• 100 Advocates, 99 Meetings: A Look at Exhibitions Day 2015

    By: Claire Harrington, CMP

    From the Social Tables Events and Hospitality Blog

    On Tuesday, June 9, Capitol Hill welcomed the second annual Exhibitions Day by hosting over 100 suppliers, buyers and planners who ventured to the nation’s capital for 99 meetings with officials from both the House and Senate to represent exhibition professionals nationwide.

    Exhibitions Day is the brainchild of the Exhibitions Mean Business (EMB) campaign, which was launched in 2011 “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.”

    IAEE CEO & President David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA, led the agenda with a review of theThe Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy, then introduced Voices in Advocacy Founder Roger Rickard, who reviewed best practices for a successful Hill visit.

    The goals of Exhibitions Day 2015 were threefold:

    1. Raise awareness about the industry as a whole among government and other influential audiences.
    2. Educate our nation’s leaders about the value and impact of exhibitions and events on cities and communities across the United States.
    3. Help government officials to be more cognizant of our industry and its relationship to “their work.

    We accomplished these goals by lobbying on the following issues pertinent to our industry:

    1. Passage of H.R. 1401 – the JOLT Act

    H.R. 1401 – The Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act of 2015 is a bipartisan issue that would stimulate international tourism to the United States by strengthening and expanding the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), now renamed the Secure Travel Partnership (STP) Program to more accurately reflect the purpose of the initiative.

    1. Support for Open Skies Agreements

    Open Skies agreements set the standard of operations for flights into and out of the United States. These agreements eliminate government control over routing, frequency and pricing, and allow free and open market competition. As a result, Open Skies agreements stand as a vital tool to promote fair competition between air carriers and protect customers from unfair pricing. Open Skies agreements frees carriers to provide more affordable, convenient and efficient air service to consumers, promoting increased travel and trade and spurring high-quality job opportunity and economic growth.


    1. Support for Trade Promotion Authority

    The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is a measure that will significantly strengthen America’s overall travel economy by serving as an essential tool for negotiating trade agreements. Specifically, TPA helps ensure a rules-based system for two-way trade and it helps ensure that American workers and businesses, including travel-related businesses, get the fairest deal out of new trade agreements.

    1. Advocating The Importance of Supporting Government Attendance at Exhibitions

    Government meetings and related event travel are critical to ensuring federal employees are able to do their jobs as effectively as possible, while also helping extend support towards encouraging economic growth and job creation.

    Representation came from all walks of the industry, including exhibitions experience powerhouses Freeman, GES and Fern, research think tank CEIR, visitors & conventions bureaus including Dallas, Cleveland, and Louisville, and technology firms like Exhibit Surveys and Social Tables.

    We are a meetings and events company that just happens to provide software,” said Social Tables’ CEO Dan Berger. “It is our belief that we have a responsibility to invest in the future of our industry by impacting reform that is critical to the growth of our industry. When the opportunity to lobby presented itself, we couldn’t say yes quickly enough.”

    If you’d like to learn more about how you can be involved in a future Exhibitions Day, please visit the IAEE website.

  • $71 Billion in GDP Represented on Capitol Hill as Exhibitions Industry Hosts Second Annual Exhibitions Day

    DALLAS–The Exhibitions Mean Business campaign will host its second annual Exhibitions Day on Capitol Hill June 8-9 to continue dialogue around key issues that threaten the industry’s $71.3 billion contribution to the U.S. GDP.

    Exhibitions Day 2015 was established to serve as a platform to engage in uninterrupted, one-on-one dialogue with members of Congress. With nearly 69 million attendees and two million exhibiting organizations participating in face-to-face events last year alone, the economic power of exhibitions and events has a considerable role in communities and markets across the country.

    Exhibitions Day attendees will meet with U.S. representatives to raise awareness about the exhibitions and events industry among government and other influential audiences; educate our nation’s leaders about the value and impact of exhibitions and events on cities and communities; and help government officials to be more cognizant of the industry and its relation to their work.

    “We had a very successful inaugural event in 2014 and we want to continue to foster relationships and build awareness among federal legislators and other government officials to ensure that the issues that impact us, and as a result, impact the economic revenue generated in markets across the country, are addressed,” said David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA, CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE).

    Key issues to be discussed this year include:

    • Garnering support for the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act, a bipartisan effort to take specific steps, such as reforming the nation’s Visa Waiver Program (VWP), to increase international travel to the United States. Changes enacted through the JOLT Act are projected to help bring nearly 100 million visitors to the United States, create one million jobs and generate as much as $859 billion in revenue by 2020.
    • Addressing efforts by American, Delta and United airlines to nullify Open Skies agreements and freeze new routes for three international carriers. The legacy U.S. carriers allege that Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways have violated Open Skies agreements by accepting subsidies from their governments. The truth is virtually all global carriers, including those in the U.S., have accepted financial or regulatory subsidies from their governments. Open Skies agreements have positively impacted international aviation and travel, increased international air service, reduced air fare and encouraged millions of people to travel both nationally and internationally for leisure and business. Any action taken against the spirit of this policy would be detrimental to multiple facets of the U.S. economy, including the exhibitions and events industry.
    • Garnering support to re-establish the Travel Promotion Authority (TPA) to help ensure a rules-based system for two-way trade and that American workers and businesses—including America’s travel businesses—get the best deal out of new trade agreements. Expanded trade increases travel’s contribution to the economy by increasing travel to the United States, directly supporting American jobs, reducing the trade deficit and greatly contributing to U.S. exports, and ultimately benefiting the exhibitions and events industry.
    • Raising awareness about the importance of government employee participation at events, which is undeniably valuable to both attendees and exhibitors. Attendance at exhibitions and other face-to-face events is what fosters the development of effective regulation, contributes to innovation that drives economic growth, and provides unique learning and training opportunities for government employees. Additionally, exhibitions are the exact place where government agencies find the qualified contractors needed to help take on the numerous projects they need completed.

    “As a member of the exhibitions and events industry, we strongly support Exhibitions Day and the topics being addressed on Capitol Hill,” said Megan Tanel, Vice President of Exhibitions & Events for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and 2015 IAEE Chairperson of the Board. “It is vital that matters pertaining to international and government travel are addressed, and that we continue to have an avenue to discuss issues with our lawmakers that can help foster growth within our industry while also supporting local and national economies with the large impact that exhibitions and events provide.”

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

    Exhibitions Day Logo

    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.


    Edelman on behalf of Exhibitions Mean Business
    David Bott, +1-214-443-7590

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