IAEE is committed to four areas of social responsibility: Environmental Sustainability; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Community Relations; and Personal Responsibility. 

Read more about how we are embracing initiatives with our show partners to be good stewards of the environment, community and exhibitions and events ecosystem.

Environmental Sustainability

As an industry, we have an opportunity to improve our efficiency, reputation, legacy and environmental impact through sustainable practices. IAEE proudly partners with the Events Industry Council to raise awareness and promote more sustainable exhibitions and reduce the carbon footprint of our industry.

In collaboration with the Centre for Sustainability and Social Impact, an initiative of the Events Industry Council, IAEE is following the guiding principles for sustainable exhibitions:

  • Minimize carbon emissions with a sustainable freight, shipping and transportation strategy.
  • Focus on materials resource management.
  • Select suppliers and partners with sustainable practices, policies and infrastructure.
  • Develop policies for your exhibitors and vendors.
  • Ensure that your exhibition is accessible.
  • Adopt a sustainable food & beverage policy.
  • Measure, report and share your story.

The Kentucky International Convention Center
, host of the 2022 Expo! Expo! Annual Meeting & Exhibition, was awarded LEED Silver Certification Ahead of Earth Day 2020.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was built with sustainability in mind. During the expansion of the convention center, the design was planned using cutting-edge techniques to improve recycling, reduce energy used for events and sustainably sourced materials for the new facility.

Key features, including plumbing and lighting, were designed to meet LEED Silver standards. Energy-efficient and sustainable features include:

  • Water efficient low-flow plumbing fixtures, achieving a 32% reduction in total water usage.
  • Facility designed using Whole-Building Energy Simulation Modeling resulting in 23.64% savings in energy cost.
  • LED lighting throughout the building
  • Diverted 85% of construction waste from landfills to be recycled.
  • 100% of indoor spaces have controllable lighting via occupancy sensors.

The Omni Louisville Hotel (Headquarter Hotel) is also LEED Silver certified. More than just a travel destination, it incorporates a hotel, residential and neighborhood amenities into a vertically integrated urban mixed-use development.

GES, the official service contractor, aim is to LEAVE A SMALL FOOTPRINT WHILE MAKING A BIG IMPACT. Partnering with GES means that all events are run with sustainability measures top of mind, minimizing the impact on the environment. GES is working diligently with IAEE and industry partners worldwide to put an end to unnecessary waste and to create a legacy of sustainability for the entire events industry.

Education is the key to understanding how to be fully sustainable and it is the mission of GES to educate clients like IAEE on what actions they can take for a sustainable event. GES not only aims to reduce the number of resources used for each event like Expo! Expo!, but try to reuse or repurpose as often as possible. The aim is to support local communities’ environmental efforts by repurposing items to continue their life cycle.

Sustainability is more than just being responsible; it’s the right thing to do. IAEE in partnership with GES, gives all the peace of mind knowing that we are reducing waste and the impact of an event on the environment.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) values diversity and inclusiveness. IAEE provides opportunities to all persons who wish to participate in the activities of the association without regard, including but not limited to age, color, disability, family responsibility, gender, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion or sexual orientation.

IAEE’s Board of Directors recognizes their responsibility to provide resources and support to achieve this goal. The association seeks individuals and groups that are under-represented within the membership and leadership of the organization. IAEE encourages its members and the exhibitions and events industry to maintain these objectives in the conduct of their own business by creating an environment that allows all people the opportunity to reach their full potential in the pursuit of corporate objectives.

Further, the IAEE Board of Directors supports IAEE events being held in destinations that value diversity and inclusion and may choose whether to hold events in destinations where any state or local government arm, including a legislature, board or agency in the jurisdiction of the destination, having enacted legislation or regulation that has the effect of:

  1. Repealing existing legal protections or prohibiting the passage of legal protections for subject individuals
  2. Allowing discrimination against subject individuals in employment, housing, or public accommodations or services; or
  3. Prohibiting subject individuals from accessing facilities (including, but not limited to, restrooms), where subject individuals are those identified in the legislation or regulation based on the aforementioned individuals.

Louisville, Kentucky
is an inclusive and welcoming destination. As the destination marketing organization of Louisville, Kentucky, Louisville Tourism believes that the agency’s success and growth are fueled by the unique identities, backgrounds, and perspectives that Louisville Tourism staff, partners, community, and visitors bring to the city. Louisville is committed to continually evolving as a destination through embracing, encouraging, and stimulating diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization, network, and customer base. And Louisville Tourism devotes itself to be welcoming to all.

Community Relations

Humanity Rocks
Founded in 2009, IAEE and GES collaborated to produce this annual charity event to build, maintain and strengthen the relationships by raising funds for a local non-profit organization. This event continues to celebrate the finest achievements of the exhibitions and events industry while giving back to the host city’s local community. It is a time for exhibition and event professionals to come together, enjoy music, networking and give back.

Gift of Service
Over the years, IAEE has designated a local charity to give back to a host city’s local community. Various activities have been planned over the years including field trips to donate time to assist with needed projects. Typically, the local charity selected ties in with the Humanity Rocks charity event.

Terrence Donnelly Memorial Health & Wellness Event
The first event organized as a 5K run/1-mile walk, was held in 2019 as a memorial for Terrence Donnelly who passed away earlier in the year. Donnelly was a long-time member of IAEE and worked for Experient for many years. The event supports the CEIR Foundation, an organization that Terrence was passionate about, and is sponsored by Maritz Global Events.

PRIDE After Party
The IAEE PRIDE After Party honors the LGBTQIA+ community by celebrating pride in the IAEE membership who are as valuable, creative members of a diverse population in the exhibitions and events industry.  

CEIR Silent Auction
Each year, CEIR (Center for Exhibition Industry Research) holds a raffle and silent auction to raise funds for important research on the business-to-business exhibitions industry. Please consider participating as this organization is critical in providing industry-leading, objective research on the exhibitions and events industry.

Say Goodnight to Hunger’
The Omni Louisville Hotel is part of the Omni Hotels & Resorts ‘Say Goodnight to Hunger’ Program.  Since launching ‘Say Goodnight to Hunger’ in June 2016, Omni Hotels & Resorts has made donations to Feeding America® that helps provide one meal for every completed stay. To date, nearly 18 million meals have been donated to help Feeding America® provide nutritious meals for food banks to feed children, families and seniors in communities across the United States. All 60 Omni properties are actively participating by supporting food banks and pantries in their local communities where they live, work and play.

Personal Responsibility

Health and Safety
IAEE is working closely with the Kentucky International Convention Center, Louisville Tourism, GES, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), and other show partners on health and safety measures. The health and safety of our attendees and all event stakeholders to Expo! Expo! IAEE’S Annual Meeting & Exhibition is of utmost importance, and we are committed to safely accommodating all attendees.

IAEE follows the guidance of The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as it relates to COVID-19 and other communicable diseases along with local requirements to meet safely. Proof of negative test within 48 hours of arrival or proof of vaccination may be required. Requirements are subject to change.

The Kentucky International Convention Center received the GBAC Accreditation in 2020. The Kentucky International Convention Center and Kentucky Exposition Center are the first centers in Kentucky to have received the GBAC STAR accreditation, the gold standard on outbreak prevention, response and recovery.

This third-party program helps facilities establish a comprehensive system of cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention. It also helps venues prepare work practices, understand correct sanitization techniques and best cleaning practices for biohazard situations like COVID-19.

GBAC STAR is the gold standard of prepared facilities. This accreditation means that a facility has:

  • Established and maintained a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
  • The proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and work practices in place to combat biohazards and infectious disease.
  • Highly skilled cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response.

GBAC Trained Technician and Awareness Programs
IAEE has teamed with GBAC, a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, to help exhibitions and events professionals safely and effectively return to the face-to-face business environment amid the challenges presented by COVID-19, as well as other infectious diseases, through a training course designed to prepare for, respond to and recover from biohazards in the workplace. The

The GBAC Fundamentals Online Course teaches participants how to prepare for, respond to and recover from biohazards in the workplace. The principles behind infection and contamination control measures for infectious disease outbreak situations such as the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Individuals who successfully complete the course within 30 days will receive a Certificate of Completion from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, and can use the term “GBAC-Trained Technician” to distinguish themselves in their marketing and communication materials. A number of the IAEE staff members are GBAC Trained Technicians.

GBAC in partnership with IAEE offers the Infection Disease Awareness Course from GBAC Academy, designed to increase participants’ knowledge of infectious disease basics, including how they spread and how people become sick. The course will supplement the Security, Risk, and Crisis Management module within the CEM Learning Program curriculum.

Responsible Drinking Culture
IAEE encourages members to make positive personal decisions around alcohol.  If an attendee appears to be intoxicated, we ask that assistance in facilitating a safe environment can be fostered by contacting an IAEE staff person.  For those local attendees, we can assist in facilitating transportation with a ride share company. IAEE provides non-alcoholic options during all receptions with access to water options. It is important to Pause and Hydrate.

Ethical Business Practices
IAEE has a strict policy on suit casing during the Expo! Expo! Annual Meeting & Exhibition.  Any activity designed to solicit or sell products or services to delegates attending a meeting, conference or event without the proper authorization by the event sponsor or in ways that violate the rules of the event or exhibition. Any attendee who is observed to be soliciting business int eh aisles or other public spaces, in another company’s booth, or in violation of any portion of this policy, is subject to removal and additional penalties.