The board of directors of the Trade Show Exhibitors Association voted to dissolve the organization and transfer its members, intellectual assets, and administrative management to the Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, Bend, Ore. The deal will be finalized by a vote of the TSEA membership.

“After careful consideration and discussion with the management team, we made the difficult decision to suspend operations at our Chicago headquarters,” said the TSEA Board of Directors in a statement. “The Board of Directors is recommending a change in management and membership structure through an alliance with the Exhibitor Appointed Contractors Association.” TSEA was established in 1966.

Pending final approval, a new umbrella organization managed by EACA Executive Director Jim Wurm will be created to serve the interests and needs of both TSEA and EACA members. TSEA is an association for trade show exhibitors, while EACA represents exhibitor-appointed contractors. Active EACA and TSEA members will have member privileges in the new organization.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for greater visibility and advocacy for our members in the exhibit industry,” said Wurm. “By having both exhibitors and their contractors under the same organization, we can work together to better serve the industry and to advocate for the issues members most need. And, although our current organizations’ names will change our values will not. Our members’ priorities will always be those of the new association.”

As part of the transfer, the EACA will acquire all TSEA members, their member data, and all branding, financial records, education and advocacy content and initiatives, and any related marketing assets. Once the agreement is ratified by vote of the TSEA membership, EACA will begin the transition to the new association name.

“Please be assured that we as the board are committed to acting in the best interests of our members and retaining the voice of the exhibitor,” stated the board of directors. “We strongly believe that an engaged and enthusiastic membership is the only way that positive, collaborative change can occur within our industry.”

The new association will also continue its plans for TSEA’s Red Diamond Congress as the association’s primary annual event. EACA co-located its annual meeting last year with the Red Diamond Congress, which launched in 2010. This year’s event will be held in Chicago, July 10–12.

TSEA had co-located its annual meeting with TS2, a trade show for event and exhibit professionals run by National Trade Productions that TSEA sold to NTP in 2004. However, NTP canceled TS2 in 2011 for retooling.