IAEE appoints new president and CEO

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events® (IAEE) has announced the appointment of Marsha Flanagan (pictured), as its new president and chief executive officer. She will take up her new role on 1 December 2023.

“Under Marsha’s leadership, IAEE will continue to serve as the leading trade association for the global exhibitions and events industry,” said Dennis Smith, 2023 chairperson of the IAEE Board of Directors. “Her vision and strategic approach will ensure that IAEE remains a trusted partner for our members by engaging in industry collaborations, and delivering valuable resources, advocacy, and learning opportunities to drive success in the exhibitions and events ecosystem.”

Flanagan brings a wealth of experience and expertise to IAEE. Prior to joining the association, she served in key leadership roles at prominent organisations in the industry. The appointment follows an extensive search process.

“IAEE plays a vital role in advancing the global exhibitions and events industry, and I am honoured to take on the position of president and CEO,” said Flanagan. “I am excited to work closely with the IAEE board of directors, staff, our members, and other stakeholders to drive community engagement and growth for the organisation."

The appointment of Flanagan comes at a crucial moment for IAEE and follows the departure of David duBois as president and CEO on 1 October. Cathy Breden has served as interim president and CEO since then. “During this period of transition, it has been business as usual with everyone on staff continuing to demonstrate a passion for the industry, delivering exceptional programming and networking opportunities,” she said.

Marsha Flanagan, has previously served as the senior vice-president of events and learning experiences at IAEE, where she was responsible for all events and learning initiatives including the Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM), Certified in Exhibition Management – Advanced Professional (CEM-AP), and CEM Fellow (CEM-Fellow) designations. 

Prior to joining IAEE, Flanagan was the director of content strategy and development at the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). 

She began her career with Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and spent 12 years in various roles.