The International Association for Exhibition Management will not be changing its name β€” for the time being. At the annual meeting in December in Atlanta, IAEM leadership presented members with a motion to change the group's name to International Association for Exhibitions & Events. Leaders said the proposed name better reflects the group's strategic plan to broaden the scope of the organization to include all aspects of the exhibition industry, in particular the growing corporate exhibitions and events area.

But the motion to change the name met with contention, as many members said they were unaware of a possible name change. Paper ballots were nonetheless cast at the luncheon business meeting, but leaders that night at the closing banquet declared the vote invalid because they said there had not been enough votes to establish a quorum. IAEM leaders vowed to do a better job of selling the name change and the reasons for it over the course of next year.

One change that appears likely to happen before then: The boards of IAEM and the Center for Exhibition Management announced an agreement to merge the two groups. The process is under way, and will likely be completed before the end of February. One result of the merger: all IAEM members will have full access to all CEIR research data and publications.

IAEM's annual meeting drew 2,143 attendees β€” nearly 400 more people than last year's annual meeting in San Antonio. The keynote speaker at the opening session was Representative Donald Mazullo (R-Ill.), who is also chairman of the U.S. Committee on Small Business. He urged the group to push for reform of U.S. visa policies, which, he said, are making it increasingly difficult for foreigners to visit this country. β€œIt is necessary to protect our country, but not to do harm to your industry.”