Thanks to a strong education program, a big drive-in market, and a special telemarketing efforts by the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau as well as the association itself, the International Association for Exposition Management topped last year’s annual meeting registration at its 2001 annual meeting and exposition in Chicago’s McCormick Place, December 4 to 7.

At press time, unaudited registration for the event was 2,447, compared to a final, audited registration of 2,290 in San Diego last December. "For the first time in months. I am looking forward to an uninterrupted night of sleep after this meeting," remarked IAEM president/CEO Steven Hacker during the show. "That we made our projections just three months after September 11 bodes well for the exposition industry."

Though the event drew well overall, the ratio of buyers to suppliers was skewed, with about sixty percent suppliers (ten percent more than usual), according to editorial director Gary Tufel. That was evident walking the aisles of the 50,200-square-foot show, where many of the exhibitors, especially international ones, were hungry for contact with show organizers. Educational sessions that drew particularly well were those organized just weeks before the meeting and which focused on new safety and security issues surrounding expositions.

Among the news announced at the show: -Exhibit Surveys, Inc. has launched a new third-party service for certifying exhibition attendance and demographic information reported by show organizers, and IAEM was the first organization to endorse the service. For more information, contact, Skip Cox, Exhibit Surveys, Inc, 7 Hendrickson Avenue, Red Bank, N.J. 07701; (732) 741-3170. -The two top IAEM annual recognition awards went to Stephen Barry, Jr., chairman and CEO of TWI Global Exhibition Logistics, who received the chairman’s award; and Gerald Kallman, Sr., who received the Pinnacle Award. Kallman is now a consultant to his family-owned company, Kallman Associates, which represents a number of leading international exhibition organizers. -The 2002 IAEM chairman is David Audrain, executive vice president of ConvExx.