The safety and security of our attendees, members, stakeholders, employees and the general public that attend meetings, conferences, conventions and exhibitions every day around the world. We all recognized the need to address this priority during our last year's congress in Dublin, with IAEE joining the IELA FORUM for the first time.
The Exhibitions and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI) continues to progress tremendously. IAEE has scheduled the next meeting where the draft submissions from the four sub-committees will be reviewed. They have been working for months to help develop smart/best practices and guidelines that will eventually be submitted to DHS Safety Act Office for their review. IELA joined an EMSSI meeting for the second time in Anaheim last December.
EMSSI is the conduit for organizations and individuals to participate in the shared responsibility of addressing industry wide needs for safety and security. EMSSI represents an opportunity for companies and individuals who have benefited from the industry's growth to give back. The more organizations and individuals contribute to the safety and security of conventions centers and related venues around the U.S., ensuring established industry wide security guidelines and smart practices, the greater the industry will prosper for generations to come.
Today, The Convention Industry Council (CIC) has estimated that meetings, exhibitions and business travel has an economic impact of $283 billion dollars, generating $44.9 billion in taxes and representing 2.3 million jobs. We have seen unprecedented growth over the last 7 years and forecasts for the future remain strong. It is vital that we maintain eternal vigilance in our efforts to protect this economic engine, and more importantly, to ensure the safety of the millions of people every day that attend and serve this vibrant community.
Given the ever-present threats we face from acts of terrorism and other emergencies; our industry requires a coordinated approach to protect our patrons, employees and economic resources that incorporates best-in-class security practices in collaboration with government partners.
EMSSI plans a public/private partnership that aligns convention center security guidelines with federal programs and the US Department of Homeland Security/Safety Act Office.
Our Association truly thanks IAEE for having invited IELA to be part of the discussions process as exhibition logistic expert and congratulates IAEE and IAVM for launching this outstanding initiative!