Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Dallas a Resounding Success


Expo! Expo! 2024 to be Held 17-19 December in Los Angeles

DALLAS, 11 December 2023 – The International Association of Exhibitions and Events® (IAEE) brought together more than 1,850 industry professionals (pending verified audit) to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center at this year’s Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition, held 5-7 December 2023 in Dallas, Texas USA.

“It was a genuine pleasure to host Expo! Expo! in my hometown and the city where IAEE’s global headquarters is located,” said IAEE President and CEO Marsha Flanagan, M.Ed., CEM. “It was greatly satisfying to share in the extraordinary learning experiences and commerce that took place as our industry embraces the vibrant future ahead.”

Expo! Expo! kicked off its abundant learning program with CEM and CEM-AP courses held on Sunday, 3 December and Monday, 4 December. 

The general education program consisted of 50+ sessions on Tuesday, 5 December through Thursday, 7 December that took a deep dive into these seven areas of content: Building and Retaining Talent, Do the Right Thing No Matter Who’s Watching, Exploring Event Technology, Surveying the Exhibition Landscape of Tomorrow, Innovative Sales and Sponsorship Solutions, Marketing Matters, and The Business of Legal.

The Expo! Expo! show floor opened Tuesday afternoon with 241 exhibitors in 35,500 net square feet of sold exhibit space. In addition to conducting business and witnessing the exclusive launch of new products and services, attendees engaged in the Expo! Expo! Gridiron Competition. Powered by show partner Captello, this interactive game experience offered attendees the opportunity to earn points throughout the show floor for a chance to win the ExpoBowl Grand Prize. Prizes were awarded at both the individual and team levels.

Show floor activities concluded with a Neighborhood Block Party sponsored by Visit Dallas that took attendees on a stroll through four iconic Dallas neighborhoods.

Tuesday’s networking activities included the First Timer Breakfast and Hosted Buyer Breakfast, as well as Exhibitor Hospitality Hours followed by the PRIDE After Party: Supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community and the IAEE Young Professionals Party.


Nearly 50 participants started the day off on Wednesday, 6 December at the T-Dawg Wellness Wake Up event with an invigorating workout provided by Train Like One Of Us with Cowboys Fit!, raising more than $1,900 USD for the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) in memory of industry friend, Terence Donnelly.

Wednesday morning’s general session opened with 2023 IAEE Chairperson Dennis Smith and IAEE President and CEO Marsha Flanagan, M.Ed. CEM recounts the year’s successes and outlines future initiatives with industry partners.

CEM Commission Chair Donna Johnson, CEM-AP was then joined by Martin Moggré, Chief Client Officer of Freeman, sponsor of IAEE’s Certification Journey for the CEM Class of 2023 Presentation which recognized this year’s 340 graduates of the CEM Learning Program. Past CEM Commission Chair Ryan Lovell, CEM-AP honored the eight newest professionals to receive the CEM-Advanced Professional (CEM-AP) designation for a total of 25 CEM-APs. 

The 2023 CEM graduates join the ranks of more than 3,500 CEMs worldwide and represent 15 countries that participate in IAEE’s CEM Learning Program.


Vice President of Sales for Visit Milwaukee Leslie Johnson and Vice President of Sales for the Wisconsin Center District Megan Seppmann then provided an overview of the $456 million expansion to the Baird Center and transformation of the Wisconsin Center District that the attendees to Expo! Expo! 2026 will experience.

They also introduced keynote speaker Jonathon Brown, Chief Growth Officer for Trend Hunter, who dazzled attendees with his presentation on how to “Innovate Like a Rap Star.”

Following the general session, attendees took their newly acquired knowledge to the show floor for another day of innovating their business goals and participating in hands-on activations such as the Innovation Theatre, Sustainability Theatre and Tech2Grow Collective.

Wednesday afternoon’s First Timer Reception, Hosted Buyer Reception and Chapter Receptions offered attendees the opportunity to mingle with their peers. The evening wrapped up with Humanity Rocks: A Celebration with a Cause, brought to you by GES and onPeak, and supported by SmartSource where attendees raised funds for local charity, The Stewpot.

The final day of Expo! Expo! on Thursday, 7 December featured education sessions followed by the Closing Lunch. Flanagan and Smith opened the session by announcing Sheryl Adekoya, CEM, Corporate Event Manager for Noria Corporation as the ExpoBowl Grand Prize Winner and Instant Replay as the winning team to receive a prize from the Captello rewards platform. They also recognized the recipients of the 2023 IAEE Awards, including special remarks from Pinnacle Award winner Larry Arnaudet.

Smith concluded the awards ceremony by presenting the 2023 Chairperson’s Award, which recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond in their service to the chair and in helping grow both national and international relationships. He presented the award to IAEE Staff for its work in “making sure that every one that is in this room – and those organizations that could not be here today – continued to participate in its learning programs, provided insights on navigating COVID and most important to me, continued to support you, our members, in providing hope and assistance knowing that we would together exit those dark times.”

A poignant moment in the presentation was delivered by IAEE Executive Vice President and COO Cathy Breden, CMP-F, CAE, CEM who announced earlier this year she will be stepping away from IAEE in June 2024. She reflected on her decades of service and the importance of the exhibitions and events industry. She received a standing ovation after concluding with, “This isn’t goodbye – it is my opportunity to say thank you and to let you know how much I appreciate all of you and what you do to make a difference in this world.” 

Incoming IAEE Chairperson Marie Browne then provided her vision for the coming year and stated, “I am looking forward to working with you, Marsha, in 2024 to help you execute your vision, and joining you in getting out into the community and hearing from members on how IAEE can best help them achieve their professional goals.”

This was followed by Executive Vice President, Business Development for GES Chuck Grouzard’s presentation of a $10,000 USD check for the proceeds raised at Humanity Rocks to John Swindle with The Stewpot, whose mission is to offer a haven for homeless and at-risk individuals of Dallas, providing resources for basic survival needs as well as opportunities to start a new life.

Darren Green, Chief Sales Officer of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, then prepared attendees for the fantastic opportunities that await them in Los Angeles next year at Expo! Expo! 2024 on 17-19 December.

Flanagan closed the lunch by thanking attendees and inviting them to reunite in Los Angeles. IAEE extends a special thank you to all its partners who helped make Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2023 a great success.

Watch the Expo! Expo! recap video brought to you by Visit Pittsburgh and produced by CNTV:

About IAEE

Trusted since 1928, IAEE provides quality and value to its members through leadership, service, education, and strong relationships. IAEE is the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry in the world, with a membership of show organizers, exhibitors, and exhibition suppliers. Organizers of more than 20,000 exhibitions and buyer-seller events around the world are members of IAEE, and the organization advocates and promotes the awareness of face-to-face exhibitions and events as the primary medium for business development and growth. IAEE provides relevant, timely, and innovative education to its members and the industry. IAEE recognizes its strategic partners: 4imprint, Convention News Television (CNTV), Freeman, GES | onPeak, Grit Productions & Expositions, New Orleans & Company, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Personify – A2Z Events, Risk Strategies Company | Buttine Insurance, Swapcard and Synchronicities (Visit Anaheim, Visit Baltimore and Visit San Antonio). Visit www.iaee.com for more information.

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