If you’re wondering why the International Association of Exhibitions and Events stages an event about staging events, you’re not alone. “I’ve tried explaining it to my elderly mother,” says IAEE president Steven Hacker. “She never understands.” We do: Some 13,000 exhibitions and trade shows occur each year in the U.S., and events are a $100 billion business. But tighter corporate-travel budgets mean that business is hurting. No wonder 1,500 sector leaders will meet to laugh (with funnyman Dale Irvin) and learn (from social-media guru Guy Kawasaki). Says Hacker: “They’re attending an event … to the second power.” — DM
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