02 Jun 2022

ECEF 2022 Audience Applauds Powerful DE&I Message: You Belong Here

ARLINGTON, VA — The exuberance of the exhibition and convention industry was on full display as 200 executives came together on June 1, 2022, for the biggest Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum (ECEF) since before the Covid era. Held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. for the first time since 2008, ECEF is renowned as the premier annual opportunity for independent and association event leaders to network and exchange insights.

Sam Lippman, President, Lippman Connects, set the tone and pace for the day with his annual “5 Data Points in 5 Minutes”. Sourced from groundbreaking research by Freeman, Lippman revealed the top challenges facing the industry. Coming in at the top of the list was Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) concerns.

Following through on that finding, Lippman then introduced Erin Uritus, CEO, Out & Equal, to make the case for corporate and personal allyship with the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized people in the workplace and at our events. Uritus explored the diverse personal circumstances that present barriers to peak performance. Her key question: “What is something you are hiding at work that is negatively impacting your performance or relationships with colleagues?”

“I don’t claim to be clairvoyant, but I didn’t have access to Freeman’s research when I asked Erin to present,” said Lippman. “I wanted Erin on the program because she is a dynamic executive whose powerful message would resonate with the industry leaders who come to ECEF.”

Other presenters: Chris Dolnack, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, NSSF - The Firearm Industry Trade Association and Jeff Pressman, President & CEO, ConvExx; Jeannie Henson, Director of Exhibit Management, Siemens Healthineers North America; Debbie Holton, President, Metrix Connect LLC, an ASME Company; Megan Tanel, President, AEM – Association of Equipment Manufacturers and Nicole Hallada, Senior Vice President of Exhibitions & Marketing, AEM; Ken Holsinger, Senior Vice President – Data Solutions, Freeman; Stephanie Jones, Managing Director, Professional Development & Event Strategy, Water Environment Federation; Craig Purser, President & CEO, National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA); Liz Irving, Chief Marketing Officer, Clarion Events; Robin Preston, Managing Director, Events, American Institute of Architects (AIA).

ECEF 2022 also featured a welcome reception and the annual TechDemo with executive-level demonstrations of best-of-breed event technologies. Learn more about Lippman Connects, producer of ECEF and other events for exhibition and convention professionals, at