HOUSTON (December 10, 2013) - The Bayou City is showing off on the international meetings stage this week as 2,000 convention and meetings professionals from 43 countries gather for one of the industry's largest annual events.

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events opens Expo! Expo! at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Tuesday. The event, which runs through Thursday, gives attendees access to hundreds of suppliers in the exhibitions and events industry to look for the latest products and services

Expo! Expo! also gives Houston a platform to shine before an audience that helps decide where large conventions and events will head in coming years. IAEE's members execute more than 20,000 major exhibitions worldwide annually. When the group last met in Houston in 1989, the George R. Brown had just been completed, but few of the hotels and amenities that exist today such as the Hilton Americas, Discovery Green or Minute Maid Park were even on the drawing board.

From the city's perspective, one of the highlights of hosting the conference will be illustrating how dramatically Houston's convention capacity will increase with the new Marriott Marquis. Scheduled to open adjacent to the George R. Brown Convention Center in 2016, the 1,000-room Marriott Marquis will allow Houston to compete for much larger conventions and tradeshows than the existing hotel space allows for.

"Houston has changed tremendously in just the last five years, let alone two decades," says Greg Ortale, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Being able to show this important industry group what the city is capable of will help us secure major conventions for years to come. Houston has reestablished itself as a top destination."

About IAEE
Trusted since 1928, IAEE provides quality and value to its members through leadership, service, education and strong relationships. IAEE is the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry in the world, with a membership of show organizers, exhibitors and exhibition suppliers. Organizers of more than 20,000 exhibitions and buyer-seller events around the world are members of IAEE, and the organization advocates and promotes the awareness of face-to-face exhibitions and events as the primary medium for business development and growth. IAEE provides relevant, timely and innovative education to its members and the industry.

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Contact:
A.J. Mistretta
Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Senior PR Manager
713-437-5206
amistretta@visithouston.com