IAEE President Steven Hacker to Step Down Next Year

IAEE Makes Strategic Decisions
Although Hacker's announcement was the most significant announcement to come out of it, IAEE's annual planning meeting also yielded several other important decisions. Among them:

• IAEE's fiscal 2012 budget emphasizes its focus on expanding education and learning opportunities for members. To spearhead those efforts, the organization will create and fill a new "Senior Manager, Learning Experiences" position.

• Because European events report attendee data based upon a projection of daily attendance — if one attendee visits a fair three times it is reported as three attendees, whereas events in the United States count that visitor only once — IAEE will collaborate with European allies to discuss the potential for universal event reporting measures.

• IAEE will launch a series of annual awards that recognize outstanding achievements among its members.

• IAEE will launch a new scholarship named for IAEE member Jimmie Dee Fore, who died earlier this year. Fore was at the helm of the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

When his current employment agreement expires on Sept. 30, 2012, longtime president and CEO Steven Hacker will resign his executive post with the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the association announced last week.

Hacker has served as IAEE's chief executive for nearly 20 years. He announced his decision to exit the organization at IAEE's annual planning meeting, which took place Sept. 8-9, 2011, in Frankfurt, Germany.

"Having served IAEE since 1992 has been a remarkably rewarding experience," Hacker said. "IAEE's leadership will now turn its attention to the very important task of finding a staff leader for the next phase of IAEE's future. Allowing a full year for the process assures members that a very deliberative process will take place, that there will be no disruption to operations and that an appropriate turnover of responsibilities will take place."

Added IAEE Board Chair Vinnie Polito, "We all think highly of Steven and the way he has represented IAEE for the past two decades. Giving us a year in which to properly plan for this important transition is an incredibly valuable opportunity that many other organizations do not enjoy. We will now turn our attention to carefully analyzing what kind of staff leadership the association may require in the years ahead. IAEE has an outstanding headquarters staff that we value highly. Making the right CEO selection is critical both for them and for us as members. IAEE will issue periodic updates about the CEO transition plan. For now, however, it is premature for anyone to send in letters and/or resumes."