Understand the Issues

Exhibitions Mean Business is focused on issues and legislation that impact our industry, our members and our communities. These issues will evolve and change over time, but it’s up to all of us as an industry to ensure that our voice is heard.

Over the past 7 years, Exhibitions Mean Business has lent its voice to issues that affect business events. Below you will find updates on key legislative action items and their progress to date.

On Our Radar

COVID-19 Recovery

Our industry is reeling from the impact of COVID-19. As our world works toward recovery, so do our members. Individuals and businesses need support. A strong exhibitions and events industry will play a key role in the recovery of our global economy. Watch this space for more details on recovery efforts and how we are amplifying our voice for the health of our industry.

  • Tell us your story so we can amplify our voices to decision makers around the world
  • Visit IAEE’s COVID-19 Resources page

Issues that are on our radar for action this year include online booking scams and list poaching. Watch this space for more information and let us know your experience and contacts around these issues.

Our Voices Mattered: Success Stories

Watch this space as we report on wins and successes at the federal, state and local levels. Let us know what’s happening in your community.


According to the World Economic Forum, the United States ranks ninth in the world in infrastructure quality. Inadequate supply of infrastructure is one of our top 10 most problematic factors for doing business. Due to decades of under investment in transportation infrastructure mobility to and within the U.S. has declined. The lack of transportation infrastructure investment is costing the U.S. economy millions in revenue.

We urge Senators to sign on to S. 2302, America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019, to provide transportation funds to rebuild America’s transportation infrastructure. This bill authorizes funds for Federal-aid highways and highway safety construction programs, and for other purposes. We also praise the U.S. Conference of Mayors for making infrastructure investment a top priority.


More than 1.2 million jobs across North America are directly supported by international inbound travel. For the U.S. to grow that number as well as regain and increase our share of the global travel market, it is important to improve and expand the programs we currently have in place. The Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act, H.R. 2187, will update and strengthen numerous programs related to the efficiency and volume of international inbound travel and help the U.S. regain its share of the global travel market.


On October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will implement the last phase of REAL ID enforcement that will require U.S. citizens to present REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses or another acceptable form of ID to go through airport security. As of October 2019, an estimated 99 million Americans do not have a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or an acceptable alternative identification (e.g. passport), and a majority of Americans (57%) are unaware of the October 1, 2020 deadline for enforcement. This could mean tens of millions of passengers are turned away on October 1, 2020 for not having the necessary documents to fly.

We urge Congress to sign on to H.R. 5827, the Trusted Traveler REAL ID Relief Act of 2020, that would allow PreCheck membership to be a temporary alternative to having a REAL ID at domestic airports. It also allows state motor vehicle agencies to establish procedures for people to submit electronic documents and facial images when applying for REAL ID-compliant identification.

Secure Travel

In 2017, 23 million travelers arrived in the United States from Visa Wavier Program countries and generated $190 billion in economic activity. Visitors from the 38 countries that participate help generates a $77 billion trade surplus for the U.S. We believe it’s important to rename the program to more accurately depict its security enhancements and demonstrate strong support for secure and better travel for international travelers who have already been highly vetted. Embracing policies that enhance the global business travel market will enable growth that is crucial to achieving nation’s economic goals.

We urge Congress to sign on to H.R. 1996 to rename the Visa Waiver Program to Secure Travel Partnership, to support secure and better travel for international travelers and to oppose any measures that could further erode North America’s market share of international business travelers.

Brand USA

Brand USA is a bipartisan program funded by inbound airline passenger fees and private industry, so there is no cost to U.S. taxpayers. The program’s efforts are crucial to attracting international business travel, investment, and fair and free trade. This bill was added into an appropriations bill, H. R. 1865, which passed Congress and was signed into law by President Trump on December 20, 2019.

Brand USA’s future is secured through 2027, thanks to wide industry support and making our voices count. THANK YOU!