Name: Dennis Sharland, CEM
Title: Sr. Manager Expositions & Advertising
Company: Air Force Association
What are your responsibilities with your company or event?
I am a one-person exhibits and sponsorship department in addition to being responsible for overseeing the ad sales company for Air Force Magazine.
Tell us about your company/organization/show:
AFA is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.
We promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage. To accomplish this, we:
- EDUCATE the public on the critical need for unmatched aerospace power and a technically superior workforce to ensure U.S. national security.
- ADVOCATE for aerospace power and STEM education.
- SUPPORT the total Air Force family, and promote aerospace education.
Our main show is the Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition. This is THE show to be at if you want to get in front of the senior leadership of the US Air Force, foreign air forces, the DoD, and members of congress/ hill staffers.
IAEE DC Involvement (Committees, etc):
I’m working on increasing involvement in the chapter. Getting leadership support for this has proven to be a real challenge with significant changes in the organization over the last 2 years.
What drives your involvement with IAEE DC?
A strong desire to learn from my peers and grow in my career.
Best IAEE DC Experience:
The bowling event last year; it was a lot of fun.
How long have you been in the DC area?
With the exception of 4 years for college and a year after, I have lived here my whole life. I am one of the few who is actually from here.
What made you choose to live here?
I wasn’t really given an option since I was born here.
What is your favorite place in the DC area and why?
It’s really the whole area. DC has everything you might want in a city. Great history, museums, the memorials, sports activities with competitive teams in almost every major sport (The Wizards, The Capitals, The Nationals and DC United) and in the last 15 years or so, it has become a great food town with restaurants that can compete with every other major city. And if what you want isn’t IN DC, you are just a short drive to the mountains, the beach and with 3 major airports you can get there from here (wherever you might want to go). If you force me to pick one place, I would have to say the Air Force Memorial; there is no better view of the DC area than from there.
How did you first get involved in the industry?
Completely by accident… After college I needed a job, things got a tad desperate and so I applied for a customer service job at GES. So I guess you could say I was born into this industry behind the service desk.
Current/Past IAEE HQ involvement:
Currently serving on the CEM commission (2nd year), the Priority Points Task Force and joined the CEM Faculty in the fall of 2014.
What is the most interesting tradeshow other than your own that you have ever attended?
I can’t really pick just one. I think more than putting my finger on the cool factor of just one show, I would really have to say that is the fact that there are trade shows out there for every little niche. Two that jump to mind are the National Pest Management Association (all about controlling the creepy crawly slithering things we don’t want in our homes and offices) and then there is NATSO, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators… . I mean really, who knew this was even a thing ?
Tradeshow Bucket List- if you could attend any tradeshow that you haven’t yet, what would it be?
What book are you currently reading?
Not a big reader like I used to be but my last book was Inferno by Dan Brown.
What is your favorite activity in your free time?
Disc Golf , Shooting Sports, Cooking.
Where would you most like to travel that you have never been?
If you could have any career other than your current one, what would it be?
A psychologist doing counseling.