November 25, 2019

Advocating for the Exhibitions and Trade Show Industry, with Cathy Breden

Episode 13:

Cathy Breden is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) with the responsibility for managing the day-to-day operations of the association, including overseeing marketing and communications, membership, education, conventions and events, and administration. In addition, she currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), whose primary purpose is to promote the growth, awareness, and value of exhibitions and other face-to-face marketing events by producing and delivering research-based knowledge tools. Ms. Breden earned the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in 1990 and earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 1995.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • What IAEE and CEIR are, and how they play an important role in advancing the B2B and B2C exhibition and trade show communities
  • How Cathy’s career path led her to her current leadership roles at IAEE and CEIR, and how she had the unique opportunity to study association management in college
  • How Cathy’s organizations work to engage with both associations and independent show organizers and create relevant content for both groups
  • How IAEE’s culture works to support its team members and maintain a healthy work environment, and how Cathy coordinates remote team members under a shared vision
  • What critical part of the IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum plays in promoting and advocating for women in the exhibition and events industry
  • What benefits women receive from participating in the IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum, and how the program has continued to expand
  • Why Cathy would advise her younger self to question authority and understand that leaders don’t necessarily have all the answers
  • Why being flexible, adaptable, open to change, and willing to learn have been important pillars to Cathy’s success in her work
  • What exciting events and education opportunities will be showcased at Expo! Expo! 2019, IAEE’s annual meeting and exhibition
  • How the team at IAEE work to make a global impact on the industry, traveling all over the world to attend industry events

Additional resources: