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Industry Advocacy Groups Consolidate & Encourage Everyone to Get Involved

Bob-Priest-Heck Freeman“Our voice is louder when we are sharing a united message, and if only a fraction of the 6.6 million people in the events industry work together, we will be a mighty force.”
– Bob Priest-Heck (pictured left), BizBash, May 20, 2020

Hello Supporters,
When I gave this quote in the early months of the pandemic, I could not have imagined what we would go on to accomplish together. When I first called Sue at 4:30 p.m. on a Friday, with an idea that would become Go LIVE Together, none of us could have predicted that, within two weeks, we’d launch a website with 80 founding partners—and once it went live, members would come in faster than we could keep up. And we definitely didn’t plan on Go LIVE Together becoming the largest coalition advocating on behalf of live business events in the U.S., with thousands of supporters across the country.
Clearly, there was a need that Go LIVE Together filled, but it wasn’t about being another voice—it was about focusing and amplifying the voices we already had. Your voices.
Go LIVE Together is a coalition, and that word was chosen by design. It’s defined as, “an alliance for combined action, especially a temporary alliance of political parties forming a government or of states.” The key word here is “temporary.” And the time to end Go LIVE Together has come.

This will be our last regular newsletter and the website will become inactive by the end of July. As you all know, earlier this year, we made the decision to move Go LIVE Together’s legislative efforts eca logounder the new Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance, our industry’s platform for advocacy. While we’ve made tremendous strides, our experience over the past year has taught us that we need a sustained (and loud!) voice on Capitol Hill. ECA provides exactly that.

But the work of Go LIVE Together isn’t done. While we are thankful that markets are opening up and in-person events are happening once again, we need the provisions provided by the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act (HCJRA) to get smaller exhibitors and attendees back to events. Without the stimulus dollars provided by the HCJRA, our road to recovery will take much longer—which means fewer jobs, and fewer people back at work.
We encourage you to stay in the loop on the HCJRA or other ECA advocacy campaigns, by ensuring you’re on one of the following ECA partner email lists.
It has been our tremendous honor to be part of Go LIVE Together. We wouldn’t exist, nor could we have achieved all that we have, without each and every one of you. We hope to (finally) meet you face-to-face soon and thank you for your support during these many months. It truly has meant the world to us and everyone involved with Go LIVE Together.

Stay safe and stay strong,

Bob Priest-Heck and Sue Sung | Go LIVE Together, an Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance campaign

GoLive Together stationary logo

Encouraging Congress to Expand the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program

EDPAThe Experiential Designer & Producers Association is calling on its members for help in contacting congressional offices. EDPA recently sent a joint letter to Congress urging the expansion of Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program. They also got the Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance, the Exhibitor Appointed Contractors Association, the National Trade Show Alliance, the Painters Union and the Carpenters Union to sign on to the letter. EDPA asks members to send emails to their senators with the text below and include a letter that EDPA has prepared. You can find the letter, along with your representative’s contact info, at their website.

Good afternoon,
EDPA advocacy letterI am reaching out on behalf of the Experiential Designer & Producers Association representing small businesses across the country who are critical to managing live events but are not currently eligible for the Shuttered Venues Grant Program.
Our hundreds of small businesses across the country design exhibits, build booths, provide products and services and organize all of the logistics for 9,400 tradeshows and business events every year in the U.S. Although our companies have been shut down for more than a year along with the live events we support, we are not eligible for Shuttered Venues Grants.
In the attached letter, we are asking for an expansion of the Shuttered Venue Grant Program to include business events and their suppliers.
During normal times, our small businesses are a vital part of the economy:

We employ 2.8 million people.
The tradeshows we manage support
6.6 million jobs.
We contribute $101 billion to the economy.

I hope that you will support expanding the Shuttered Venues Grant Program to include us.

This story originally appeared in the Sept./Oct. 2021 issue of Exhibit City News, p. 48. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_sept-oct_2021

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