This Just In

New Business Events Coalition Will Unite Existing Industry Efforts

Frances Ferrante

U.S. CapitolExisting efforts to advocate for the interests of the U.S. exhibitions industry in Washington, D.C. just got a boost with the creation of the Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA). This new coalition of eight industry associations was formed as a 501(c)6 organization to drive awareness of the economic impact of the industry as well as to initiate legislation on behalf of business events.

The current advocacy initiatives Go LIVE Together and Exhibitions Mean Business will continue under ECA to carry out their respective missions — Go LIVE Together in advocating for federal COVID-19 recovery funding and Exhibitions Mean Business in promoting the value of face-to-face and the economic impact of exhibitions at the local, state and national levels. Meanwhile, ECA will develop new advocacy campaigns as specific needs arise.

Related. Go LIVE Together and EIC Join to Drive Congress to Craft Legislation to Save the Events Industry

“We’re confident that combining our resources will strengthen our advocacy influence for exhibitions and conferences, effectively ensuring that our voices are heard, to generate positive outcomes for our industry on Capitol Hill as well as at the state and local level,” said David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA, President & CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and co-president of ECA, along with David Audrain, CEM, Executive Director of the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO).

The founding ECA members are Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE, CEM, CEO, Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR); Melissa Cherry, COO, Destinations International; Jim Wurm, Executive Director, Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association (EACA); Chris Griffin, CEO of Crew XP, representing Experiential Designers + Producers Association (EDPA); Bob Priest-Heck, CEO of Freeman, representing Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA); Megan Tanel, CEM, SVP of Association of Equipment Manufacturers, representing International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE); and Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, CVE, CEO of San Diego Convention Center, representing International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM). Also participating are Douglas Emslie, CEO of Tarsus Group; Hervé Sedky, President and CEO of Emerald; Nancy Walsh, President, North America of Informa Markets; and Yancy Weinrich, CGO of Reed Exhibitions U.S., representing the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO).

The Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance is currently seeking a Vice President, Government Affairs. Learn more here.

Reach David Dubois at (972) 687-9204 or and David Audrain at (404) 334-4585 or


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