Head for the Hill: Exhibitions Day 2015 Takes Place in June

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Washington, DC – A new Congress is in session and that means a new crop of lawmakers to be brought up to speed on issues affecting the trade show industry.

The second annual Exhibitions Day takes place June 8-9 in Washington. A team of volunteers from across the trade show industry will spend the day on Capitol Hill briefing key members of the 114th Congress on the important impact that overseas travel and the participation of government employees in conferences has on the cities they represent — and the U.S. export economy as a whole.

Exhibitions Day is an industry-wide joint effort of the major industry associations led by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE). Trade Show Executive is a media sponsor.

This year’s event again revolves around a day-long trip to the U.S. Capitol and its adjacent legislative offices for in-person visits to members and key staff of House and Senate. Delegates from across the U.S. will convene June 8 at the Capitol Hilton for orientation. The main event begins the following day with a bus caravan to the front door of the iconic Washington landmark.

Last year, more than 100 representatives of associations, independent show organizers, destination marketers, convention center unions and service contractors divided up into teams for a full day of meetings. (See TSE’s July 2014 issue for a wrap-up).

The short list of issues presented to the select lawmakers was highlighted by urging passage of legislation to promote overseas travel to attend trade shows and professional conferences. The convincing paid off last year with a welcome move by the Obama administration to extend the validity of visas for Chinese visitors from 1 to 10 years, reducing the need for Chinese attendees to endure the time-consuming visa application process.

The delegates in 2014 contended that suspicions about the intentions of overseas attendees was offset by the fact that such trade show attendees come bearing checkbooks and are more likely to place big orders for products made in the U.S than they are to overstay their welcome or present a security threat.

Opposing tighter rules for federal employees attending shows and meetings will also be pressed using the argument that current restrictions are adequate, and that the knowledge and networking keeps attendees on the forefront of their fields.

A link to online registration is available on the IAEE website at www.iaee.org.

Reach David DuBois, IAEE president & CEO at (972) 687-9204 or ddubois@iaee.com