• $91 Billion Exhibitions Industry Talks Event Security, Online Booking Scams and More on Capitol Hill for Fifth Annual Exhibitions Day

    DALLAS, May 15, 2018 — The Exhibitions Mean Business campaign will hold its fifth annual Exhibitions Day on Capitol Hill on June 5-6 to champion the impact that the exhibitions industry has upon the U.S. economy. According to new information obtained by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), events contributed $91 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2017, approximately a $10 billion increase from what was previously reported.

    “Recent data shows the economic contribution of events, which includes direct spending of organizers, exhibitors, attendees and venues, totaled $91 billion in 2017,” said Allen Shaw, Ph.D., Chief Economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc. “This notable increase from previous records further emphasizes the importance of face-to-face connections in conducting business.”

    Trade shows, conventions and other face-to-face gatherings are major commerce platforms that play a vital role in the health of the American economy. Exhibitions Day, the industry’s annual event on Capitol Hill, brings together professionals from across the country to educate members of Congress about the power of events and address issues that are affecting the health and growth of these trade channels.

    Topics that will be discussed at Exhibitions Day 2018 include:

    • Online Booking Scams: Upwards of 15 million fraudulent online bookings scams happen each year, resulting in more than $1.3 billion in lost revenue for hotels and money from consumers. Attendees will look to encourage policymakers to vote in favor of laws, particularly H.R. 2495 and S. 1164, that will prohibit websites from pretending to be hotels and allow state attorneys general to pursue restitution and refunds on behalf of the victims.
    • Safety and Security: The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and its partners have aligned with the Department of Homeland Security to develop the Exhibitions and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI), which aligns convention center security guidelines with federal programs and the Department of Homeland Security/Safety Act Office. The accreditation program is in its final stages and is anticipated to launch later in 2018.
    • Travel Facilitation: The U.S. percentage of global travel fell from 13.6 percent to 11.9 percent this year — the first drop after more than a decade of consistent growth. To stay competitive in the global market and maintain a secure, welcoming environment that is conducive for business deals and events, policymakers must prioritize attracting international tourism.
    • Infrastructure Investment: Without sufficient transportation, ample housing and dining infrastructure, it is nearly impossible to attract trade shows and other meetings, which generate millions of dollars in tax revenue for cities.

    “Exhibitions Day is an invaluable forum to meet face-to-face with members of Congress and discuss important matters that strain our industry, and as a result, impact local economies,” said CEO and President of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA. “It is our responsibility to equip our nation’s leaders with the knowledge needed to shape our country to better facilitate domestic and international business deals.”

    Exhibitions Day was established in 2013 to serve as a platform to engage in uninterrupted, one-on-one dialogue with federal legislators and other policy influencers. Over the years, hundreds of people have joined the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign on Capitol Hill to hold these informational and educational conversations.

    Sponsors of Exhibitions Day include Trade Show Executive Magazine, Streampoint Solutions and Convention and Event Transportation Management (CMAC). Supporting organizations include the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Canadian Association of Exposition Management (CAEM), Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA), Destinations International, Events Industry Council (EIC), Experiential Designers + Producers Association (EDPA), Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA), Exhibitor Magazine, GES, International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), MATSO Council, Meetings Mean Business, Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO), Trade Show News Network (TSNN), Union of International Fairs (UFI), and U.S. Travel Association.

    For more information about Exhibitions Day or the exhibitions industry, please visit www.exhibitionsmeanbusiness.org. Follow us on Twitter @ExhibitsMeanBiz for commentary and news surrounding Exhibitions Day.

    About Exhibitions Mean Business

    Established in 2011 by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, 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.

    About CEIR

    The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) serves to advance the growth, awareness and value of exhibitions and other face-to-face marketing events by producing and delivering knowledge-based research tools that enable stakeholder organizations to enhance their ability to meet current and emerging customer needs, improve their business performance and strengthen their competitive position. For additional information, visit www.ceir.org.


    Media Contact

    Tori Cox

    Edelman, for Exhibitions Mean Business




    Imagine you’ve been planning for a show for months on end, and the week has finally come when you get to witness everything in action. You arrive at your hotel to check in before the opening session, and they can’t find your reservation in their system. It turns out, that unbeknownst to you, your reservation was made through a fraudulent third-party booking site, and there’s nothing the hotel can do to help. You’re out money, all rooms at nearby hotels are booked and the show starts in three hours.

    Upwards of 15 million fraudulent bookings are caused by these scams each year, resulting in more than $1.3 billion in lost revenue for hotels and money from consumers. The trade show industry relies heavily on local travel and hospitality providers during shows, which helps fund full- and part-time employment positions in host cities, including room monitors, registration attendants, security and housekeeping. The lost reservations, unexpected charges and fees, incorrect accommodations, and lost loyalty benefits resulting from these scams are threatening the vitality of the industry and the jobs that support it.

    These costly schemes are orchestrated by third-party booking sites that illegally use copyrighted images, trademarked logos and similar URLs to mirror the look and feel of actual hotel websites to trick people into disclosing their personal information. Currently, no legislation exists to protect customers and hotels from this criminal activity. However, Exhibitions Mean Business and its fellow industry associations, are trying to educate Congressional leaders of this issue and encourage the passing of two bills that could turn the tables: H.R. 2495 and S. 1164.

    Both the House and Senate have introduced the Stop Online Booking Scams Act, which would prohibit websites from pretending to be the hotel and allow state attorneys general to pursue restitution and refunds on behalf of the victims. Both bills were referred to subcommittees last year and are pending further action.

    A recent notable win in this battle came out of a Georgia courtroom. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ordered a travel agency to pay nearly $750,000 to the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association after the agency was found guilty of attempting to pirate both room block and non-room block hotels via unsolicited emails to association members.

    EMB celebrates this step but also recognizes there is much work left to do to protect itself and consumers. Online Booking Scams were a hot conversation topic of 2017 Exhibitions Day and will also be front and center during the 2018 event. Our voice on The Hill can only grow with your support, so please consider joining us and representing your organization at this year’s event. For more information on Booking Scams or to learn about other issues we take to The Hill, visit the Exhibitions Day webpage.


    Register now for Exhibitions Day 2018 taking place June 5-6 in D.C. to advocate for the events and exhibitions industry!

    Find out more and register here.