• Why You Should Advocate for Better Airport Infrastructure

    Advocacy is crucial to enacting change. Whether that change happens within political, economic or social institutions, advocacy involves the communication of knowledge in support of an issue to persuade decision makers on how to act. By that definition, advocacy is a process and cannot be accomplished at a single moment in time. That’s why we must continue to champion our exhibitions industry issues beyond Exhibitions Day and throughout the year.

    Recently, we’ve seen some advocacy efforts in opposition to our Exhibitions Day issues garner some traction, particularly our desire for airport infrastructure improvements and the removal of the cap on the passenger facility charge (PFC). You can read more about our stance on the PFC cap on the Exhibitions Day 2017 webpage.

    On September 28, twenty House members sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging them to reject the increase to the PFC cap outlined in the Senate Transportation and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. Exhibitions Mean Business supports the increase in the PFC cap, which was last raised in 2000 and has since seen nearly half of its impact eroded by inflation, to help fund much needed infrastructure improvements at airports nationwide. Unfortunately, led by strong airline opposition, organizations such as Americans for Tax Reform, Airlines for America and National Taxpayers Union oppose increasing the PFC cap and have successfully been advocating to keep it at $4.50. Additionally, these groups have been successful in garnering local media coverage using localized statistics:

    While the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign disagrees with the arguments made in the letter and these articles, we need your help to voice our support for the PFC cap to local media, the Senate Appropriations Committee and other decision makers behind the key legislative issues from Exhibitions Day 2017. Learn how you can contact your elected officials via the Advocacy Center on the Exhibitions Mean Business website.

    Think your advocacy efforts won’t make a difference? Read the below success story from a recent attendee at Exhibitions Day 2017:

    “I remember you”. That’s what Senator Bill Nelson’s aide first said as he greeted us in the Senate Hart Office Building. “Exhibitions and tradeshows, right? You were here last year talking about Zika, and here’s what the Senator did after your visit”. Wow. I was almost speechless! The Senator fought for funding to educate people about Zika because of its potential devastating impact on the tourism industry in his home state of Florida. We had made a difference.

    While we weren’t addressing Zika this year, we were tackling issues that are equally important. This year, we were there promoting Fair and Free Trade, specifically asking for support of Brand USA, asking representatives to co-sponsor the Stop Hotel Booking Scams Act, and to support America’s Airport Infrastructure Act.

    I’ve attended Exhibitions Day all four years since it’s inception, and the impact is growing every year. Not only are members of Congress now remembering us, they remember our causes, and take them to heart.

     – Carrie Ferenac, CNTV


    In our next installment of our #HeresWhy industry Q&A sessions, we interviewed Samantha Spitzner, Meetings Coordinator for the Society of Biblical Literature and 2017 IAEE 20 Under 30 recipient:

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