IAEE's Expo! Expo! Exceeds Expectations

Despite the economic challenges that have faced the meetings industry, and the environmental challenges that have faced the Gulf region this year, its Expo! Expo! annual meeting in New Orleans was a huge success, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) announced yesterday.

The meeting, which took place Dec. 7-9, attracted 2,068 attendees and 272 exhibitors — thanks in large part to a video campaign launched earlier this year by the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, featuring testimonials from show organizers who'd successfully hosted events there.

"We have far exceeded expectations for this year's meeting in terms of attendance, sponsorship revenue and show floor participation," said IAEE President Steven Hacker. "The exhibitions and events industry is certainly doing its part to push through this economic recovery period and, based on what we saw in New Orleans, is optimistic about its future. We attribute a great deal of the success we enjoyed to the outstanding support and work of Stephen Perry and his staff at the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau."

Along with keynote speaker Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, Expo! Expo! featured 122 speakers and nearly 70 education sessions on topics as diverse as event marketing, medical meetings and global business development. It also included 38,000 square feet of exhibits, as well as "Humanity Rocks," a fundraising event that hosted 380 attendees and raised $10,610 for Payton's Play It Forward Foundation in New Orleans.

Next year's Expo! Expo! is scheduled for Dec. 6-8, 2011, in Las Vegas. For more information, visit www.iaee.com/expo.