Stateside call for eventprofs to lobby for the industry’s interests on Capitol Hill

US exhibition professionals are being urged to back a call to Congress to include the industry’s concerns in any new deal to aid the economy.  

Congress is in the middle of hammering out a compromise on the multi-million dollar economic stimulus bills HEALS Act and the HEROES Act and legislators are being asked by the Exhibitions Mean Business (EMB) coalition to consider multiple provisions.

“We need support and we need it now,” says a release from EMB.

EMB is urging industry activists Stateside to consider specifically contacting US Representatives’ and/or Senators’ offices and sending them the following message:

“The exhibitions, meetings, and events industry has been devastated by the impact of Covid-19. Full economic recovery cannot happen unless, and until, this industry reopens. I’m asking that you include these provisions in any compromise bill:

PPP (Continuing Small Business Recovery and PPP Act): 

Expand eligibility under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to 501(c)(6) organisations, including non-profit associations, chambers of commerce, destination marketing organisations and others, with 300 or fewer employees to include covered supplier costs, worker protection expenses, and operating expenses.

Include Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) in the PPP: DMOs, which are generally 501(c) non-profits or quasi-governmental entities funded by local hotel taxes, provide critical economic development services for nearly every community across the US DMOs are the engines of the travel economy and their collapse will slow the economic recovery of the entire travel industry.

Liability protection (SAFE TO WORK Act): To provide liability protection that will be critical to our industry’s ability to restart business events safely, without fear of frivolous lawsuits.

Health and safety tax credit (American Workers, Families and Employer Assistance Act): To provide a refundable payroll tax credit to cover testing, PPE, cleaning supplies, and qualified workspace modification and technology expenses (e.g., contactless technology, partitions).

Funding for increased testing and vaccine development (Coronavirus Response Additional Supplemental Appropriations Act): To provide an additional $16bn for states to offer testing, contact tracing and surveillance, and $26bn for vaccine development and distribution.

Here’s why, as your constituent, I am asking for your support.

Exhibitions and events drive local economies. Our industry generated $396 bn in direct spending and $1 trillion in gross production in 2019.

Exhibitions and events drive tax revenues. $123bn in total tax revenues in 2019 including $74bn that is state and local tax revenue are generated by business events.

Exhibitions and events drive innovation. 1.7m exhibitors rely on events to drive revenues and 80% of exhibitors are small businesses.

My business depends on you. My community depends on you. I depend on you and ask that you support this industry.”


The EMB also has some additional resources, including:

Recent action alerts from US Travel Association and ASAE, EMB and GLT infographics and collateral:

Power of Travel Coalition Advocacy Toolkit

ASAE Action Alert for PPP for 501(c)6s

Industry-related infographics