The Center for Exhibition Industry Research recently announced that SmithBucklin will run its day-to-day operations. CEIR will relocate its Chicago headquarters at McCormick Place across town to SmithBucklin's offices. Douglas Ducate, CEIR president and chief executive officer since 1998, will continue to head the association but he will relocate to an office in Dallas, where he has maintained a residence since joining CEIR. Ducate says he will focus on marketing, media relations, and general industry outreach.

Two other CEIR staff members will have the option of interviewing for positions at SmithBucklin. And Jennifer Morrison, a SmithBucklin executive, has been named executive director of the CEIR account and will head up the management effort. The transition begins immediately and will be completed by June 1.

CEIR, a leading source of information on the exhibition industry, will continue to conduct research and generate reports, Ducate says, adding that the CEIR board remains intact. SmithBucklin will manage the business, providing back-office support, infrastructure, technology, human resources, financial management, and other related functions, explains Henry Givray, SmithBucklin president and CEO. “Because of our size, and our stability, and our longevity,” Givray explains, “we provide a tremendous level of security and risk mitigation for our client organizations.”

Ducate says that hiring SmithBucklin ensures that CEIR's research capabilities survive. CEIR finished in the black last year, but it has not been immune to economic pressures. “The struggle the industry has faced the last few years has impacted us,” he concedes. Along with the recession, 9/11, and other factors negatively affecting the industry, CEIR's revenue stream from sales of hard-copy research reports was hurt by the e-commerce revolution.