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Industry Veteran Joyce McKee Passes Away


McKinney, TX — Industry veteran and blogger Joyce McKee passed away on Monday, November 19. Since 1981, McKee had been involved in marketing for face-to-face events. In 2007, she launched Let’s Talk Trade Shows, a collaborative online community for trade show success. In addition, she had been facilitating two industry blogs for The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) and The International Center for Exhibitor and Event Marketing.

“Joyce was a great colleague, but more importantly, she was a dear friend – pure of heart and spirit with not a mean bone in her body,” said Cathy Breden, chief operating officer, International Association of Exhibitions & Events. “I will miss her cheerful voice on the phone.”

Doug Ducate, president and CEO, CEIR, agrees. “Joyce was a delight to work with,” said Ducate. “She was so very good at her work because she listened to responses and asked intelligent follow-up questions. We already miss her smiling face.”

Before becoming an industry blogger, McKee served as president and CEO of Bertram, McKee & Associates, a trade show marketing firm, from 1991 to 2003. Her company consulted a number of Fortune 100 companies on their exhibiting strategies and tactics.

“It’s hard to imagine this industry without her bright mind and a smile that would literally light up the room,” said E. Jane Lorimer, managing director, Lorimer Consulting Group. “When I headed up the Trade Show Bureau (now CEIR), Joyce’s research company conducted several innovative and significant studies for us. In fact, the subject matter was the first of its kind in both the medical and high-tech trade show segments.

“Later, when I was vice president at Exhibitgroup, she conducted other ground-breaking research related to our sales efforts. She was a gracious colleague, friend and a uniquely evolving industry leader and educator. I will miss her and remember her fondly always.”

In 2010, she authored an eBook, The Secret to Achieving Brilliant Returns at Your Next Event: a Guide to Maximizing Your ROI and ROO. Most recently,McKee was working on another eBook, Giving In Secret, about anonymous giving and its impact on the lives of the recipients. Throughout her career, she spoke at a number of industry events.

“Joyce was our blessing, a rare individual who was always happier giving rather than receiving,” said Susan Hueg, CEM, CMP, director exhibitions & events, NBM Events. “While it’s true we all just lost a very special friend and we feel sad that we won’t share a smile or a hug with Joyce, we were lucky to know her. Professionally, she was a talented teacher, writer, interviewer, blogger and marketer — her web site Let’s Talk Trade Shows — was a gift to any exhibitor or organizer who used it. She will be missed.”

A Remembrance for Joyce McKee will be held 4:30-5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at the International Association for Exhibitions and Events Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. The event will be held in Lake Hart Section B on the lobby level at the Hilton Orlando. Join industry colleagues and friends to share memories and tell stories celebrating her life.

McKee will be buried near family in Wyoming. Her family has asked for donations to be sent to McKee’s 97-year-old friend, Ruth, whom she was caring for. Send donations to: Attorney Irv W. Queal, 8333 Douglas Ave., Suite 1000, Dallas, TX 75225-6306. Or make a donation to Paws for Patriots, supporting service dogs.

Reach Cathy at (972) 687 9201 or; Jane at (303) 388-9224 or; Doug at (972) 687-9242 or; Susan at (303) 469-0424 x204 or

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