The Exhibitions Mean Business campaign will host its sixth annual “Exhibitions Day” on June 4-5 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Exhibitions professionals from across the country will meet face-to-face with members of Congress and address four important policy issues impacting the health of trade shows, conventions, and other face-to-face gatherings, which contributed $97B to U.S. GDP in 2018.
Exhibitions Day is expected to draw more than 100 attendees from a variety of organizations, who will address policy makers from their home states as well as states they travel to conduct events.
“Exhibitions Day is an important moment for our industry to come together and create change that betters the American business environment for events,” said IAEE president and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA. “These unique platforms play a vital role in the success of businesses and our local and national economies. It’s critical for us to communicate that value and our concerns with leaders.”
Topics that will be discussed at Exhibitions Day 2019 include:
Secure Travel Partnership Act of 2019 (H.R. 1996)
Travel is a top-10 employer in 49 states, and international travel is the top American service export and second export overall. In 2019, the House introduced H.R. 1996 to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to rename the Visa Waiver Program to the Secure Travel Partnership. The existing program, administered by the Department of Homeland Security, allows prescreened citizens of participating countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. The rebrand will better welcome visitors and express our country’s commitment to safe and secure travel.
JOLT Act of 2019 (H.R. 2187)
Over 1.2 million jobs across America are directly supported by international inbound travel. For the U.S. to grow that number as well as regain and increase our share of the global travel market, it is important to improve and expand programs currently in place. Advocates will encourage the JOLT Act, which will update and strengthen numerous programs related to the efficiency and volume of international travel.
Investing in America’s Infrastructure
According to the World Economic Forum, inadequate infrastructure is one of the top factors impeding business, making it extremely challenging to accommodate trade shows within states. Attendees will ask Congress to support measures that close all infrastructure investment gaps.
Protecting Brand USA
Brand USA is a bipartisan program, funded by inbound airline passenger fees and private industry, that promotes the country overseas as a business and tourist destination. A 2019 study by Oxford Economics showed that Brand USA’s six-year marketing results equate to an average marketing ROI of 28:1., meaning every $1 of Brand USA marketing generated $28 in spend. Attendees will urge Congress to oppose measures to defund Brand USA and recognize that reduced funding would hurt the health of our economy.
Exhibitions Day was established in 2014 to serve as a platform to engage in uninterrupted, one-on-one dialogue with federal legislators and other policy influencers.