Legislative Action Day 2021 a Ringing (Virtual) Success

Sue Pelletier, Senior Editor
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Register Now for Legislative Action DayWASHINGTON, D.C. — The Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA)’s 2021 Legislative Action Day “was quite a success,” said Tommy Goodwin, Vice President, Government Affairs with ECA, which spearheaded this year’s event. “Our message of getting people back to work by accelerating our industry’s recovery was very well received. … our Missouri delegation even added a new co-sponsor on the spot!”

Approximately 170 industry advocates came together on June 2 to meet with Congressional offices in 25 states to support the passage of the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act (S.477/H.R. 1346), which was the focus of the 2021 Legislative Action Day. Advocates used the opportunity to explain to legislators how the Act would encourage exhibitors and attendees to return to business events, conferences and trade shows nationwide. Formerly known as Exhibitions Day under the Exhibitions Mean Business (EMB) umbrella, Legislative Action Day (which coincides annually with Global Exhibitions Day) provided attendees with the tools they need to be effective advocates and connected them to their elected officials. On June 1, ECA offered a free online program to provide industry advocates the tools they need to lobby effectively on the industry’s behalf during their meetings with legislators.

Related. ECA Legislative Action Day to Focus on Passage of the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act 

Legislators Listen Virtually to Industry Advocates’ Story

While this year’s event was digital because of COVID-19 constraints, trade show executives and others across the industry took advantage of the opportunity to e-meet with elected officials to tell their stories and advocate directly to policymakers in Washington, D.C., and their staff — including the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, among others.

Industry advocates used the opportunity to explain the devastation to the business events industry wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic — and how Section 2 of the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act will encourage exhibitors and attendees to return to in-person events.

Related. Tommy Goodwin, ECA’s VP of Government Affairs, Advocates for the Industry

What’s Next

Tommy Goodwin, VP Government Affairs at ECA

Goodwin said ECA will continue the momentum that began on Legislative Action Day by being active on Capitol Hill in the weeks and months ahead, talking to members of Congress about the importance of helping the industry bring back jobs, jumpstarting the industry’s recovery, and supporting the small businesses that are the backbone of the exhibitions and events ecosystem.

“We are meeting with policymakers every day, and we will be building on the great work that our state delegations did on June 1-2 by continuing to drum up support for the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act and other legislation that would help our industry,” he said.

ECA appreciates everyone who is advocating to advance the industry’s recovery, Goodwin added. “Every one of your voices truly matters! For those who couldn’t join us, please take a moment to email your lawmakers about the important role that the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act can play in getting all of us back to business and getting our folks back to work.”

One easy way to participate is to go to https://himss.quorum.us/campaign/32352/ and complete the form to send a pre-written personalized letter to your federal legislators. You also can add a personalized message and post a pre-written tweet that can be personalized, then tweeted to legislators.

Reach Tommy Goodwin at (703) 672-0780 or tommy.goodwin@ecalliance.net