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Expo! Expo! exceeds expectations

Expo! Expo!

Expo! Expo! also featured 38,000 net square feet of exhibit space.
Photo by Gary Michael – www.exposuresltd.com

The International Association of Exhibitions and EventsTM (IAEE) Annual Meeting & Exhibition was held December 7-9 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. This year’s event attracted 2,068 attendees, pending independent audit by Exhibit Surveys, Inc., and 272 exhibitors.

“We have far exceeded expectations for this year’s meeting in terms of attendance, sponsorship revenue and show floor participation,” said Steven Hacker, CAE, president of IAEE.

Expo! Expo! also featured 38,000 net square feet of exhibit space.

According to IAEE, the meeting’s success is a testament to the video campaign launched earlier in the year by the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. Featuring testimonials by show organizers who brought their events to the city, the message that New Orleans is open for business was heard loud and clear last week at Expo! Expo!

“The exhibitions and events industry is certainly doing its part to push through this economic recovery period and, based on what we saw in New Orleans, is optimistic about its future,” said Hacker. “We attribute a great deal of the success we enjoyed to the outstanding support and work of Stephen Perry and his staff at the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.”

The Opening General Session and CEM Presentation on December 7 kicked off the annual meeting with 2010 IAEE Chairman Chris Meyer, CMP, CEM recapping IAEE’s accomplishments throughout the year. He emphasized the importance of continued involvement in the industry through volunteerism, and recognized this year’s graduates of the IAEE Robert L. Krakoff Future Leaders Institute.

Keynote speaker Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association (USTA), also delivered a compelling presentation addressing the impact of the exhibitions and events industry on the overall economy. His call to join in the USTA’s “Power of Travel Coalition,” at www.travelcoalition.org, resonated with attendees whose livelihoods are deeply affected by legislation concerning travel.

Expo! Expo!

IAEE’s annual conference included 10 versatile educational tracks.
Photo by Gary Michael – www.exposuresltd.com

The session concluded by honoring the 155 graduates of the 2010 CEM Learning Program. In true New Orleans style, a jazz band led audience members to the opening reception at the historic Generations Hall.

Wednesday’s general session, Events Without Borders, featured a panel of top industry experts who gave an honest assessment of exhibitions and events from an international perspective. Panelists discussed the importance of reaching foreign audiences and exchanged insider knowledge as to how to navigate foreign markets in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Later that evening, the second annual Humanity Rocks: A Celebration with a Cause rocked the House of Blues with 380 attendees, nearly double the event’s attendance at last year’s debut. The event raised $10,610 for Payton’s Play it Forward Foundation in New Orleans.

The Annual Luncheon and Awards Ceremony on Thursday featured the handing of the gavel to 2011 IAEE Chairman Vinnie Polito.

“I’m excited for my term as chairman of IAEE,” said Polito. “In 2010, we have rebounded strongly from the economic slowdown of 2009, and I look forward to continued and sustainable growth in 2011.”

This year’s IAEE individual award honorees were also recognized at the ceremony, as well as the Platinum Circle inductees and recipients of the Exhibition Industry Foundation’s Helen Brett Scholarships. Hypnotist Tom DeLuca closed the luncheon with his entertaining and insightful show starring audience members.

IAEE’s annual conference included 10 versatile educational tracks and the unveiling of The Center’s Strategic Solutions Series, with 122 speakers and nearly 70 sessions over the three-day event.

Attendees were given a wide range of topics to learn from including: exhibitions and events marketing; global business development; medical meetings; personal and professional development; public events; sales; and senior executive sessions. Students of the CEM Learning Program were also able to take advantage of the many courses offered.

“IAEE strives to provide the most education and networking opportunities possible to its members in a convenient and efficient manner,” said Hacker.

The IAEE board of directors also selected the final locations for the 2011 IAEE Mid-Year Meeting and Expo! Expo! 2014 during its meeting.

Washington, D.C. will serve as the location for the IAEE Mid-Year Meeting, to be held June 1-4. The IAEE Mid-Year Meeting offers members a face-to-face networking and learning opportunity in the summer by offering multiple programs in one location and over the course of a few days, including the IAEE Robert L. Krakoff Future Leaders Institute, IAEE Sales Academy, CEM Learning Program and The Center’s Strategic Solutions Series.

“The IAEE Mid-Year Meeting typically draws an audience who may not be able to attend the IAEE annual meeting,” said Hacker. “Attendees will benefit from the focused discussions that the meeting provides and will provide the best resources and solutions available to foster change, improvement and profit.”

Expo! Expo! 2014 will be held in Los Angeles, Calif. on December 9-11. With its excellent international accessibility and world class facilities, Los Angeles has recently undergone a tradeshow and events environment re-birth. The city now showcases a new entertainment district that has been designed to service tradeshow, event and conference attendees.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the top international gateway to Asia and the Pacific from the United States. LAX offers direct flights from 76 domestic cities and 61 international cities, making it the fifth busiest passenger airport in the world.



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