DALLAS — This year’s Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) Legislative Action Day — formerly the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Exhibitions Day — on June 1-2 will focus on a singular goal: the passage of the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act of 2021, now in Congress.
This bipartisan bill, which was first unveiled in October and reintroduced in February, calls for a temporary business tax credit that would cover the cost of attending a convention, business meeting or trade show in the U.S. between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2024. The bill would also temporarily extend the employee retention tax credit, restore the entertainment business expense deduction and create an individual tax credit to stimulate non-business travel within the U.S. until the end of 2023.
Trade Show Executive sat down with Tommy Goodwin, VP Government Affairs at ECA, to learn more about this year’s event and what members of the industry can do to help with advocacy efforts.
TSE: What is your main goal for 2021 ECA Legislative Action Day?
Goodwin: Our primary goal is to encourage Congress to take up and pass the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act to help restart the business events industry. Our industry is a cornerstone of commerce across the United States and the sooner we get business events scheduled, the sooner the economy will begin to bounce back.
TSE: What is the key message our industry needs to get across to external audiences?
Goodwin: As an industry, we support more than 6.6 million Americans jobs and 1.7 million exhibitors nationwide. This bill will put millions of people back to work and help jumpstart the U.S. economic recovery.
TSE: What is the best way for our readers to support ECA Legislative Action Day?
Goodwin: Sign up for virtual meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill! Members of Congress and their staffs need to hear how you and your organization have been impacted by the shuttering of business events.
TSE: Are you adding any new features to your advocacy/social media toolkit this year?
Goodwin: We will provide key talking points for all to use on social media to amplify the message for those conducting virtual meetings in D.C. We will also have videos on how to be an effective advocate and have training for those with scheduled meetings on how and what to say during the calls.