May 29, 2024 9:18 PM
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Talk on the Tradeshow Floor: ExhibitorLIVE in Louisville

by Jeanne Brei

My first visit to Louisville was just a few months ago for IAEE and it was such a treat to work a convention center that I had never been to – and to create my own Kentucky Derby fascinator and visit Churchill Downs. I’m leaving for ExhibitorLIVE in Louisville in just a few hours and this trip, I’m looking forward to seeing the Louisville Slugger Museum and catching up with everyone at ExhibitorLIVE.

The buzz on the show floor

The buzz on the tradeshow floor is that just a week before ExhibitorLive, Linkedin readers were surprised to see that Travis Stanton, formerly editor-in-chief at Exhibitor magazine has stepped down after 18 years with the magazine. Ben Barclay has been promoted to Exhibitor’s managing editor.

At Exhibit City News, digital editor Emily Olson is stepping back as industry veteran, Li Jackson, takes that role. Click here for ECN’s coverage of the new hires. Yours truly continues as a contributing editor/writer with this online column, “Talk on the Tradeshow Floor” as well as What’s Up Wednesdays e-newsletter for NTSA/The Federation.

In addition, TSNN has launched the Exhibitor News Network, a new website, e-newsletter and social channels (LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram) for exhibit management and event marketing professionals who participate in the U.S. exhibition industry with industry veteran Danica Tormohlen as the editor-in-chief.

NTSA Debuting Name Change

Other big news coming out at ExhibitorLIVE is that the National Trade Show Alliance is debuting a name change and a structural change as it becomes the Exhibitions & Events: Workforce Development Federation, Inc. Continuing to be proud sponsors of the Invisible Industry Tour, the 49-foot Triune Quad-X mobile trailer will be on the show floor at booth 1149 for ExhibitorLIVE. Says organization founder Laura Palker, “The name and operational structural change will allow us to expand our reach to everyone in the Live Events community and demonstrate that we are remaining true to our original mission to Connect, Support, and Develop our Workforce.”

More from Palker

Palker adds, “As we talked to more people, we realized that we were all searching for ways to maintain and rebuild our skilled workforce. And so that really prompted the change of our name and the structure by which we operate. We went from being the National Trade Show Alliance to
becoming the Exhibitions & Events Workforce Development Federation, really lasering in what the industry needs most at this time. “It became evident during the lockdowns that we needed to be visible. We needed to represent ourselves as an industry. And yet we needed to recognize that our autonomy is our strength because we are so highly skilled and that we have independent individual needs at every single job classification. And I think that focused us on becoming a federation so that we could address these overarching concerns together and yet create programs that were independently run by each facet of the live events industry.”

We look forward to connecting with everyone in the Live Events industry and discussing how to best raise our industry’s visibility as well as support the current workforce and develop the future workforce. From NAICS codes to O*Net codes to apprenticeship programs, the Federation is laser-focused on its mission.

Partial Activity List

Speaking of missions, here’s just a partial list of the myriad activities that are planned for next week at ExhibitorLIVE—starting with Thunder Over Louisville on Saturday—one of the country’s largest air shows and fireworks displays.

● EDPA Future Leaders will be doing an informal meet and greet for young professionals (anyone under 40) at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 23 for drinks and some food at Neighborhood Services Restaurant , located inside the Omni Louisville Hotel, 400 South St., Louisville. It is right next door to the Louisville Marriott which will have shuttle buses running to EDPA Engage, hosted at the Copper & Kings Distillery from 3:45-5 p.m.

● ENGAGE2023 is now on sale for Sunday, April 23, 4-7 p.m. at the Copper & Kings Distillery in Louisville, Ky. Join EDPA for their annual mid-year event ENGAGE2023 just prior to the opening of EXHIBITORLIVE. Be part of one of the industry’s best networking opportunities, ENGAGE2023. Connect, learn, and have fun with other EDPA members. Ticket Prices for EDPA Members $150 (Non-Member $200). Click here for more info or to register.

● EDPA All Chapters Collide 2023 will be held Monday, April 24 on the rooftop of the 8Up Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen from 9-11 p.m. in Louisville. Join the third annual EDPA Chapters Collide event to mingle with new and familiar faces. Click here to register or here for sponsorships.

● Women In Exhibitions breakfast event will be held Tuesday, April 25, 8-9:30 a.m. in the Exhibit Hall’s Connection Zone with speaker Lisa Brown, personal finance expert and author as she shares tips to help all women take control of their finances. Tickets to the event can be purchased online here.

● Tues., April 25: 3:30-5 p.m. in Room L013 at KICC: The Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association (EACA) will hold its 25th Anniversary celebration. The association will recognize its past presidents and all companies that have been members for 25 years. Congrats to Jim Wurm and EACA!

● Tues., April 25: 5-6 p.m. at the Galt House 3rd Floor Conservatory, 140 N. Fourth Street,
IAEE’s Membership Engagement Committee is hosting a free meetup for IAEE members and friends at the Galt House 3rd Floor Conservatory—a steel and glass enclosed lounge that was modeled on the the Great Exhibition of 1851’s Crystal Palace built in the middle of Hyde Park, London—located at 140 N. Fourth Street in what was originally just a simple elevated walkway over the street.

● EDPA Future Leaders will also be meeting up at Louisville’s Top Golf on Tuesday, April 25 at 6 p.m. Come for an evening of golf, drinks, food and fun as Future Leaders (anyone under 40) meet up with fellow young professionals for an evening that’s sure to create memories and industry connections. The Top Golf Louisville is (approx.) a 15 minute Uber/Lyft drive from the convention center and downtown hotels in Louisville, and you just have to ask the hostess/check-in station for the Future Leaders group.

● EDPA Texas is hosting its monthly Trivia Night on May 10, 5-6 p.m. CST with the SoCal Chapter Challenge on Zoom. Sponsored by Classic Exhibits, click here for the registration link; the Meeting ID is 869 5177 0992 and the passcode is 264690. Free for all, email for a calendar invite. The winner takes home a $50 Amazon gift card.

Hope to see you at one of these events or on the tradeshow floor at booth 1149.

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