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Some 2,000 attendees and hundreds of exhibitors at the recent IAEE Expo! Expo! annual meeting in Orlando helped raise more than $17,000 to assist local families while enhancing tradeshow marketing skills and making critical business connections.


Expo! Expo! had 255 exhibitors and dozens of educational sessions during the three-day event.

Held Dec. 4-6, the annual meeting of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) had 255 exhibitors and dozens of educational sessions during the three-day event held on a 36,000-square-foot show floor at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The event proved to be beneficial for exhibitors.

“We seem to be off to a good start. We’ve been very busy with a lot of traffic in our booth,” said Ben Dunlap, regional vice president, Map Your Show, a software firm providing technological solutions for tradeshow exhibitors.

The show was the seventh for Map Your Show, which has used it as a forum to make the business known among some of the most influential participants in the tradeshow and exhibitions industry.

“We are here to increase our exposure,” said Dunlap. “People know who we are, but they don’t know everything we do.”

While informing potential clients of what each exhibitor has to offer is a key reason why many participate in the IAEE’s annual event, the quality of business leads generated is equally compelling.

“It was a great show,” said Chris Casconi, national sales manager, George Fern Exposition & Event Services. “The quality of leads has gone up compared to last year in Las Vegas.”


The GES booth at Expo! Expo!

Winning the best booth award was Global Experience Specialists (GES) with its “Change Your Perspective” themed booth featuring upside-down furniture hanging from the ceiling. Karma could have played a role in the win, as GES is the organizer and primary sponsor of the Humanity Rocks charitable event held in conjunction with Expo! Expo! each year. This year was the fourth straight for the Humanity Rocks event, which was held at The Groove at Universal Orlando and raised more than $17,000 for the Ronald McDonald Charities of Central Florida. About 320 people attended the fundraising event for charity.

“It was a very successful event for us. We had a lot of clients and potential clients in our booth,” said Detra Page, public relations manager, GES. “And our Humanity Rocks event raised a record $17,000 for local charity.”

Mild weather and one of the best venues in the U.S. also helped make IAEE’s Expo! Expo! event a complete success.

“This is a great destination,” said Shura Garnett, regional vice president, Global Spectrum, a facilities management firm. “The Orange County Convention Center is a fabulous venue.”

Other highlights from Expo! Expo! included the annual luncheon and awards ceremony which opened with a warm welcome from Greg Ortale, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

IAEE also recognized its individual award honorees, as well as Platinum Circle inductees, graduates of the IAEE Robert L. Krakoff Leadership Institute, this year’s Best of Show winners from IAEE’s Art of the Show Competition, the 2012 Top Public Events, the Exhibition Industry Foundation’s Helen Brett Scholarship recipients and participants of IAEE’s 20 Under 30 program. David DuBois, president, IAEE, closed the program by sharing his vision for the upcoming year and inviting attendees to return to Expo! Expo! in Houston in 2013.

“This was my first Expo! Expo! as IAEE president and I could not be more pleased with the feedback I have received,” said DuBois. “We have a busy and exciting year ahead as we pursue results-driven strategies to continue engaging our members, growing our education offerings and communicating the value of face-to-face interaction that can only be achieved through exhibitions and events.”

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