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Message from 2021 Chapter Chair - Donna Jarvis Miller

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Dear IAEE DC Members,

Welcome to 2021. Spring is just around the corner, and the Board of Directors is looking forward to presenting a calendar chock full of opportunities for DC Chapter Members to engage with their peers, learn from event experts, and get involved in our community service programs to help others in need.

State of the Industry:

We are beginning to see states allow increased capacities in convention centers and hotels, which means that peers and friends are being called back to work.  For an industry that saw close to 90% unemployment with layoffs and furloughs, this is a great feeling.

Event organizers have demonstrated that in-person events can happen successfully, including Surf Expo, Magic Pop-Up, and Offprice, among others.  However, holding in-person events still holds many challenges, with organizers shifting event dates to later in the year, moving to new venues, and investing more to hold events.  There have also been many hybrid and all-virtual events held in the first quarter, showing the resilience of our industry, and demonstrating that the “show must go on!”

I am excited to be leading the 2021 Board of Directors as we navigate through the challenges and opportunities the next year will bring.  There have been many ideas, programs, and topics brought forth by our Board, and I am excited to be leading this dynamic group as we continue to develop education and programs to benefit our members and the industry. 

Here are some highlights from the first quarter and future initiatives being planned this year:

Education & Networking Sessions:

I encourage you to grab your lunch and tune in on the 2nd Friday of the month to learn vital information, best practices, tips, and approaches to safely bring in-person events back, produce successful hybrid events, and effectively extend events year-round through virtual offerings. 

Thank you to the many members that participated in our recent pulse survey.  Your input is helping to inform the topics and speakers for the rest of the year, as well as when our members are comfortable returning to in-person events.   

Be sure to put these dates on your calendar to attend upcoming events:

  • Friday, April 9 Virtual Event – Hybrid Events
  • Friday, May 14 Virtual Event - Attendee Safety: Testing, Temperature Checks, and Compliance

Stay tuned for more details on these events and future education and networking events where we can meet face-to-face!  You can also check out the IAEE DC events page for more information.

Community Service:

A HUGE THANK YOU to all of those that participated in our recent Winter Clothing and Food Drive benefiting United Community, an organization serving the needs of families in Fairfax County.  The DC Chapter raised $1,150 for their Stepping Stones Program which provides critical basic needs supportive services to families in need of emergency assistance.  Members also donated more than 400 pounds of food products and a slew of coats, hats, and other winter clothing. 

In addition to the winter drive, members and the industry have donated an additional $430 to United Community and $410 to our selected national charity, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, during event registration so far this year.  I personally appreciate your support of these nonprofits and look forward to our chapter continuing to donate and participate in additional community service projects for United Community.

Volunteer and Mentoring Opportunities:

Do you have some extra time and want to get involved with the chapter? Please complete our volunteer form and we will connect you with the appropriate Director to discuss their needs and how you can get involved.

Mentoring our next generation of event organizers is an important initiative this year.  Our young professionals are excited to spread their wings, share new ideas, and help strengthen our industry.  Please watch for communications on the  chapter’s mentoring program to learn how you and your company can mentor a young professional.

Enjoy the spring, take a walk in a park, smell the flowers, organize a picnic, and get outdoors to enjoy the beautiful weather.  More importantly, take care of yourself and stay healthy! 

I hope to see you online or in-person at one of our chapter events soon!

Best regards,


Donna Jarvis Miller, CMP, CEM
Chair, IAEE DC Board of Directors

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