There is a Portuguese idiom that admonishes Brazilians to make the best out of the resources available. When translated to English, it simply says this: “if you don’t own a dog, hunt with a cat.” The sentiment is wise, but staying within those parameters often limits potential possibilities of growth and betterment. Accumulating more resources isn’t necessarily going to be the answer if you haven’t already utilized what is already at your disposal. However, if you have been wise with your resources and you still aren’t looking beyond your current situation, you could be doing yourself and your business a disservice.
Constantly changing trends and technologies are becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with, especially when it’s full steam ahead 24/7. Thankfully, there are resources and organizations available to help you manage the vast landscape of the growing and evolving trade show industry. Regardless of how you approach business, it’s invaluable to have people you can count on to help guide you. Enlisting the expertise of others who understand your profession and who are willing to work hard to represent your needs might be just what you need to re-ignite focus and direction.
World Class Representation
What if there was an organization that has been rooting for you to succeed but you didn’t know it? Best of all, they represent your interests because you’re one of the reasons why they exist. The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) is widely recognized for being the leading representation of all aspects relating to an exhibition and is the culmination of years worth of grassroots empowerment. Comprised of show organizers and vendors, members of IAEE receive unique opportunities for professional development, such as, industry knowledge and trends, leadership opportunities, and social events.
Local IAEE chapters are a great way to build valuable relationships with people who are in close proximity to you while embracing the same goals as the national division. Collaboration can often be more effective when large organizations are broken up into smaller communities. It often solves some very practical needs to meet goals while giving more oversight to members. While there are many different IAEE chapters around the globe, it is possible that some areas are not being utilized to their fullest potential. When this happens it can leave members spread out and traveling too far for events, stifling productivity and in search of a solution.
Members known as Mid-South, inclusive of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Northern Tennessee, felt the need for a chapter that was closer to home that could create more opportunities while sharing the same vision for their unique culture. They recently received the green-light to create Mid-South and they have been making the most of it since its inception with the following events:
- May: IAEE Mid-South held their first event at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, known for its grandeur and southern hospitality, members got to watch history and tradition in the making.
- July: Cincinnati enrichment opportunity with a guest speaker, followed by a Red’s baseball game.
- September: A charity food bank event, co-sponsored with Certified Exhibit Managers (CEM) in Cleveland, that brought in a generous 250 lbs worth of food donations to the event. Additionally, 750+ lunch bags were packed for local children in need.
- Upcoming Event at Expo! Expo! 2017. Not exclusive to Mid-South, Expo! Expo! is the premiere expo of the year held in San Antonio, for those in the trade show industry who want to learn about the latest trends and technology. There will be a chapter reception on November 28th. More details to come.
To make events as accessible as possible, while taking advantage of what larger metropolises have to offer, Mid-South makes an effort to hold events in five of the largest cities in the region, including Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Nashville. For local meetups, key cities are the choice de jour, providing endless networking opportunities. These interactions at events and meetings are essential for creating a sense of community and lasting relationships, which is why Mid-South is such a significant development for the members of IAEE.
The Sky’s the Limit
Paul Brandt, a country music star, penned the lyrics “don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon”. While most of us will remain grounded below earth’s atmosphere, the sentiment rings true. Your potential isn’t going to be held back by gravity, or any earthly imposed rules, it’s going to be what you decide to do with what you have. A good start is to invest in something that goes beyond your limits. At IAEE you gain a sense of community that stretches beyond state lines, while making important connections in your industry that can inspire, support, and guide you in your career. You might not make any footprints on the moon, but you can still leave your mark.