Guest blog post by Nicole Bowman, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, IAEE.
Each June, I ramp up for exhibitions day, the super bowl of advocacy (thanks Carrie Ferenac with CNTV for the description). It’s a big day for me, IAEE, the EMB campaign as well as the U.S. exhibitions industry. When I started at IAEE, I didn’t know what to expect from this role I was going to play with advocacy. Turns out, I love it! Who doesn’t want to talk about why our industry is so great? I have met so many people from all career stages and segments of the exhibitions ecosystem, and I must say, we are rocking it! We all care about the health and sustainability of our industry, and Exhibitions Day is the perfect setting to drive home that message to federal lawmakers.
What does $80 billion mean to you?
To the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign, that is an impactful number that we take to Capitol Hill to show federal lawmakers that we are an important industry. Exhibitions take place in all 50 states, more than 33 million people attend business-to-business (B2B) exhibitions and 1.35 million companies exhibit at B2B shows. What does all this mean? Face-to-face marketing is still one of the top mediums to grow and develop business. Check out CEIR research for a mountain of reports to confirm this.
More than 100 industry professionals from all over the U.S. gather in Washington, D.C. each year to meet with members of congress and their staff to discuss issues like hotel piracy scams, travel ban, open skies and a myriad of timely issues affecting the exhibitions and events industry. This is the fourth year we are taking our message to the Hill while “beating the drum” that exhibitions mean business. It is inspiring to see a 100+ professionals join for a day of advocacy in Washington, D.C. Won’t you join us? I promise you won’t regret the time away from your office for one minute. Lawmakers see and hear the sincerity from Exhibitions Day attendees and it makes a difference. Just last year, Jessica Finnerty, CEM with the Auto Care Association met with Nevada House Representative Dina Titus. Out of that meeting, Jessica invited and Congresswoman Titus agreed, to visit AAPEX in Las Vegas. Read the full article by Jessica here.
We prepare for months to bring our message that exhibitions mean business to Capitol Hill. We invite you to join us on June 6-7 as we take our message to those who have the power to help, or hinder our growth.
Through a ranking survey to our advocacy committee, we asked them to rank various subjects in the spotlight right now. Overwhelmingly, issues such as fair and free trade, the travel ban, safety and security, and travel infrastructure led in most important issues on the horizon. It’s no surprise really, as these topics all hinder face-to-face interactions. Activism has become mainstream in the current administration, but make no mistake, we have been doing this for years.
Register here for Exhibitions Day, there is no charge to attend. Be sure to book your hotel before May 8 too!
If you have additional questions about Exhibitions Day, or advocacy in general, please contact me.
See you in D.C.!
Nicole Bowman, MBA
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
The opinions expressed here are my own.