DALLAS — The number of trade show organizers that are now requiring proof of vaccination for all who plan to attend their shows in person just got bigger — the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) just announced that it too would have a vaccine mandate for Expo! Expo! 2021, scheduled to be held in Philadelphia Dec. 7–9. IAEE joins the ranks of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) for its recent CEIR Predict Conference, the IMEX Group for its IMEX America show in November, and the Professional Convention Management Association for its Convening Leaders convention at CAESARS FORUM in January 2022.
And it’s not just meetings industry shows that are adding a vaccine mandate for entry: Monster tech show CES, coming to Las Vegas in January 2022, also has added a vaccine requirement, as did the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Global Health Conference & Exhibition held in August, also in Las Vegas. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) also had initially added a vaccine requirement before deciding to cancel the show, which had been scheduled for October in Las Vegas.
For IAEE’s Board of Directors, which voted unanimously in favor of the requirement for proof of vaccination, it was “the right decision for our trade show community at this time,” 2021 IAEE Chairperson Bob McLean, CPA, CAE, CEM, Executive Vice President of Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), said. “We are looking forward to experiencing the best and safest Expo! Expo! possible this year in Philadelphia.” The show will also follow the local requirements, which currently include masks being worn inside all Philadelphia businesses that do not require their employees and customers to be vaccinated. Attendees and exhibitors will be able to submit their proof of vaccination through the secure Fern Health Check powered by ShareMy.Health platform.
“We respect our members’ right to choose to be vaccinated or not,” IAEE President and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA, said. However, he added, “We have the responsibility to offer and maintain the safest environment possible for all attendees. It is our opinion that attendance will actually be increased due to our health and safety policies. For those who choose to not attend in person, we are offering digital/online opportunities for their consideration and participation.”
For those who can’t attend in person this year, IAEE will stream general sessions and exhibitor mobile sessions from the show floor, where all educational sessions will be held this year, as well as pre-recorded content on event operations and international trade shows, including the IAEE Asia Forum on Dec. 9. Exhibitors also will have dedicated hours to meet with buyers one-on-one on the virtual platform.
In-person attendees at this year’s Expo! Expo! will find an educational program packed with sessions on the strategic skills leaders and companies need now to respond to future challenges; attendee and exhibitor acquisition and retention; the latest event technologies; operational efficiencies; safety, security and risk management; and partner sales and sponsorships; as well as leadership and management skills and sessions on wellness and personal care.
Learn more and register at IAEE’s Expo! Expo! website.