Support the Business Events Industry by Joining the 2022 Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance’s Legislative Action Week!

May 10, 2022

As the trade show and meetings industry continues its emergence from the pandemic, this year’s Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance’s (ECA) signature ECA Legislative Action Week couldn’t be a more important and urgent one for event professionals to consider attending.  

Set for June 6-10, the week-long virtual event will converge face-to-face business events industry advocates to meet with their members of Congress about the vital role that exhibitions and conferences play in helping communities across the U.S. recover from the devastating economic and employment impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to ECA officials.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, advocacy has to be part of the DNA of the industry going forward,” asserted David Audrain, CEO of the Society of Independent Show Organizers and co-president of the ECA, a coalition of nine professional, industry and labor organizations dedicated to the recovery and advancement of the face-to-face business events industry. 

He continued, “ECA Legislative Action Week is an important opportunity for all of us across the industry to come together to make our voices heard on Capitol Hill.” 

According to ECA officials, prior to the pandemic, face-to-face business events supported 6.6 million jobs nationwide and contributed $396 billion annually to U.S. gross domestic product. However, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) found that total B2B event activity in 2021 was still 57.5% below pre-pandemic levels, an ongoing decline that has been particularly hard on small businesses, which are the driving force behind conventions and trade shows across the U.S. Ninety-nine percent of all business events companies and 80% of all exhibitors are small businesses, they added. 

“Exhibitions and conferences make a tremendous impact on our communities and the U.S. economy more broadly,” said David DuBois, president and CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and co-president of the ECA. “What elected officials in Washington, D.C., do in the weeks and months ahead will directly impact the industry and our recovery, which, in turn, impacts the communities in which we work and live.”

This year’s ECA Legislative Action Week will focus on the vital steps that Congress can take to help get the exhibitions and conferences industry back to business, including providing financial relief to small businesses, restoring communicable disease coverage to event cancellation insurance and supporting the full restoration of visa processing at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.  

On June 6, the ECA will host a preview session featuring a policy issues overview and interviews with key policy-makers and industry leaders, while virtual congressional meetings will take place June 7-10. Those interested in participating will be asked to indicate which days they are available for meetings during the registration process.

“As we continue along the road to recovery, advocacy has never been more important or urgent for all of us involved with face-to-face business events,” said Tommy Goodwin, vice president of government relations for the ECA. “That’s why we are inviting everyone across the industry to join us for ECA Legislative Action Week and tell the story of the impact their work has on economic recovery, jobs and supporting small businesses nationwide.” 

Join your fellow event industry professionals in advocating for the business events industry by registering for the 2022 ECA Legislative Action Week here!

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