Dallas-based International Association for Exhibition Management has seen a 16 percent increase in membership since its new dues structure went into effect in January, said IAEM leaders at a press teleconference on Thursday. For the first time ever, IAEM membership now tops 4,000 individuals.
IAEM president and CEO Steven Hacker, CAE, was reluctant to make any predictions about how much further growth would result from the new dues structure, saying that not reaching that projection might be construed as a failure. “That said, it wouldn’t be surprising if our membership numbers doubled over the course of the next year.” He added that the association would enter its heavy membership renewal season later in the year.
IAEM’s change in membership structure is part of its strategic plan, which calls for IAEM to morph from a professional society into a trade association that is more reflective of the scope of the exhibition industry. Under the new dues structure, all exhibition staff of a show management company, for example, now enjoys membership benefits. Moreover, dues for show management companies are now based on the annual revenues the company derives from exhibitions.
Both Hacker and IAEM Chairman Sandy Angus said that members would vote at the December annual meeting in San Diego whether to change the name of IAEM to the International Association for Exhibitions & Events—a change that would allow the association to more easily envelop the fast-growing event management sector. A vote on the name change at last year’s annual meeting caught many members by surprise and ultimately was dropped.
At the Thursday teleconference, Hacker and Angus touched on many new IAEM initiatives. Among them: the announcement of a visit to various U.S. cities by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade later this year in an effort to draw more exhibitors and show organizers to China. IAEM also has created new best practices and resources to address two growing concerns: avian flu and protecting intellectual property rights. Hacker also announced the release later this year of three new Guru Reports from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, which earlier this year became part of IAEM.
For more details, visit the IAEM’s Web site, and look to upcoming issues of and .