• Click Here First Campaign Debuts New Industry Video at EXPO! EXPO!

    Video Reflects on Industry’s Successes and Its Impact on Business and Commerce

    DALLAS – December 10, 2013 – Attendees at Expo! Expo!, held December 10-12 in Houston, Texas, will be among the first to see a short documentary celebrating the exhibitions and events industry. The Click Here First public relations campaign will debut the video at Expo! Expo! as part of a program focused on championing the industry and educating media and influencers about the value of face-to-face events.

    “This video is meant to serve as a reminder of how far the exhibitions and events space has come and how our industry continues to contribute to the business world’s goals and accomplishments,” said Paige Cardwell, President, CSG Creative. “Like other industries, we have been impacted by economic woes, but we continue to rise up, evolve with the changing times and deliver meaningful results.”

    According to the Center for Exhibition Industry and Research (CEIR), the exhibitions industry has seen steady growth that few other industries can match. The industry has experienced a staggering twelve consecutive quarters of year-on-year growth and it is predicted that this will not just continue, but pick up momentum, in 2014 and 2015. Industry leaders, exhibitors and attendees continue to leave events with personal stories of how face-to-face events have positively influenced their business.

    “The exhibitions industry is vital to a healthy business environment. Face-to-face engagement helps build trusting, quality and long-term relationships, which are necessary for our industry and the global economy,” said Senior Vice President of Expositions, INFOCOMM International and IAEE Chairperson Jason McGraw, CTS, CAE. “Ours is a vital industry that creates connections and opportunities by embracing the value of one-on-one interactions and tapping into the senses to provide the ultimate business experience. We have a lot to be proud of and sharing this video is a great way of showing that pride.”

    The Click Here First campaign was launched in 2011 at Expo! Expo!, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events’ (IAEE) Annual Meeting & Exhibition. The complete video will be available on the Click Here First website, as well as the websites of many campaign supporters, like the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA) and the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO), among others. Industry members are encouraged to share the video with others and to post the video to their own websites and social media channels to help promote the value of the industry. Those interested in providing industry success stories or sharing positive experiences with the campaign team for media use, can contact Rupa Patel at rupa.patel@edelman.com.


    About Click Here First

    Established in 2011, the Click Here First campaign was created to unify the exhibitions and events industry and advocate the long-term benefits of face-to-face connections to business growth and development. Driven by members of the industry, the Click Here First campaign has more than 70 sponsors, including professional associations, venues and convention centers, exhibitions-focused service providers, convention and visitors bureaus and other travel and tourism organizations. The goal of the Click Here First campaign is to give a collective voice to the exhibitions and events industry in order to more effectively educate and inform media and other business influencers and promote the power of face-to-face events. For more information, visit www.clickherefirst.org.

    Accompanying video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ra4D8q_fOz4

  • Firing the Mind Readers and Curbing Federal Conferences

    The infamous $820,000 three-day training conference in Las Vegas that rocked the General Services Administration in 2012 seemed a witch’s brew of bad ingredients— frivolous-sounding entertainment such as a mind reader and a bicycle-building exercise and comic routines on video—blended with expensive staff planning trips and a well-lubricated private reception, all in a town where what happens there is supposed to stay there.

    The 2010 event, orchestrated by the agency’s Public Buildings Service, became a turning point in federal conference policy. Similar blowouts came to light at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, the Veterans Affairs and Justice departments, and the Internal Revenue Service.

    Appalled by bad publicity at a time of budgetary austerity, the Obama administration in 2011 issued a directive cracking down on travel and conferences. Early this year, then-U.S. Controller Danny Werfel told a House panel the policy had already saved $2 billion.

    GSA canceled several 2013 conferences: FedForum, on asset management; SmartPay, on purchase cards; and its acquisition Training and Expo.

    Not everyone is happy. In May, House members from Nevada introduced the Protecting Resort Cities From Discrimination Act. “Las Vegas was unfairly targeted as somehow being the cause of the wasteful spending,” said Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev. “Anyone who has ever traveled to Las Vegas can tell you that it is often cheaper to rent rooms and conference space there.”

    GSA acting administrator Dan Tangherlini says agency planners “had clearly gone too far.” But he is of two minds on whether Web-enabled confabs are an adequate substitute. “I agree that getting people together informally through travel is valuable, and that things can’t happen entirely through video,” he says, adding the previous GSA Expo in San Antonio successfully brought together contracting officers to see products and meet vendors. But by using social media, he adds, “we can have a thoughtful approach that expands relationships.”

    In late May, OMB released guidelines acknowledging the value of conferences but reinforcing the goal of a 30 percent reduction in travel spending from 2010 through 2016. The requirements include senior management approval and more public reporting of conference costs.

    “Key decision-makers in Washington are recognizing not just the critical importance of meetings to achieving government’s mission, but that these meetings have a profound impact on the overall economy,” says Rob Bergeron, executive director of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals.

    David DuBois, president of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, says many in his industry welcome the guidelines. “We’re all American citizens, and we don’t want to see waste,” he says. But hospitality industry indicators show conference attendance is slowing, he says, citing federal spending reductions and a slow economy.

    “If a two-hour teleconference or Skype can save 20 people getting on airplane and staying in hotel, then I’m supportive,” he says. “[But if an agency] needs interactive dialogue and innovating, if the desired outcomes are built around creativity and whiteboarding and looking someone in the eye and challenging their idea, you can’t do it with computers.”

    Retired Adm. Jay Cohen, a former chief of naval research who organized events while leading technology programs at the Homeland Security Department, says conferences have their place in government and industry. “There’s nothing like the art of the schmooze,” he says. “I always felt the most effective part of a conference was not the formal presentations, but the mixing that took place between sessions, so you could talk and bond and exchange ideas.”

    But given today’s stretched budgets, “once you’ve established a relationship, taken the measure of the other person in a face-to-face social or formal business encounter, there’s no reason you can’t use the incredible technology that is burgeoning everywhere,” Cohen says.

    GSA may be gun-shy, he adds, expressing support for Tangherlini’s leadership. “When there’s public embarrassment, there tends to be a pendulum swing, and in the end the system is better for it.”

    Original Source: http://www.govexec.com

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