Outboarding, the practice of holding an event in conjunction with, but not sanctioned by, a convention organizer, has gotten an official thumbs down from the International Association for Exhibition Management.

In a policy statement released in mid-July, IAEM declared outboarding “unethical” and says it “should not be condoned nor tolerated.”

The statement goes on to say: “The predictable and inevitable consequences of outboarding diminish the size and diffuse the quality of the audience that event sponsors work very hard to gather. Outboarding reduces the value of an event for exhibitors and sponsors who likewise have significant resources invested in the event.”

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, commenting in IAEM's press release, supports the organization's position. “No ethical corporation,” he says, “should outboard an event.”