Exhibitions DayMore than 100 attendees came together earlier this month to discuss key issues impacting the business-to-business (B2B) exhibitions and events industry at the fourth annual Exhibitions Day gathering.

Held June 7 in Washington D.C., Exhibitions Day provided industry professionals with a unique opportunity to foster relationships with one another and build awareness with federal legislators regarding topics of note associated with B2B exhibitions and events.

“This event served as an opportunity to raise awareness of the exhibitions and events industry, and the impact it brings to the global economy and to tourism in the United States,” said AEM Vice President of Exhibitions & Event Services and Exhibitions Day attendee Dana Wuesthoff.

Participants in the event were afforded the opportunity to voice their opinions to legislators on a variety of issues, including the promotion of fair and free trade, travel facilitation, safety and security, airport infrastructure, as well as the increased prevalence of online travel booking scams.

According to AEM Director of Ag Events and Exhibitions Day attendee John Rozum, the event also served as a sort of “civics field trip for adults.”

Said Rozum, “It offered an opportunity to represent the events industry and remind some of our elected officials about just how important exhibitions are to both their states and the country as a whole.”

According to Exhibition Mean Business, a campaign established in 2011 to help unify and give a collective voice to the exhibitions and events industry and better advocate the benefits of face-to-face meetings to business growth and economic development, the following four facts reflect the significance of exhibitions and events today:

  1.        More than 33.2 million people attend B2B exhibitions and events each year.
  2.        Exhibitions and events contribute more than $80 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product yearly.
  3.        More than 9,400 B2B exhibitions are conducted in the U.S. each year.
  4.        In 2016, a record 6.3 million people attended conventions… in Las Vegas alone.

Attendance at this year’s Exhibitions Day was up approximately 30 percent over a year ago and, according to Rozum, the event served as a valuable reminder for AEM that exhibitions and events are and will continue to be of great value to its member companies.

“In a world where product information is easy to access, face-to-face interactions at exhibitions and events are more important than ever before,” said Rozum. “They are all about making meaningful connections between buyers and sellers, and they help close the loop between our member companies and their customers.”

Talking points and details involving all of the issues covered at this year’s Exhibitions Day can be found at www.ExhibitionsDay.org