The Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA), a newly formed advocacy group dedicated to the recovery and advancement of the face-to-face business events industry, is pleased to announce that executives from three of the leading organizations in the business events industry will hold leadership positions on ECA’s Board of Directors. Hervé Sedky, CEO of EmeraldX, will serve as the Chair of the Board, while Megan Tanel, CEM, SVP of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers will serve as the Vice Chair and Bob Priest-Heck, CEO of Freeman as the Secretary/Treasurer. The officers were elected during the inaugural ECA board meeting held in early March and represent existing industry associations that serve as alliance partners.
“We are honored to have such a talented group at the helm of our alliance,” said Tommy Goodwin, ECA Vice President of Government Affairs. “Each of these leaders has a track record of success, a unique perspective and a clear passion for business events that strengthens ECA’s mission, as well as our ability to advocate for the industry’s common interests effectively. I’m excited to work together with them to raise the profile of this critical sector of the U.S. economy.”
Sedky represents the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) on the ECA board. He has extensive experience leading key organizations within the business events industry, including six years as President of the Americas for Reed Exhibitions (RX) and over 20 years at the American Express Company.
Tanel represents the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) on the ECA board and is a past chair of the IAEE Board of Directors and has served on numerous IAEE committees. Tanel has served the business events industry at AEM for over 20 years, launching World of Asphalt in 2001 and growing CONEXPO-CON/AGG overall trade show revenue 80% over 12 years.
Priest-Heck represents the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA) on the ECA board. With more than 25 years of experience leading global technology brands and experiential marketing agencies—including Immersa Marketing and MediaLive International Inc.—he has been instrumental in the growth and success of Freeman and the creation of Go LIVE Together.
ECA is focused on the recovery and advancement of the business events industry, which has been devastated by coronavirus pandemic, as well as the long-term strategy for its advancement. The seven Alliance partners are: Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), Destinations International, Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA), Experiential Designers + Producers Association (EDPA), International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) and Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO). Existing advocacy initiatives Exhibitions Mean Business and Go LIVE Together are being carried out under ECA, which plans to develop additional advocacy campaigns as needed.