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Advocacy – A Pathway to Exhibit Industry Influence and Support

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Advocacy – A Pathway to Exhibit Industry Influence and Support

When the doors of a trade show floor open, attendees are treated to magnificent structures, compelling brand messages, and engagements that connect. What these guests don’t see is the tremendous amount of work that goes into planning, promoting, designing and building such an experiential environment.

Before the glam and hospitality is served up, exhibitors, working with their trade show exhibit company, first must set objectives to support their organization’s marketing strategies, and then ensure that the proposed exhibit’s design and messages are on target to achieve these goals. The fabrication of the custom trade show exhibit, shipment to the event city, and the final assembly on the floor follows – all adhering to the specifications and timetable of the show organizer and general contractor.

Prior to 2020, exhibitors and exhibit companies enjoyed an increase in demand during the economic boom of the previous decade, leaving little time to consider economic policies and issues that affect the industry’s future. As the COVID pandemic took hold, it was obvious that most industries had more pronounced lobby efforts in place that would give them access to government support to survive through the dark days.

Through the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA), the annual industry effort in what is known as Legislative Action Week has spearheaded visibility by meeting with members of Congress about the vital role that face-to-face business events play in expanding economies and helping communities across the United States recover from the devastating economic and employment impacts of the pandemic.

Industry leaders had to learn to vie for the attention needed on Capitol Hill to make a difference. The resurgence of advocacy efforts initiated in 2020-2021 must continue and grow. As the industry gains avenues of influence and visibility, exhibitors, exhibit companies and their employees will benefit through access to greater support should the bumps and turns of economic activity prove challenging in the future.

Another effort to amplify the voice of exhibitors specifically is The Exhibitor Advocate, a web site designed to help all exhibitors thrive. Here’s the mission of the effort:  The Exhibitor Advocate amplifies the voice of exhibitors to ensure the enduring success of exhibitions and events by collaborating with all stakeholders to promote and cultivate open communication, consistent standards, and industry best practices.  There are several ways to get involved:  asking for assistance, volunteering, donating and speaking are just to name a few.

To learn more about how you, as an exhibitor or a supplier, can advocate for the industry you love and depend on to meet experiential marketing goals, click here. Your voice matters!