#MemberMonday IAEEDC Member Feature: Dennis Sharland


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.

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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.

love to cook     cooking2

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.

skeet shootin with Chuck

driving the airport tug


IAEE DC Chapter Bowling Event

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TEAM Bowling is SOLD OUT. Individual registrations are still available on a first-come first registered basis. Don’t wait! Book your spot today!!

IAEE DC Chapter will be hosting their 5th Annual Bowling Event

July 22, 2015

5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Networking, Food, Raffle Prizes & Drinks

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Pinstripes Bowling

3222 M Street, NW

Washington, DC 20007

PH: 202-625-6500

(Underground Parking Available)


Chapter Members   $45.00

Non-Members        $55.00

On-site                 $55.00

Teams of 6            $250.00

Register by Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 5:00 pm

Suppliers: Register your teams early – Limited space for teams!


Any questions, feel free to contact:  B. Murphy, IAEE DC Special Events Chair

Event Sponsored by:

GES Logo Black Peppermill Resort Spa Casino Reno


#MemberMonday IAEEDC Member Feature: Josie Caldwell

IAEE at the Clarendon Ballroom

Name:   Josie Zamolyi Caldwell

Title:  National Sales Manager

Company:  Global Experience Specialists (GES)

Twitter Handle: @JosieCaldwell

What are your responsibilities with your company or event?

Sales/Business Development/Maintain current clients –Promote GES and our offerings.

Tell us about your company/organization/show:

GES is a Global Full Service Provider of Live Events!

IAEE DC Involvement (Committees, etc):

I am part of the IAEE Special Events Committee

What drives your involvement with IAEE DC?

I enjoy the networking and also being involved with different aspects of our industry.

Best IAEE DC Experience:

They are all the best!!  Love the networking and maintaining friendships!


How long have you been in the DC area?

I went to American University (Full ride Basketball scholarship!) 1980- graduated in 1984 and have not left the area since.

What made you choose to live here?

Fell in love with the area when I started college!

What is your favorite place in the DC area and why?  I really enjoy seeing the monuments on a clear evening – they are breathtaking!  After all this time, I still enjoy driving into the city and seeing the city from 395 (especially when there is no traffic!)

How did you first get involved in the industry?  OMG – this is quite funny – I was working on an internship in an office that was being shared with The International Management Group in DC.  I was finishing up my internship – getting ready to graduate, and someone was getting let go and I walked into the office of the owner and told him that I was interested in applying for the job.  I got the job, and managed about three associations.  I was either going to sink or swim…..I am still swimming!

What is the most interesting tradeshow other than your own that you have ever attended?

I enjoyed being a part of “HairWorld” when it was in DC – this was many years ago – It was very exciting.

Tradeshow Bucket List- if you could attend any tradeshow that you haven’t yet, what would it be?


What book are you currently reading?  Leaning In – written by Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, and Nell Scovell, TV and Magazine writer.

What is your favorite activity in your free time?  Cooking, Walk/Running –  Hanging with my new great nephew…Brayden Alexander!!  Also LOVE SPENDING TIME WITH FAMILY – Enjoy watching Tennis!

Where would you most like to travel that you have never been?

Australia; Thailand; France

If you could have any career other than your current one, what would it be?  When I was in second grade, I wanted to be like Lucille Ball!  I really enjoyed watching I LOVE LUCY!




IAEE HQ Announcement


Today is the last day to apply for KLI and KALI!

Register today to start your leadership journey!

The Krakoff Leadership Institute brings together individuals interested in learning more about themselves so they can get involved and become effective strategists, contributors, facilitators and the innovators. This highly interactive curriculum integrates theory and practice to ensure institute participants leave capable of both thinking better and doing better.  This program is designed for those with 3-5 years’ experience in the industry.

Through active participation, participants will gain a greater understanding of how to:

• Align personal and professional values as well as manage opposing values
• Leverage personal strengths and weaknesses (DISC) to promote and motivate excellence with differing work styles
• Form effective teams by recognizing barriers and integrating intervention techniques to achieve synergistic results
• Communicate effectively in a diverse and global industry to maximize value and decrease misunderstandings
• Address and manage conflict in the workplace with skill to minimize disruptions to work and to create a harmonious work environment
• Apply processes and tools to develop a strategic plan to navigate needs, trends, issues and develop solutions that deliver the  greatest impact and value
• Evolve personal leadership skills through intentional self-evaluation
• Earn 12 hours towards CEM recertification
For more information checkout: KLI Application

or 2015 KLI_KALI Info Sheet 

IAEE DC Member Feature: Syd Rivera

PMPI at the Westin Hotel

Name: Syd Rivera

Title: Regional Vice President, Eastern Region

Company: Map Your Show

What are your responsibilities with your company or event?

Manage customers and sales prospects in US Eastern Region. Territory extends from NYC to DC metro area.

Tell us about your company/organization/show:

Map Your Show (MYS) is a division within Gardner Business Media, which is a privately owned company based in Cincinnati, OH.  MYS functions as an independent business unit within Gardner that creates and services event management software for various aspects of the trade show industry.  MYS was formed in 2005 when they developed a web-based interactive floor plan module that caught the attention of the trade show industry due to its impressive design, ease-of-use, and expanded exhibitor booth content.  

 MYS expanded its product line around our floor plan module to incorporate seamless website integration of the following event management applications

  • Floor Plan Management & Integration with CAD
  • HTML Integrated Directory Search
  • Booth Sales Management
  • Data Collection and Directory Integration
  • Onsite Product Locator Kiosks
  • Custom Printed Hall Maps and Show Directories
  • Native Mobile Applications

 The MYS development philosophy is to focus on the core products mentioned above and build them in a manner that can be seamlessly integrated into any existing trade show website.  By investing in building our own dedicated development and customer service teams to better control our development processes, we ensure a high level of continuous support and responsiveness.

IAEE DC Involvement (Committees, etc):

DC Chapter Member

What drives your involvement with IAEE DC?

I support the education efforts that the DC chapter encourages. Networking at these events is also part of my job description.

Best IAEE DC Experience:

Running around with Mary Higham, Amy Fisher, Amy Durkin, and other chapter members visiting politicians last year on Exhibitions Day.

How long have you been in the DC area?

Since 1985

What made you choose to live here?

Job opportunities were great and I needed to get away from my first wife who was a nut case.

How did you first get involved in the industry?

I joined United Airlines in the mid-80’s as a passenger sales executive. My job was to call on travel agencies in the area and “persuad” each to sell as much UAL as possible. While doing this work, I met my current wife who was working as a sales executive with Fairmont Hotels (long story how we met). Through her, I became associated with her hotel friends and ended up in the Hilton Hotel Sales office in DC. At the time, the sales team was looking for an individual who was familiar with the airlines and could apply this experience with selling hotel packages to Hawaii. Being from the Islands, I was a perfect candidate. It was while at Hilton that I heard about IAEE and became a member.

Current/Past IAEE HQ involvement:

Map Your Show is the official Tradeshow Map provider for the IAEE ExpoExpo event. We’ve been partners with IAEE since 2008. 

What is the most interesting tradeshow other than your own that you have ever attended?

I attend numerous customer events to assist onsite. The most interesting tradeshow I attended was the International Association of Fire Chiefs. The little kid in me thoroughly enjoyed all of the big, shiny fire engines. I recall standing in a long line just to climb part way up the long extended ladder of one of the bigger vehicles. Totally cool! The other thing I remember was the live demonstrations where firefighters used different/new kinds of firefighting and rescue equipment on a car that was set on fire. Awesome!

Tradeshow Bucket List- if you could attend any tradeshow that you haven’t yet, what would it be?

Believe it or not, I have not yet been to the Consumer Electronics Show. This sits at the top of my Tradeshow Bucket List.

What book are you currently reading?

I recently finished American Sniper, and Ice Hunt by James Rollins. Both were read concurrently so it took me a while. I had read Sniper a long time ago but wanted to read it again before the movie came out, which was good but the book was better (everyone says that). I went with a group of guys (GNO) who were all retired military and from different branches of service. They made the movie even more fulfilling when we talked about it afterwards.

What is your favorite activity in your free time?

My lawn and garden is somewhat my passion. I enjoy a nicely manicured lawn (hate weeds!). Our flowers do alright. They can add great color to anyone’s yard. We started vegetable gardening a few years ago. I found that I’m “just okay” at growing the basics: tomatoes, zucchini, etc. I tried raising corn one year, but all I got was these little mutant ears that look like what you get when you order Chinese food with vegetables.

 If you could have any career other than your current one, what would it be?

Hmmmm…that’s an interesting question. I’ve had some great jobs in my lifetime. I’m fortunate and my jobs all seem better than the one I just left. When I think about what I would do when I retire, I still think of having a sales job. I would be pretty good selling running shoes (my per week mileage is @15 miles); or, I would have fun working in a hammock store near a beach.

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To bid or not to bid?

Donna Mattei Johnson, CEM, CMP, CTS & Mary Higham, CEM

IAEE at the Westin Alexandria

You have contracted with your tradeshow vendors (general contractors, registration, audio visual, floral, etc.) for years – your level of service is excellent, they are dependable and you  have a great relationship with them – why would you want to go through the daunting task of bidding our your vendors?

As a third party provider, some of clients demand that we bid out services every year. This can be very challenging and time consuming. Bidding out services every year does not provide bulk buying power or allow our teams to establish critical relationships, but it does keep our current vendors on their toes year over year. Then we have some clients that have not bid out services for years and have no idea if they are getting the best deal from their vendors.

Typically we prefer three year service contracts with a mutual cancellation clause. This allows us to negotiate the best prices for services, build upon relationships and course correct if needed during the term of the contract.

Once a decision has been made to bid out service it is important to inform your incumbent vendors, stakeholders and staff of the reasons you are going out to bid. Then you must develop an RFP (Request For Proposal) and a timeline for the bidding process. The RFP should allow you to compare all services in an “apples-to-apples” order. The best way to receive the apples-to-apples RFP is to request that all vendors submit their proposals in the same format and in the order that is requested.

After the RFP is developed (normally at least 1 year prior to your contracts ending), inviting your vendors to visit the event is allows everyone to get a firsthand look and ask any additional questions prior to the submission. Communication throughout the RFP process is key to your success. You can request that all questions to the RFP be submitted by a certain date and share all answers with all bidders or you can decide to answer questions individually.

Upon receipt of all RFP’s it is critical to develop a comparison chart to ensure that pricing for each requirement was submitted. While rates can be important, they are not an accurate measurement of everything that is included. Price alone should not be the lone determining factor when selecting vendors. It is extremely important that you are comfortable with the vendor, that the relationship is a partnership. Hopefully a long-term, win-win partnership. Good luck and happy bidding!

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Regularly bidding services for your show certainly has its advantages and there are definitely arguments to be made for why services should be bid every 3-5 years. However, if you are already pleased with your current vendors, it may be in your best interest to skip a bid cycle now and then.

If you are bidding every three years, you are constantly spending large portions of both your and your supplier’s time crafting, submitting, pitching, and reviewing proposals. You end up with only a year or two of fluid service, as the vendor will need a year to get up to speed and then the last year of the contract requires crafting a response to the new proposal so that they do not lose the business. The old phrase, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” can aptly be applied here.

Exhibitors do not like change when they can avoid it. Reliability is a huge factor, and changing vendors frequently is difficult for them. Processes change, pricing differs, and they have a difficult time keeping track of who the “Official Vendors” are. Not only with exhibitors, but attendees are also confused when you are switching vendors frequently. Show tools and processes differ both in look and protocol. When you are happy with you current vendor, it seems unnecessary to create undue stress for not only your them, but your own team who doesn’t know who they will be working with year to year. By maintaining your relationship uninterruptedly, it builds loyalty on both sides and consistency for your exhibitors, attendees, and internal staff.

Sometimes, if you establish that you are very pleased with the service, you may wish to consider signing a longer term contract. This can enable you to develop a competitive pricing model that both parties can be happy with and to work towards long term goals, saving you both the time and stress of an RFP process every 3 years.

Just because you choose not to bid a successful service is no reason to bury your head in the sand about the latest tools and technologies. Educate yourself on the newest innovations and if you see something that piques your interest, ask your current vendor if it is a feature that they can offer you. My association offers a new product competition that we were constantly bidding vendors for. Because we sync it with our mobile app, my organization asked if we should bid the app as well. We approached our existing app vendor, whom we were/are very happy with, and asked what product competition systems they would be able to integrate with. The result was the app vendor custom built us our competition site and it perfectly syncs with our app. This program is not only perfectly fitted to our needs, it ended up being less expense than finding both a new competition submission site vendor and new app vendor. It is understandable that you want your vendor using the latest technologies, but sometimes all it takes is a conversation with them to have them offer that service.

Whether you decide to bid routinely, or just when needed, it’s very important to stay on top of industry trends, keep your knowledge of different vendors current, and develop strong communication with your existing vendor on your needs, future plans, and intentions. Best of luck!

Go & Be – Counted


Julie Sullivan, CEM, CMP
Manager, Exhibition Sales
International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA)

This winter, I had the fortunate opportunity to attend Expo! Expo! on a scholarship courtesy of the Washington, DC Chapter of IAEE. As you can imagine, this news and opportunity added an extra element of excitement and anticipation for me and made the event seem all the more rewarding and memorable.

When I applied for the scholarship, I had several key goals in mind. Since it had been nearly five years since my last brief fly-in, take a CEM class, visit the exhibit hall, and fly back out ten hours later, I hoped to make this trip a total emersion experience. I wanted to begin networking and supporting IAEE on a national level, bond with my local IAEE DC Chapter community, hear about new trends in the industry, gain some new insights on multi-generational communication, and last but certainly not least, experience a new city. Like everyone, I suppose, I had pre-conceived ideas about what my experiences there would be like and what the City of Los Angeles might hold as well. In reality, my expectations were completely dashed to the rocks. My time there was everything I had hoped it would be and more. In fact, from an attendee’s perspective, I thought Expo! Expo! 2014 was the proverbial grand slam.

I went to Los Angeles to “Go & Be” many things: original, innovative, creative, and strategic as IAEE’s Expo! Expo! encouraged us to be. Upon returning home, I felt genuinely surprised and inspired by the vitality and adaptability of our industry and impressed with the thriving, rejuvenated Downtown LA area. It was a perfect pairing of meeting to destination.

As the seed of an idea from months earlier suddenly took root and began to materialize, my only remaining dilemma was deciding on what to do out of the countless options available to me during the meeting. Sticking to my initial goals, I settled on an agenda including a city-wide tour, learning how to building better relationships in our technology driven era, networking on a national and local chapter level, applauding all 257 CEM graduates, and visiting suppliers and industry friends alike on the trade show floor.

My experiences at Expo! Expo! re-confirmed for me that I’m in one of the most exciting and successful career paths. The industry is doing very well, has been doing well during the recession, and will surely continue to do so because it adjusts effectively through the ages. The proof of its strength was in the numbers announced at this year’s meeting. Not only did Expo! Expo! 2014 experience record attendance and had a record number of CMP graduates investing in its future, but the industry is producing big numbers where many others simply are not.

Making the decision to go to Expo! Expo! 2014 was a great one for many reasons. It was an opportunity for me to support the exhibitions and events industry at the national level, it stood as a testament to my level of commitment and support to our close-knit Washington, DC community, and was proof positive to that I wanted to officially stand-up and be counted. As the saying goes, “the community that stays together, thrives together” proved very true last year and I’m thankful for its support.

“Go & Be” HOPEFUL should be added to the Expo! Expo! 2014 meeting theme. The future looks very bright indeed for exhibitions and events.

Movers & Shakers

Jennifer Abdinoor is now National Convention Sales Manager with Reno-Tahoe Convention & Visitors Authority

Susan Ainsworth is now Director of Member Programs and Services at American College Health Association

Janet M. Allen-Smith is now Director, Mid-Atlantic Regional Operations at Smart City Networks

Chris Anderson is now Conference & Corporate Relations Director at American Jail Association

Terrence Arth, IOM, CMP is now Vice President Member Programs & Services at National Association of Chain Drug Stores

Diana Brodney is now Manager of Conferences at Access Intelligence LLC

Yvonne Chanatry is now Vice Presindent, Marketing at America’s Health Insurance Plans

Dan Cole, CEM is now  Senior VP, Trade Shows & Exhibits at Hargrove, Inc.

Jennifer Custer is now Manager, Partnerships & Community at CTIA-The Wireless Association

Alex Davis is now  Manager, Operations at Consumer Electronics Association/CES

Jana Fields is now Senior Director Sponsorships and Meeting Planning at American Bus Association

Allison Fried is now Director, International Communications at Consumer Electronics Association/CES

Jessica Gelsinon is now Manager, Sponsorships at International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions

Laura Goodling is now Account Manager at a2z Inc

Caitlyn Gorski is now Senior Tradeshow Marketing Manager at Cvent.com

Jean Huh is now Sponsorships Coordinator at Water Environment Federation

Kate Hurst is now Vice President Community Conferences and Events at US Green Building Council

Puneet Jain is now Director, Emerging Technologies at a2z Inc

Donna Jarvis-Miller, CMP, CEM is now Director, Membership Operations & Events at American Public Human Services Association

Candace Johnson is now Director, Event Operations at Walter E Washington Convention Center

Brenda Kinney is now Convention Manager at American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine

Steve Koenig is now Senior Director, Industry Analysis at Consumer Electronics Association/CES

Pam Magnani is now a Meeting and Event Consultant at Vicki Johnson & Associates, LLC

Tom Markusson, CEM is now Senior Director, Sponsorships & Exhibits at American Health Insurance Plans

Mary Medawar is now Director, Exhibit Services at National Association of Chain Drug Stores

Denise Medved is now VP Sales & Business Development at Consumer Electronics Association/CES

Sarah Moretti is now Specialist, Exhibit Sales at Water Environment Federation

Mary Cecile Neville is now  Director of Marketing & Communications at SnowSports Industries America

Kathleen O’Brien is now HMS Rental Specialist at Hargrove, Inc.

Amy O’Connor is now Director of Meetings & Conventions at Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy

Meredith Pallante, CMP is now Senior Manager, Conferences at Consumer Electronics Association/CES

Amy Phillips Hanley, CMP is now Senior Director of Meetings and Exhibits at American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Holly Price is now Project Manager at Naylor Event Solutions

Lesly Rehaut, CMP, CMM is now Director of Business Development at Travel Planners, Inc.

Christina Reilly is now Sales Operations Manager at CTIA-The Wireless Association

Heather Rhoderick, CMP, CAE is now Vice President, Events and Education at American Composites Manufacturers Association

Marilyn Sawyer is now Manager, Operations, Conventions & Conferences at Biotechnology Industry Organization

Michelle Schrei is now Mobile Project Coordinator at Eventpedia

Amy Smith is now Vice President, Conference Services at COMPTEL

Antoinette Tripi is now Manager, Meetings and Special Events at National Association of Chain Drug Stores

Victoria Velez is now Senior Coordinator, CES Marketing at Consumer Electronics Association/CES

George J. Vuturo, RPh,PhD is now Chief Medical Officer at American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM)

Lisa Yonkers is now Director of Meetings and Education at International Association of Fire Chiefs

Welcome New Members and Congrats to New Certifications

Welcome New Members:

Convergence, LLC


US Green Building Council

Congratulations on your new certifications:

Meredith Pallante, CMP at Consumer Electronics Association/CES

Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS at American Bus Association

Amy Pepin, CMP at International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions

Amy Phillips Hanley, CMP at American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Heather Rhoderick, CMP, CAE at American Composites Manufacturers Association