IAEE warns exhibitors of improper soliciting

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The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) has issued a warning to all exhibitors at its Expo! Expo! annual meeting and exhibition that Slovakian-based Construct Data Publishers are improperly soliciting exhibitors to participate in its show guide ‘free listing’. Together with The International Center for Exhibitor and Event Marketing (The Center), the IAEE has confirmed from several sources that the publisher’s offer is not a free listing but is an advertising order that imposes a three-year-long advertising obligation. “IAEE vigorously condemns the activities of Construct Data Publishers, and believes it constitutes an unfair infringement and improper intrusion into the business affairs of the IAEE,” says IAEE president Steven Hacker. “These illicit practices are confusing and detrimental to the business of IAEE and its members.” The publisher is also, according to IAEE, in trademark violation for the use of the association’s name and brand and has been instructed to immediately cease the solicitation of all exhibitors who have participated or will participate in any IAEE events. “Exhibitors and event marketers should be aware of these kinds of improper solicitations and should take note of the practice as well as refrain from acknowledging any ‘free listing’ directory opportunities, unless they the offer is legitimate,” adds the Center’s director Susan Brower. The US Federal Trade Commission has been asked to investigate improper and misleading commercial activities and the IAEE has issued a formal commercial protest against Construct Data Publisher with the Commercial Attache of the Embassy of Slovakia. The 2010 annual meeting and exhibition is to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana from 7 - 9 December.
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