by Tom Isler | January 01, 2007

Sandy AngusJeff Price
Sandy Angus (left)
and new IAEE
chairman Jeff Price

Reflecting the changing nature of the trade show industry, the membership of the Dallas-based International Association for Exhibition Management has approved a new name for the organization: the International Association of Exhibitions and Events.

“Big companies are moving away from exhibitions in some sense, but they are not moving away from events,” Sandy Angus, IAEE’s outgoing chairman of the board of directors, told reporters at the association’s annual meeting at the San Diego Convention Center in November.

“Exhibitions have got to be exciting,” Angus added. “I think the word events communicates that.”

The name change marks a pivotal moment in the association’s history, as IAEE seeks to establish itself as the “principal” trade association of the industry and expand its international partners. IAEE’s membership doubled in 2006, to more than 6,700 people, after the association switched to a system that recognizes entire organizations and their eligible employees as IAEE members.

Building on that momentum, Jeff Price, incoming chairman of the board and president of Burnsville, Minn.-based Cygnus Expositions, vowed to continue IAEE’s dedication to education and stressed the importance of volunteerism and collaboration with other industry organizations, including the Trade Show Exhibitors Association, as IAEE develops a number of new initiatives. Among them: a template for calculating return on investment and a series of videos about how to produce better trade shows and gather better leads, due out later this year.

The video project, which will feature the Orange County Convention Center, will be funded by a $50,000 donation from the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), which consolidated with IAEE last March, received an even bigger donation in November. The World Shoe Association, based in Encino, Calif., granted CEIR $1 million to fund industry research, part of a $38 million giveaway to industry and exhibition organizations.

Donald Freeman, chairman of Dallas-based Freeman, and Paul Dykstra, president and CEO of Phoenix-based Viad Corp., have been tapped to recommend investment strategies.

For CEIR president Doug Ducate, this moment is a new beginning of sorts for CEIR. “We’re 28 years old and we’ve never had any money,” Ducate said cheerfully. “Finally, we have solid finances to go forward.”