Marco Island, FL – Doug Ducate, the president and CEO of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), added another award to his long list of honors when he received the Hazel Hays Award from the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association (EDPA) last night at their annual banquet in Florida. With the Hazel Hays Award, he completed a “Grand Slam” of four awards that includes the William Hunt Eisenman Award (now the Pinnacle Award) presented in 1993 by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE); induction into the Convention Industry Council (CIC) Hall of Leaders in 1994; and the Distinguished Service Award (2003) from the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA).
The Hazel Hays Award has been bestowed annually since 1976 to individuals who make a notable contribution to the trade show industry, either through a key innovation or a contribution that has increased the overall level of knowledge within the industry. Ducate and CEIR have certainly become fonts of information about the exhibition industry through their tireless research into the business benefits of trade shows.
“Douglas L. Ducate a futurist, a doer, a voice raised to champion the exhibition industry and bring recognition to its people,” read the citation on the award. “His international leadership established new industry benchmarks and demonstrated the contribution the exhibition industry makes to economic growth and global commerce.”
Ducate said he was pleasantly surprised at the receiving the honor. “I don’t think it was so much for me as it was recognition of the work that is being done by CEIR,” he said. However, while the award did note Ducate’s contributions as president and CEO of CEIR, EDPA also honored Ducate for his contributions as an “innovative show organizer” and “industry volunteer leader” in the ‘90s.
Ducate said CEIR and EDPA enjoy close historical ties. It was a group of exhibition industry professionals and exhibit designers, under the leadership of the immortal Lew Johnson, he explained, that got together in the 1970s to form the Trade Show Bureau, which in 1994 became CEIR. This group had an in-depth knowledge of how the trade show industry works and why exhibiting is such a solid marketing investment. He pointed out that without exhibit designers, trade show organizers would not have much of a product. “They are a very special group within the industry,” Ducate said. “To be recognized by them when I am not really one of ‘them’ is really an honor.”