By David DuBois, President and CEO of International Association of Exhibitions and Events and Chairman of Convention Industry Council

    From Meetings Mean Business

    The services provided by the meetings industry often go unnoticed, but the economic impact is unmistakable. Our industry supports, preserves and strengthens local communities – bringing in billions of dollars in revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs.

    It’s all part of the multiplier effect. More face-to-face meetings, exhibitions and conventions mean more jobs, educational opportunities, cultural experiences, cross-industry collaboration and investment in small businesses.

    We’re getting better every day at using tools like the DMAI Calculator to track direct and indirect impacts of the meetings industry. But there’s more we can do to educate our industry and government officials on the impact of face-to-face meetings.

    Here’s my take:

    The Multiplier Effect of Face-to-Face Meetings from Meetings Mean Business Coalition on Vimeo.

  • Exhibitions Day from the Eyes of an Attendee

    By: Carrie Ferenac, President of CNTV


    That’s the best word I can come up with to describe how I feel after Exhibitions Day.  I was one of more than 100 professionals who met with members of Congress on the importance of our industry… and boy, is it important!

    First, we spent a few hours learning about the key issues with Roger Rickard and US Travel Association.  They know their stuff.   The issues were new to me, but by the end of the orientation, I was ready to rock ‘n roll.

    Bright and early, we headed to the Hill and had our first meeting with Senator Bill Nelson’s office.  The staffers were incredibly well versed, and open to our ideas.  We had a chance to thank them for supporting the Trade Promotion Authority, and to share our ideas about the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act and Open Skies.  (See why we needed an orientation??).


    We even got to meet with someone from Senator Marco Rubio’s office.   The guy is running for President, so I’m sure his staff is busy, but not too busy to hear about the importance of our industry.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if the leader of the free world supported exhibitions and events??


    I was so impressed with the Florida contingency. Brad Williams from SPI and Ryan Strowger with IAPPA are true professionals. They nailed it meeting after meeting.  They rattled off numbers about how their shows impact the Florida economy and made a real impression on the Florida delegation. I was in awe, and excited about the impact of their shows.  I grew up in Orlando, and now I’m a business owner there.  No doubt CNTV’s growth is directly related to the growth of the trade show industry, and the future looks bright.

    Throughout the day, we were joined by Scott Crawford from GES, Vinnie Polito and Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes from MDG, Wayne Crawford with CNTV and Rosa Mendoza from Ft. Lauderdale CVB. That’s an impressive group of people!

    We walked (and walked, and walked) from the Senate to the House and back, meeting with members of Congress about the importance of exhibitions and events.  Even got to ride the Senate Subway underground.  Who knew that was a thing??  Have you had lunch in the basement of the Senate?  I can now say I have!  I felt like a kid in a candy store, and I was making a difference.

    I’d like to thank David Dubois, Megan Tanel, Nicole Bowman and all the amazing folks at IAEE for organizing the event.  Their passion for the industry is contagious…. And, since they spearhead the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign throughout the year, there’s always time to get involved.  I’m proud to be an IAEE member, and more energized than ever about our incredible industry.

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