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IAEE Expo! Las Vegas Attracts 2,300-plus

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) celebrated another highly successful Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition, held Dec. 3-5 in Las Vegas. This event attracted more than 2,300 attendees representing 32 countries (pending verified audit) to Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

“Our goal with Expo! Expo! each year is to create a space of intensive learning, networking and fun for all attendees so they can feel ready to bring exciting new ideas to the table in the coming year,” says IAEE President and CEO David DuBois. “Based on the feedback we are receiving, we exceeded those goals. We look forward to creating another extraordinary experience next year in Louisville.”

IAEE’s annual conference kicked off with preconference education, the opening general session and the CEM Class of 2019 presentation. IAEE recognized some 300 graduates of the CEM learning program who joined the ranks of the more than 3,300 CEMs worldwide who have earned and maintained their designation.

Actor-turned-activist Chris Bashinelli inspired audience members to practice mindfulness and embrace global citizenship during his keynote presentation, followed by a special presentation from Blue Man Group who then led attendees to the Expo! show floor.

This year’s  exhibition featured a sold-out show floor with 270 exhibitors in 41,700 net square feet of sold exhibit space and more than 15,000 square feet of on-show floor education and networking activations. Attendees closed the evening by networking at the opening reception.

On Dec. 4, 158 participants started the day off with IAEE’s Terence Donnelly Memorial 5K Run/1 Mile Walk and raised more than $5,000 for the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). The General Session featured motivational speaker Darleen “Coach Dar” Santore who revved up audience members with insights on how to Live Up, Listen Up, Love Up, Lead Up and Level Up.

That evening, attendees enjoyed live music at House of Blues while helping raise $15,000 at the 11th annual Humanity Rocks: A Celebration with a Cause, sponsored by GES and CORT. This year’s proceeds benefit Three Square, an organization whose mission is to provide food to hungry people while passionately pursuing a hunger-free community. Three Square combines food banking (warehousing canned and boxed goods), food rescue (obtaining surplus or unused meats, bread, dairy and produce from hospitality and grocery outlets), and ready-to-eat meals in its effort to be the most complete food solution for Southern Nevada.

The annual networking luncheon and awards ceremony on Dec. 5 recognized graduates of the IAEE Robert L. Krakoff Leadership Institute, under-30 honorees, Platinum Circle inductees, winners of IAEE’s Art of the Show Competition, Helen Brett Scholarship recipients and Bob Dallmeyer Education Fund grant recipients. The recipients of IAEE’s individual awards were also honored with a special presentation.

Glisser was announced as the winner of the third annual Tech Start Up Competition. Emma Brechlin with Bemidji State University was announced as the winner of the second annual Student Design Competition where students from Bemidji State University, FIT and State University of New York were tasked with developing an activation theme, space and structure design, and pre- and post-show audience engagement ideas for a brand activation that aligns with IAEE’s objectives which will be featured at Expo! Expo! 2020 in Louisville, Ky.

2019 IAEE Chairman Tom Cindric Jr. recapped IAEE’s successes during the year, then passed the gavel to 2020 Chairman Robert McLean Jr., executive vice president for the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), who discussed his vision for the coming year. McLean emphasized the continuation of IAEE’s advocacy initiatives, which includes the organization’s work through the Exhibitions Mean Business Campaign.

Expociety, the closing event for Expo! Expo! IAEE’s annual meeting and exhibition 2019, was held at Drai’s Beachclub & Nightclub, located at the Cromwell Hotel. Expociety provided attendees with the perfect platform to further develop connections made at the event, as well as create new ones that will flourish at next year’s meeting. Expo! Expo! IAEE’s annual meeting and exhibition 2020 will be held Dec. 8-10 at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky.

Trusted since 1928, IAEE provides quality and value to its members through leadership, service, education and strong relationships. IAEE is the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry in the world, with a membership of show organizers, exhibitors and exhibition suppliers. Organizers of more than 20,000 exhibitions and buyer-seller events around the world are members of IAEE, and the organization advocates and promotes the awareness of face-to-face exhibitions and events as the primary medium for business development and growth. For more info, visit www.iaee.com.

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