Welcome to a new year with IAEE DC!

AndyWelcome to a new year and a new ShowBuzz. 2015 is well underway and the board of directors for the Washington D.C. Chapter of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events is already making a difference with the delivery of this…our first electronic newsletter.

So why the change?

One of a handful of efforts that is going to make 2015 a transformational year for the chapter: the move to an electronic newsletter will help the chapter accomplish several strategic goals. First and foremost is ensuring our financial solvency.  While the chapter remains fiscally sound today, in years past it has often operated a yearly budget in the red in order to deliver the best experiences for our members. After some analysis of products, and thoughtful conversation, it was realized and agreed that one of the most significant ways to ensure continued fiscal responsibility without sacrificing the quality of our events was to move from a printed and mailed newsletter to an electronic piece.

In addition to the monetary savings, the board is excited to provide new way to engage the chapter and offer additional features that are only possible through an electronic format.  Designed to be interactive, ShowBuzz will allow members to become part of the conversation with comments and reaction to articles hosted on the chapter website.  Registration links will be included when appropriate to allow members to quickly sign up for events that interest them.  Interested in an ad you see…click it to go directly to the advertiser website and learn more.  Coming of age, ShowBuzz is evolving to fulfill its core mission more effectively; to provide essential information and share industry observations effecting local IAEE members.

What else is new this year?

There are several new initiatives that the membership can expect to see in 2015, as well as several important changes that will not be as obvious.  Supporting the new digital newsletter will be a more robust and effective website….including Capitol Ideas, the chapter’s blog which launched in 2014.  In addition to hosting articles published in ShowBuzz, the blog is intended to provide more opportunities for the membership to be involved and share best practices.

It is not only online that you will find new initiatives this year, the chapter is also planning to add to an impressive list of events.  One event in particular that I would like to highlight will be the chapter’s support of a new IAEE event in DC – Culture Creation.  Held at the Washington Hilton as part of the June 8th week of activities surrounding the second year of Exhibitions Day on Capitol Hill, Culture Creation is designed to give non-profits the opportunity to learn more about their own organizations.  This will be a day-long, interactive program that will shed light on the how organizational culture effects every department.  Immediately following the Culture Creation program, our chapter will host a reception also at the Washington Hilton.  More details for both the program and the event will be provided in the Spring once the program is finalized.

What will not be immediately seen, but surely felt will be the impact of our new Chapter Administrator.  Patti Steele of Steele Conferences was hired by the 2014 Chapter Board to the newly created positon and is already having a significant positive effect on the organization.  Tasked with providing tactical assistance for board initiatives, establishing consistent procedures for future boards, and ensuring chapter compliance, Patti is pushing me to do more with the my time as chair and empowering the 2015 board to make a difference.

So what does all of this mean to you?

Good question…but a better question would be to ask yourself what you want from your membership in IAEE and your chapter.  As chair, I am committing the chapter to delivering the best product and best opportunity for you to learn and advance in your career.  I am committing the chapter to creating opportunities for volunteerism and engagement that allow you to give back.  And I am committing the chapter to creating an environment where education is synonymous with fun and friends. It is up to you to get involved!  I invite you to comment on the articles in ShowBuzz and be part of the conversation.  I invite you to go to the website and request to be a volunteer….with the changes we are making we need you.  And I invite you to attend events, bring a co-worker, and help us expand our community.

There is a lot happening in 2015, and I could not be more excited to be the chair this year.  Our board of directors includes some long-standing members of our community as well as couple new faces.  We are passionate about our beliefs and what we feel is the right direction forward because we all care deeply about IAEE, the future of our chapter, and our members.  I would not have it any other way…and I welcome the year ahead.