US industry body publishes Public Policy Agenda, pushing Congress for sector support

Event industry US

With the new US Congress being sworn in on 3 January, the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) has published its 2023 public policy priorities. For 2023, the 10 ECA alliance partner organisations have identified four key areas of focus:

  • Ensuring a favorable operating environment for the industry going forward
  • Fully welcoming international exhibitors and attendees back to the U.S
  • Supporting industry efforts to address sustainability and climate change
  • Promoting government involvement in developing the industry’s future workforce

“As the unified advocacy voice of the face-to-face business events industry, ECA’s 2023 public policy priorities serve as our industry’s North Star as we continue to engage with policymakers to help drive economic growth, support job creation, and empower small businesses from coast to coast,” said Hervé Sedky, Emerald Holding Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the ECA board of directors.

As part of ECA’s 2023 public policy priorities, the ECA board of directors further identified five top issues for the coming year. 

  • Prevent anti-growth state-level taxation of the industry
  • Bring back communicable disease coverage to event cancelation insurance
  • Restore visa operations to pre-pandemic levels while making visa processing more modern and efficient
  • Encourage smart decarbonisation efforts by governments while ensuring the right balance between environmental aims and industry feasibility
  • Support government policy and programs to attract, train, and retain the industry’s next generation workforce

“ECA will be actively engaged on the issues that matter to the industry in 2023,” said Vinnie Polito, Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) CEO and ECA Co-President. “From working on the restoration of visa processing at US embassies and consulates around the world to fighting back against efforts to introduce growth-stifling taxes on our industry, ECA will be front and centre to champion our interests with elected and appointed officials in Washington, DC and beyond.”

Since its establishment in early 2021, the ECA has been supporting the recovery and advancement of the face-to-face business events industry on Capitol Hill and in states and cities nationwide. In 2023, ECA will be looking to build upon its advocacy successes over the last two years including:

  • Leading campaigns in 2021 to reopen states and cities for large-scale face-to-face events
  • Working to eliminate country-and-region-specific travel bans and lift pre-departure testing requirements for vaccinated inbound international travellers to the U.S.
  • Supporting federal relief programs that delivered more than $800m to industry small business and other stakeholders
  • Securing the introduction of legislation that would provide relief for our industry’s small businesses and help restore communicable disease coverage to event cancellation insurance
  • Launching ECA Legislative Action Day and ECA Small Business Advocacy Week

“Since its founding, ECA has worked tirelessly to support the industry on its road to recovery,” added David DuBois, CMP, CAE, CTA, FASAE, CMP Fellow, International Association of Exhibitions and Events President and CEO and ECA Co-President. “In 2023, we look forward to amplifying the voice of our industry’s many passionate advocates in the policymaking process, including at ECA Legislative Action Day, which will return to Washington, DC in person on 1 June.”

ECA’s 2023 public policy priorities can be viewed here.

The ECA is a cross-sector coalition comprising 10 national and international event industry associations.

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