The chief executives of five exhibition industry organizations have formed an alliance through which they will meet regularly to explore opportunities to cooperate on matters of mutual interest. It’s the latest example of the spirit of cooperation that has taken hold throughout the meetings industry since the financial meltdown and the resulting AIG effect.
The alliance includes Larry Arnaudet, executive director, Exhibition Services and Contractors Association; Michael Gehrisch, president and chief executive officer, Destination Marketing Association International; Steven Hacker, CAE, president, International Association of Exhibitions and Events; Dexter King, CFE, president and CEO, International Association of Venue Managers; and Lew Shomer, executive director, Society of Independent Show Organizers.
“We believe the convention, exhibition, and events industry is poised to take advantage of additional growth and development resulting from the continuing increase in global trade, the advance of new technologies, and the heightened awareness of the unique power that face-to-face business communications delivers through events that our members produce, host, participate in, and service,” the group explained in a statement.
“This is a particularly appropriate time for us to begin a new and exciting era defined by our mutual support and collaboration for and with each other,” the statement continued. “We are confident that the results of our work together will present those represented with significant new opportunities.”
The group will look to cooperate on a variety of issues, including safety and security, advocacy, education, industry affairs, and best practices, among others. The group will meet for its first official work session in June in Washington, D.C., and will probably get together twice a year, said Hacker. “The idea arose when several of us met to discuss a couple of issues,” he said. “It just seems like a prudent thing to do given all of the complexities with which we are all dealing.”