BVM August, 2016 - page 98

98 Business View Magazine - August 2016
ley Military Society. “We have about 280 companies
each year – exhibition/convention center executives,
technology companies, and official service contractors
who stage these big, beautiful, wonderful, fantastic ex-
hibitions that we all know and love.”
When DuBois says “all,” he isn’t exaggerating much,
considering that 32.5 million Americans attend some
kind of trade show or event, every year, pumping over
$70 billion of direct and indirect funds into the na-
tion’s economy. “Those are numbers that raise eye-
brows,” says Bowman. And it’s those types of numbers
that the IAEE likes to impart to members of the U.S.
Congress, when it exercises its advocacy function as
mandated by Pillar One.
“Three years ago, we started Exhibitions Day on Capi-
tol Hill,” DuBois says. “This will be our third year, where
we bring over a hundred of our members up to the Hill.
We brief them for a couple of hours and then we make
legislative calls all day long, getting to over a hundred
Representatives, Senators, and/or their staffs, and we
focus on issues that are important to us.” “It’s a great
way to raise awareness of the industry,” Bowman adds.
“When they’re out there voting on things or proposing
legislation, they think back to the meeting that they
had with our industry professionals, because we really
are a huge economic force in local communities.”
DuBois elaborates upon the industry’s strong econom-
ic influence, noting that, historically, the exhibition and
events industry trails just behind a country’s Gross Do-
mestic Product (GDP). “If the economy is soft, atten-
dance is soft, because people many not want to spend
$50 for a ticket to a boat show or a garden show; they
might need that extra hundred dollars for food that
month, because the economy’s tough. So, we’re al-
ways trailing just behind GDP.”
That being said, DuBois goes on to state that, right
now, both the industry and the GDP are in good
shape.”We’re at 2 ½ to 3 percent growth,” he says.
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