Exhibitions Day and the Exhibitions and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI) in order to promote our industry’s role and importance in the overall business landscape. Along with the data produced by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), our ongoing effort to strengthen the perception and understanding of what our business world means to other business worlds is paramount.

In order to do so, we must continually expand our learning capabilities and stay at the forefront of innovative business practices. Our CEM Learning Program is stronger than ever, with more than 2,600 CEM’s in 25 countries – and counting! This global unification of our industry allows us to take our advocacy message to an entirely new level. But we also want to continue the great work accomplished in 2017 on the grassroots level by IAEE’s local chapters.

Forty meet ups occurred at the chapter level in 2017, not including Expo! Expo!, with one held in India! There is definitely strength in these numbers, as IAEE members across the world support each other in learning the best ways to conduct our business. In the meantime, IAEE will continue to strive to present the best content and speakers at our larger offerings such as the Women’s Leadership Forum, Krakoff Leadership Institute, MATSO Programming, Webinars and, of course, Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition.

It is through our advocacy and learning progress that we will shape the future marketplaces of exhibitions and events. In the coming year, IAEE will be exploring the use of data intelligence and analytic tools for attendee acquisition and creation of attendee personas. Our newest FutureScaping task force will discuss the changing environment of our industry and explore how to sustain and improve how trade shows are produced.

2018 also marks a very special year for IAEE as it celebrates its 90th anniversary. In this time, IAEE has grown from a group of less than 10 exhibition organizers to more than 11,000 individual members representing nearly 1,300 member organizations around the world. The name has changed a few times along the way – from the National Association of Exhibit Managers to International Association for Exposition Managers to International Association for Exhibition Management to International Association of Exhibitions and Events – but its spirit has remained the same: Exhibitions Mean Business.

I look forward to joining all my colleagues in 2018 in showing just how true that sentiment is today, more than ever.

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

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