• Registration Opens for Third Annual Exhibitions Day on Capitol Hill

     

    DALLAS — The Exhibitions Mean Business campaign has officially opened registration for its highly-anticipated annual legislative fly-in, Exhibitions Day. Taking place June 7-8 industry professionals from across the U.S. will convene in Washington, D.C., to hold dialogue with members of Congress around key issues impacting the exhibitions industry and the positive impact it has on the U.S. economy.

    Exhibitions Day was established to serve as a platform to engage in uninterrupted, one-on-one dialogue with members of Congress. Over the years, hundreds of industry members have joined the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign on Capitol Hill to hold these informational and educational conversations. For 2016, Exhibitions Day has industry-wide support from 20 organizations committed to promoting the value of exhibitions and events to legislators and key policy influencers. Exhibitions Day Logo

    “House and Senate representatives are central to the review of policies that have a direct and indirect effect on our local economies,” said IAEE president and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA. “As they make critical decisions that impact business travel and international business activities, it is important we give them all the facts and potential implications so federal lawmakers can make the most informed decisions that are in the best interest of our economy.”

    Topics discussed at Exhibitions Day 2015 included advocating for the Travel Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act, which would promote business travel and trade in the U.S. Additionally, attendees discussed concerning efforts by airlines to nullify Open Skies agreements and freeze travel routes used by many business travelers in/out of the country. Event participants also vigilantly promoted the importance of government employee participation at events, as these events are often where local contractors and other business owners are sourced to carry out major government projects.

    Building on Exhibitions Day’s positive inspiration, 2016 will feature an inaugural Global Exhibitions Day movement as well. As part of this global initiative, exhibitions and events professionals worldwide will participate in activities, such as hash-tagged social shares or hosting local events, to share their support for the industry in conjunctions with Exhibitions Day activities on Capitol Hill.

    Details surrounding Exhibitions Day 2016, including key topics the industry will take to Capitol Hill along with a robust digital toolkit are available on the Exhibitions Day web site. More information about Exhibitions Day and Global Exhibitions Day can also be found at: www.exhibitionsmeanbusiness.org or by following the EMB campaign on Twitter (@ExhibitsMeanBiz) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ExhibitionsMeanBusiness).

    About Exhibitions Mean Business

    Established in 2011, Exhibitions Mean Business (EMB) was created to unify and give a collective voice to the exhibitions and events industry and better advocate the benefits of face-to-face meetings to business growth and economic development. Driven by members of the industry, including professional associations, venue and convention center operators, exhibitions-focused service providers, convention and visitors bureaus and other travel and tourism organizations, EMB promotes the values of the industry through strategic advocacy campaigns, media relations efforts and stakeholder engagement initiatives

  • U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, center, and Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson (left) at the Wold Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit in Dallas, Texas April 6, 2016. WTTC / Flickr

    Commerce Secretary, Marriott CEO Call for More Data-Sharing to Enhance Security

    IMAGE: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, center, and Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson (left) at the Wold Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit in Dallas, Texas April 6, 2016. WTTC / Flickr

    As originally published on Skift by Dan Peltier

    U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker called on partner governments to make greater efforts to share data, including passenger name records, to enhance security and bolster confidence among travelers.

    “Partner governments must significantly advance their willingness and capabilities to collect, use, and share information to screen travelers,” Pritzker said Wednesday at the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Global Summit in Dallas, Texas.

    Citing privacy concerns, many countries in Europe have been reluctant to share passenger name records, although a proposal to enhance such information is under consideration. After the recent terrorist bombings in Brussels, European governments’ lack of data-sharing has come under greater scrutiny.

    Prtizker pointed to the shortfalls of the lack of data-sharing among governments.

    “We must develop international systems to share data, including passenger name records, so that we can expedite processing of known and trusted travelers,” Pritzker said. “We also need to ensure that our governments are taking advantage of systems already in place, such as checking documents against Interpol’s lost and stolen passport records. These changes are important not only to the visa waiver program but also to making legitimate travel as smooth and efficient as possible across all nations.”

    During Pritzker’s tenure at the Commerce Department, which began in 2013, 17 U.S. airports implemented kiosks and mobile technology to expedite the international arrivals process. She also helped expand the visa waiver program to its current 38 member countries and lobbied to lower visa wait times for countries, including Brazil and China, with citizens of the latter country now eligible for 10-year visas.

    Some 40 million more people globally visited another country in 2015 compared with 2009, including a significant increase in visitors to the U.S. Pritzker is worried a rollback of the visa waiver program would deter many international travelers from making U.S. trips.

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