Exhibition World | Feature31Case studyHansen uses BPA's recent audit of the American ThoracicSociety's (ATS) 2010 International Conference in NewOrleans as one example of why this 'fear factor' is misplaced."The way the event came to audit was a textbook exampleof the industry best-practice system working properly," saysHansen. At the behest of the Exhibitor Advisory Board, theevent managers approached BPA at the 2009 edition of theInternational Association of Exhibitions and Events' (IAEE)Expo! Expo! and asked for audited data for its 2010conference and exhibition participants."This was a great educational opportunity foreveryone, and showed the ATS' commitment to itsexhibition clients. There were press releases in the on-site show office declaring ATS' commitment to audit theevent, and the association did a great job in beingtransparent throughout the process."According to Hansen, stakeholders involved in theevent were pleased with the results, and ATS didn't seemuch drop-off between unaudited and audited figures."This is the best example to date of the process by whichaudited data can be provided to the entire exhibitorpopulation," he says.The futureAll show organiser members of UFI must provideregular updated audits of tradeshow attendance andexhibition space data for at least one internationalexhibition as a requirement of membership. Today over866 exhibitions around the globe have earned the "UFIApproved Event" label."The business climate is constantly changing. It'svery important to stay ahead of the curve," saysHansen. "By listening to the membership andcolleagues in the industry regarding their own businesschallenges, we create more effective services to meetand exceed those challenges and needs."The Trade Show Exhibitors Association is beingproactive on the exhibitor side and other Americanassociations including the IAEE, SISO and ESCA areoperating from the show organiser and supplier side. Allassociations have initiated forums and meetings toextend open, constructive dialogue between exhibitors,show organisers and suppliers for change."When exhibitors create critical mass and ask in aunified voice, organisers will have no choice but toprovide the information. Organisers who provide thisdata to their clients on a proactive basis will be creatinglonger-lasting and trusting partnerships for years tocome."Auditing is key to the growth of our industry. As a toolto win over finance officers debating whether or not toattend your event, the benefit of transparency can besurprisingly easy to see.What have you got to hide from independent auditors?THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NET| Nov/Dec 2010|"Organisers would make showsinvaluable to their loyal exhibitors withthe audited data because, on top ofloyalty, a deeper trust will formthrough the act of being transparent."