by Michael J. Shapiro | December 12, 2017
The International Association of Exhibitions and Events drew more than 2,000 attendees to its annual Expo! Expo! meeting and exhibition, which was held Nov. 28-30 this year in San Antonio. That attendee total, representing 21 countries of origin, was down slightly from last year's event, which brought together more than 2,200 attendees. Organizers deemed the show a great success in terms of both content and attendee feedback.
 
"The response we have received to this year's meeting has been outstanding," said IAEE president and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA. "The diverse education offerings on and off the show floor combined in-depth learning experiences with palatable snippets of expertise that attendees can apply to their own shows."
 
The number of exhibitors was up by more than 4.5 percent, year-over-year, with a total of 274 operating in more than 39,000 net square feet of sold exhibit space. Last year's event featured more than 40,000 net square feet of sold space filled by 262 exhibitors.
 
The organization recognized 252 recent graduates of the CEM Learning Program, with more to come when the international courses wrap up. And the event raised more than $15,000 with its ninth annual "Humanity Rocks: a Celebration With a Cause." This year's proceeds went to Boyville, a local organization in San Antonio that provides children in need with shelter and education opportunities. Clothing, toiletries and toys were donated by attendees as well.
 
The event also marked a change in volunteer leadership. The 2017 IAEE chairperson, Ryan Strowger, CEM, senior vice president of exhibitions, conferences and sales for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, handed over duties to 2018 chairperson Daniel McKinnon, CEM. McKinnon is vice president of global client solutions for FreemanXP. Among his areas of focus for the coming year will be the continuation of IAEE's advocacy efforts and the expansion of learning experiences. He also will help the organization determine the course of future marketplaces for its exhibitions and events.
 
The next annual meeting will be held Dec. 11-13, 2018, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.