For the first time in its history, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events has moved to expel a member.
IAEE’s board of directors voted at a board meeting on September 6 to revoke the membership of Complete Event Planning, Henderson, Nev., for conduct deemed “prejudicial to the interest” of the organization, explains Steven Hacker, president and chief executive officer at IAEE. Complete Event Planning, an event housing company, joined IAEE just this past spring.
The reason for the action dates back to June when association officials learned that CEP was soliciting IAEE exhibitor members to provide housing for IAEE’s annual meeting, coming up in December in Miami. IAEE leadership found this unacceptable and took the matter before the board. It’s a practice that some refer to as “poaching.” (Read more about how CEP officials initially responded to the controversy in IAEE Considers Expulsion of a Member).
CEP will not appeal the decision, says Alex Alexander, corporate division director at CEP, noting CEP didn’t see any benefit from belonging to the organization. Alexander is upset for being portrayed negatively for providing what he calls a “high-quality” housing service for exhibitors, not attendees, that exhibit at multiple shows throughout the year. “The large, old housing bureaus, and the association, don't comprehend the demand for high-quality customer service in the corporate-housing industry,” he states.