IAEE Preview: What to See & Do at the 2014 Expo! Expo!

DANICA TORMOHLEN, EDITOR-AT-LARGE
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Dallas, TX – The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) is gearing up for show organizers and industry suppliers next month in the entertainment capital of the world. Expo! Expo!, IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition, will be held December 9-11 at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC). At this point, registration and exhibit space are tracking slightly ahead of last year, said David DuBois, IAEE president.
“We expect to have close to 40,000 net square feet of exhibit space with more than 250 exhibiting companies representing 60+ product and service categories serving the exhibits and events industry,” said DuBois. “Attendance is expected to exceed 2,000.” In 2013, the event drew 1,934 attendees to Houston, TX, according to a BPA audit.
As in 2013, the exhibition will be held over two days, but IAEE has made some adjustments to the timing, based on feedback following last year’s show. Expo! Expo! will be held 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 9, and 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 10, in the LACC West Hall.
Prior to the show opening on Tuesday, the event will kick off with the Opening General Session and CEM Class of 2014 Presentation. Robert Safian, editor & managing director, Fast Company, will present “How to Thrive Among the Chaos & Lessons of the World’s Most Innovative Companies.”
On Tuesday evening, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board is hosting the Opening Reception at L.A. LIVE, the sports and entertainment district that surrounds STAPLES Center and Nokia Theatre. Completed in early 2010, the campus features sports and music venues, night clubs, restaurants, a bowling alley, museum and movie theaters. The networking event will feature world-famous dishes by Wolfgang Puck Catering.
The Day 2 General Session will take place before exhibition hours on Wednesday. Keynote speaker Seth Mattison, founder and chief movement officer of FutureSight Labs, will share his expertise on conventional leadership thinking and workforce trends during his presentation, “Relationship Revolution:  Building Better Connections in the Digital Age.”
Also on Wednesday, the Executive Breakfast has been expanded. The program, which is limited to those with a VP-level title or higher, will be held 7:45 to 10:30 a.m.  Moderated by Carrie Freeman-Parsons, vice chair, Freeman, the session will feature a panel that includes Mattison and Safian, as well as Candace Nelson, founder & pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes, and Audrey Robertson, VP of cultural programs, community relations & social media, The Container Store.
On Wednesday evening, attendees can network at Humanity Rocks – A Celebration with a Cause, an annual charity event launched by founding sponsor Global Experience Specialists (GES). The event will be held 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. at Conga Room at L.A. LIVE. The world famous Conga Room is co-owned by Jimmy Smits, Jennifer Lopez, Paul Rodriguez, Sheila E., Amaury Nolasco, Baron Davis, Trevor Ariza, and will.i.am. The Conga Room features a VIP area with panoramic views of the STAPLES Center and Nokia Plaza.
IAEE will also offer a number of joint events with other industry associations. On Tuesday, the program features joint sessions with the National Association of Consumer Shows (NACS) and the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO). The IAEE Major American Trade Show Organizers (MATSO) Roundtable, an invitation-only event, will be held 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday. IAEE, the International Association of Venue Management (IAVM), and the Exposition Service Contractors Association (ESCA) are producing a joint one-hour session, “When Venues Launch Their Own Shows,” on Thursday.
Throughout the event, attendees can unwind, relax and network inside the “Go & Be Renewed, Refreshed, and Rejuvenated” areas surrounding the education sessions. The interactive rooms will feature poster sessions, charging stations, refreshment breaks, member services, a SwimUp TECHbar and complimentary massages.
New in 2014, Thursday will feature a full day of education, with 30 educational sessions in five one-hour time slots. “Attendees told us that there were too many session options last year, so we’ve narrowed from 10 to 12 sessions per time slot to five or six,” said DuBois. Session topics range from “Sponsorships That Succeed” and “Big Data and Analytics,” to “Room Block Piracy” and “Avoiding Irrelevance.”
Also on Thursday, the IAEE Annual Networking Luncheon and Awards Presentation, sponsored by Visit Baltimore, will honor and recognize the 2014 IAEE Award Recipients, Platinum Circle Inductees, Helen Brett Scholarship Recipients, Krakoff Leadership Institute Graduates and the 2014 Art of the Show Competition Winners (For more information, see sidebar).
The event will conclude with Expociety, IAEE’s Annual Closing Party, which will be held 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at the JW Marriott Los Angeles.
Don’t Miss These Exhibitors at Expo! Expo!
Trade Show Executive (Booth 225)
Meet the TSE team and share your latest news, show ideas  or suggestions.  Get involved with TSE  — as a speaker at our events, serve on TSE’s Exposition Forecasting Board, etc.  Copies of the latest issues and directories will be available along with information on next year’s Gold 100 and Fastest 50. Daily drawings for a Kindle HD Fire will be held. And the candy dish is always full.
SMG Convention Centers (Booth 707)
At 2,000 square feet, SMG’s pavilion will be one of the largest destinations on the show floor and will be manned by 65 SMG executives from various convention centers. A large area is dedicated to SMG’s national sales operations, but specific cities are also represented, including Chicago, Philadelphia and Cleveland. New this year is a corporate exhibit.
Map Your Show (Booth 135)
Version 6 of Map Your Show’s event management software will be available for a test drive at one of the booth’s four kiosks. The design of the latest version is said to be even more responsive than previous versions. There is also a mobile version for both Apple and Android devices. Drawings for prizes ranging from always-handy Starbucks gift cards to high-end audio gear will be held.
Global Experience Specialists (GES) (Booth 235)
Expresso will be on the menu at the GES booth. Expresso is the comprehensive software program for exhibitor ordering. A mobile app version was released this Fall and will be on display along with GES’ many other technology offerings. There will also be information available about Humanity Rocks, the benefit concert that GES sponsors at IAEE.
Experient, a Maritz Travel Company (Booth 625)
Experient is featuring the leading experts and peers in their booth to share strategic and tactical ideas and solutions. How can you create more personalized experiences? What is it about your show that fosters the best relationships? What are your attendees and exhibitors saying about your show? Is your event’s value enduring? Booth visitors can also register to win a 42″ HDTV.
a2z (Booth 649)
Along with the latest version of its cloud-based exposition and conference management software, a2z will have plenty in store for attendees on the show floor. The a2z booth will have a drawing for a major prize that will be awarded on the main stage of the exhibit hall at the end of the show.
Reach David DuBois at (972) 687-9204 or ddubois@iaee.com