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EVENT Issue 8 | 201189embers of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) are preparing to paint the town red for its upcoming annual meeting and exhibition Expo! Expo! at the Las Vegas Convention Center and nearby Hilton hotel from 6 to 8 December.The show will be the last for current IAEE president Steven Hacker (pictured), who has announced plans to step down in September 2012. However, that hasn't effected his ambition to make this event as big and loud as ever before."If you think of it as a three ring circus it isn't far from the truth," Hacker told EW. "You have all sorts of professional education in the fi rst ring, networking opportunities in the second, and the third ring is the trade show."We have worked hard on education for years and years, and perfected it down to 10 different tracks running consecutively on each day. If you are an event director there is a track for you. At the same time if you are in operations there is a track that will offer information on planning and managing the show fl oor and layout and logistics."The opening speech is by futurist, theoretical physicist and general science commentator Dr Michio Kaku (see page 18), on board to explain how he believes evolution has hardwired the drive to meet face to face into the most basic human instincts."For the caveman it was one thing to successfully slay prey but it was something else to drag it back to the tribe and present your achievement," says Hacker. "It is one thing to be successful in your own right but coming together with your peers allows you to share that and learn from each other. It's going to be a very provocative and interesting discussion."Hacker believes one of the big topics this year will be the question of exclusive in-house services at publicly owned venues, as discussed in a Thursday morning education session."The present nature of the economy means every nickel counts, and it has been demonstrated that UNDER THE BIG TOPUFI IS NOT THE ONLY ASSOCIATION PREPARING FOR ITS CONGRESS. IAEE'S ANNUAL MEETING EXPO! EXPO! IS SET TO BE AS LOUD AS EVER WITH ADDED EMPHASIS ON EDUCATION AND A SURPRISING GUEST SPEAKERin-house services don't work to drive down prices but do the opposite, because there is only one choice."Other education sessions include getting ROI from mobile apps, brand-building and the effects of globalisation on how we do business.Moderated by Henry Schaffer of events-industry specialist law fi rm Howe and Hutton, the debate panel will consist of David Audrain of Messe Frankfurt USA, Aaron Bludworth of general service contractor Fern Exposition Services, and Al Dyess of service providers Production Resource Group. Representing facility managers will be Frank Poe of Georgia World Congress Center Authority and Jim Rooney of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority.The Expo! Expo! exhibition itself runs from 11am to 5pm on Wednesday 7 December. Of course, for those not attending the US event in person, organisers expect the event to have a larger presence online than in previous editions, so if you can't make it be sure to check it out the noise being created on Twitter and Below: Last year's Expo! Expo! in New Orleans

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