Stephanie Selesnick, International Trade Information, Inc.

At the recent EEAA (Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia) Leaders Forum in Melbourne, Australia Exhibitions Day, Timothy Collett, Managing Director of Specialised Events, a for-profit exhibition company, quoted a young person from his team discussing our industry. She said, “You don’t have to be a doctor to change people’s lives.”

It got me thinking about the exhibitions industry and what we do at heart: Help forge lifelong relationships and foster business (and business relationships) on local, regional, national and global scales.

  • We help entrepreneurs see their dreams realized.
  • We help small businesses grow.
  • We help medium businesses expand.
  • We help large businesses serve their customers better.
  • We fuel the economies of many, many countries.

Global Exhibitions Day 2019, or #GED19 brought the industry together like never before. Around 90 countries and regions meaningfully participated. I had the good fortune of helping to kick of the worldwide celebration at the EEAA #GED19 Dinner. Social media went wild leading up to June 5th and large and small companies alike posted videos and stories (Michael Duck dancing and leading a team from Informa Markets Hong Kong was my favorite…).

Another stand out was IELA Secretariat who posted mini-interviews with different jobholders about what they do in the exhibition industry. What a clever idea! After all, how many of our friends and relatives don’t understand what we do for a living?

My challenge to the Global Exhibitions Industry is this: How do we engage and get the word out about the positive impact of exhibitions year-round?