Fellow Members and Colleagues,
In recognition of the ever-evolving nature of the hospitality industry, the Board of Directors is proud to announce our organization is officially changing its name to the Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) and is launching an industry awareness campaign to support this proactive move.
Our new name
The new name more accurately embraces the diversity of the roles our members play and their evolving responsibilities in their venues and cities. Importantly, the new name focuses on our members and their vital contributions, rather than simply referencing their job function as our previous name did. In short, the Event Service Professionals Association is an organizational identity that provides a bigger and broader umbrella under which the many different functions of members and potential members can gather, network and succeed together.
Rebranding for a reason
The decision to rebrand was made based on focused strategic and organizational analysis by the board of directors and our association management company:
- Our industry and our membership base have changed significantly since our
association was founded in 1988. The industry today is about more than “conventions”
and our members are more than just convention professionals.
- Convention Services Manager is a limiting term used to describe many different
functions. Our members provide diverse service solutions (and sometimes even sales)
to orchestrate a wide variety of events within hotels, centers and through bureau
- The younger generations of event professionals, such as Gen Y, or Millennials, who are represented in our industry and our membership, have different professional perspectives due to the fact that many of them have college degrees in Hospitality Management. For this group of forward-looking professionals, “convention” may be an outmoded, legacy term for what they view as an exciting and fast-paced business.
Our new logo
As the visual identity of our organization, the new ESPA logo is a crucial aspect of our future moving forward. Like our new name, which highlights our members and their professional expertise rather than their job function, the central design element in the new logo is the “S” which doubles as an abstract image of a service manager reaching for the stars and striving for excellence. The logo reinforces ESPA’s focus on our members and their success.
In the process of making the rebranding decision, we also reviewed the successes of industry peer associations including the DMAI (previously IACVB) and the IAVM (formerly IAAM). Both of these associations rebranded to stay current with their membership base and respective industry trends.
Our new mission
“Dedicated to elevating the event and convention service profession and to preparing members, through education and networking, for their pivotal role in innovative and successful event execution.”
Rebranding signals change. A new image will cause prospective members and the
hospitality industry to take a fresh look at ESPA. To that end, the Board of Directors and
our committees will continue to innovate, develop and manage important programs and
initiatives that advance our mission, relevance and success while strengthening our
capacity to serve our members’ needs and attract new members.
Recent examples include several innovative new features at this year’s conference, the
new online “My ESPA Portal” and the new offering of Organization memberships, enabling greater association participation within member organizations.
As a member-driven and collaborative organization, ESPA succeeds to the extent that each of us supports the association by leveraging the considerable resources and opportunities which it offers. I encourage you to reach out to me at any time with ideas, input and suggestions. I, along with the Board of Directors, look forward to moving our association ahead in a spirit of camaraderie, consensus and mutual success.
ESPA Board of Directors