Center for Exhibition Industry Research Foundation Raises Nearly $140,000 in a Matter of a Few Hours After E-mail Appeal

October 2, 2014

A few days ago, David DuBois, president and CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions & Events, sent out an e-mail giving several compelling reasons the industry should support the research done by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research.

The fundraising efforts went into hyper drive, after a return e-mail to the origiginal from DuBois was sent by Chris Brown, executive vice president of Conventions & Business Operations for the National Association of Broadcasters, pledging $50,000 on behalf of his organization, which was quickly followed by Chris Dolnack, senior vice president and CMO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, pledging another $50,000 on behalf of his organization.

With Jack Buttine from Buttine Exhibition Insurance, challenging everyone on the e-mail to an “Ice Bucket Challenge-like groundswell of support” for CEIR, pledges after that came in fast and furious.

“We have seen a recent influx of activity with donations to the CEIR Foundation based on some great champions stepping up,” said CEIR President and CEO Brian Casey.

He added, “We estimate today alone, we have raised over $130,000 from both personal and industry organization donors.”

Stephen Leiber, president and CEO of the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society, gave another $15,000 from his organization, and ConVexx, run by Susan and Chuck Schwartz, pledged another $10,000.

David Audrain, president of Exposition Development Company, pledged $5,000 for his company, after previously giving the same amount personally, and Tony Lorenz, who heads bXb Group, kicked in another $5,000 for his company.  

There were several other donations that came in from long-time industry supporters during today’s surprising turn of events. 

Before the recent influx of pledges, Dennis Slater, who heads the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, pledged a substantial $100,000 on behalf of his organization.

“The money donated helps support some of the big research CEIR produces such as the CENSUS and Index. This research actually benefits everyone that works within the exhibition industry either directly or indirectly,” Casey said.

He added, “It helps organizations with their strategic business planning and forecasting, justification to renovate or build new convention centers, as well as supporting the advocacy work “Meetings Mean Business” and IAEE's “Exhibitions Mean Business” use to educate those that don't understand our business.  CEIR's research is at the forefront of this and is helping improve the performance of our industry and change bad perceptions on the health of our business.”

In DuBois’ original email he said that the CEIR Foundation is an independent 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization, with the sole purpose of generating research to help the exhibitions industry move forward.

Brown said of CEIR, “As an industry we face a number of competitive threats and to remain vibrant we have to be able to prove the value we deliver and continue to evolve to meet the needs of our customers.  CEIR has been the trusted source that our industry relies on to help us prove ROI and gather the intelligence that guides our efforts to better serve our customers.”

Dolnack also saw immense value in CEIR, adding, “CEIR provides the events industry with critical research that validates the exhibition industry as a viable marketing tool and economic engine for host communities. The value this information provides in helping show organizers to make better, data driven decisions is indispensable.”

“I hope those that have been sitting on the sidelines will realize what an important role CEIR plays in all of our professional careers and they too will make either a personal or organizational donation to CEIR,” Casey said.

He added, “As CEIR's president and CEO, I applaud the bold leadership these investors are making and hope it begins to resonate with the rest of the industry that the future health of CEIR is vitally important to every single one of us.”

To support CEIR's research please visit:

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Enter the characters shown in the image.

Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: