60 Days Until Exhibitions Day 2019! / EDPA Members Advocate for Trade Show Industry at 5th Annual Exhibitions Day in DC (Part 1)

Chris Griffin   EDPA Vice President / Advocacy Chair

Chris Griffin
EDPA Vice President / Advocacy Chair

60 Days Until Exhibitions Day 2019!
by Chris Griffin
EDPA Vice President / Advocacy Chair

There are less than five events per year that I consider “must attend events” if you are a trade show and event professional.   And a new one just made my list:   EXHIBITIONS DAY --- the one day a year that leaders in our industry travel to Washington D.C. and kibitz with our elected officials and leaders to talk about the important issues facing the meetings and convention industry.

You will be hearing more from me in the coming 60 days about why it’s important to participate in Exhibitions Day.  Perhaps the best way to make the point is to share the personal testimonial of someone who actually participated in last year’s event.   Sarah Mainhart of CORT Event Furnishings, provided a wonderful write-up in the days following her experience attending and participating in Exhibitions Day last year.  

Please take a couple minutes and read PART ONE of what Sarah and some of our other industry colleagues said about their experience during Exhibitions Day 2018.  Then pause and reflect on the importance of this industry --- to you and the career you’ve chosen.  To your family and the families we and our employees all support. And to American businesses and the business we all do globally.   

And then email me and tell me you will JOIN US on June 4-5, 2019 in Washington D.C. for this incredible opportunity to meet with our elected representatives and keep our industry moving forward!  

 - Chris Griffin (cgriffin@tscrew.com)

Sarah Mainhart   Strategic Account Manager, CORT Event Furnishings

Sarah Mainhart
Strategic Account Manager, CORT Event Furnishings

EDPA Members Advocate for Trade Show Industry at 5th Annual Exhibitions Day in DC
by Sarah Mainhart
Strategic Account Manager
CORT Event Furnishings

The fifth annual Exhibitions Day was held in Washington, D.C. on June 5_6, 2018, and was attended in record numbers by EDPA members. Along with industry colleagues from the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), EDPA members descended on Capitol Hill to promote the message that “Exhibitions Mean Business.”  This year marked record participation for the event with 125 industry professionals in total, including 18 EDPA members representing Minnesota, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas, and Nevada. The increased rate of participation on the part of EDPA was, without a doubt, the result of Kelli Glasser’s valiant effort to promote and organize our group’s attendance!

Arrived in Town - Reviewed the Game Plan

To kick off the event, we gathered at the Westin Washington D.C. for a thorough orientation on four key policy initiatives that affect the tradeshow industry. We divided into groups based on our state of residence and developed a game plan to address each topic with our elected officials the following day.

  1. Stop Online Booking Scams: Over $15 million worth of online hotel booking scams each year in the U.S. result in the loss of over $1.3 billion to hotels, consumers and show organizers. Bills have been drafted in the both the House and Senate to address these crimes. Our directive was to ask our Representatives and Senators to consider co-sponsoring the bi-partisan legislation and urge the respective congressional committee chairs in both chambers to advance the measures to a vote.

  2. Exhibitions and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI): This initiative was developed by IAEE and its partners to create guidelines for convention center safety that align with existing federal programs and the Department of Homeland Security/Safety Act. As advocates, our plan was to encourage lawmakers to support funding measures for the Department in order to fully fund this initiative.

  3. Travel Facilitation: In 2017, travel to the U.S. from outside countries dipped for the first time after more than 10 years of steady growth. We would ask policymakers to support the message that the U.S. is open for business and international tourism. Otherwise, we risk falling behind in the global market for business travel, which our industry relies on in order to grow and thrive.

  4. Infrastructure: Without investments to improve our nation’s infrastructure, especially at airports, local municipalities may fail to attract major tradeshows and events. Our final ask was that our representatives support infrastructure spending whenever possible.

Networking with My Peeps

What would any tradeshow industry gathering be without networking? At the conclusion of orientation, we gathered for a cocktail reception sponsored by Trade Show Executive where EDPA members had the opportunity to mingle with IAEE members who included show organizers, general contractors, and more. Then our group, led by EDPA Executive Director, Jeff Provost, hit the streets of D.C. for fun a night out before getting down to business in the morning. We walked to Le Diplomat for dinner, drinks, and good times, which quickly calmed any first timer jitters many of us were feeling.

Once again, EDPA is a Supporting Organization for the event this year. For more information and to register, visit www.exhibitionsday.org or contact EDPA Advocacy Officer Chris Griffin at cgriffin@tscrew.com