In a sudden, significant move, the board of directors of the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA) has voted to shutter the association's Chicago headquarters and transfer its assets — including its members, management and intellectual property — to the Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association (EACA), TSEA announced last month.
"After careful consideration and discussion with the management team, we made the difficult decision to suspend operations," reads a statement on the TSEA website. "Please be assured that we as the board are committed to acting in the best interests of our members and retaining the voice of the exhibitor. The success of our member events such as Red Diamond Congress and Face2Face encourage us to ensure that advocacy, education and opportunities for significant professional connections continue. We strongly believe that an engaged and enthusiastic membership is the only way that positive, collaborative change can occur within our industry. The days ahead will be busy ones for us all as we continue our efforts and thank you in advance for your patience and support."
Pending final approval from TSEA members, TSEA will be dissolved and merged with EACA as a newly named umbrella association under the leadership of EACA Executive Director Jim Wurm. Active EACA and TSEA members alike will have member privileges in the newly formed umbrella association, which will continue plans for the 2012 Red Diamond Congress, TSEA's annual exhibitor marketing conference.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for greater visibility and advocacy for our members in the exhibit industry," Wurm said. "By having both exhibitors and their contractors under the same organization, we can work together to better serve the industry and to advocate for the issues members most need. And, although our current organizations' names will change, our values will not. Our members priorities will always be those of the new association."