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IAEE Spotlight on 2022 IAEE Distinguished Service Award Winner Bob Schuler

 Not everyone may know that Bob Schuler is a big DIY’er at home, but it’s no secret he is a man who gets things done for IAEE and the industry! Read on to learn how he has applied his passion for the industry into beneficial initiatives for all, earning him the IAEE Distinguishsite:ed Service Award.  

By Mary Tucker, Sr. Communications & Content Manager

Bob Schuler has been an IAEE member for two decades and has served on the IAEE Southeastern Chapter Board of Directors since 2018. He is known for always being one of the first to volunteer his services and support to the association. He annually hosts an IAEE SE Chapter luncheon meeting and is a big supporter of the IAEE SE Chapter’s Annual Gritz Reception. Since 2018, Bob has also chaired the SE Chapter’s Awards Committee.

Bob also volunteers his time to support other industry affiliated groups including:

Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Peach Bowl Inc. Beyond the Bowl game itself, the Peach Bowl is the most charitable bowl organization donating 61 million dollars since 2002. Board member of the Hospitality Business Network Foundation. Board member of Georgia State University, School of Hospitality Management. Board member of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. Active participation with:Georgia Hotel and Lodging Association (GHLA)The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)Meeting Professionals International (MPI)Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA)

Bob is also a dedicated and innovative industry leader, having served the exhibitions and events industry through his extensive background in sales management, business development, strategic planning and customer service with a successful track record of obtaining results through change, creativity and collaborative efforts.

Bob’s leadership as a true role model earned him the IAEE Distinguished Service Award last year, for which he was recognized this past December during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Louisville, KY (watch Bob’s acceptance speech here).

2022 IAEE Awards Chairperson Daniel McKinnon, CEM (left) and IAEE President & CEO David DuBois, CMP-F, CAE, FASAE, CTA (right) present the Distinguished Service Award to Bob Schuler (middle) during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2022 in Louisville, KY.

Here, Bob shares with IAEE how his career and passion for exhibitions and events has evolved, the value of getting involved with your local IAEE chapter and how the industry is more exciting than ever as face-to-face continues its comeback from the pandemic.

What drew you to the exhibitions and events industry, and what about it has captivated your dedication for more than two decades?

I have always worked in the hotel and service industry, even in college. After leaving hotels and selling the destination to the largest and most prominent events in the world, I simply loved everything about it.

Your colleagues commended you for your dedication to the IAEE Southeastern Chapter. How have you benefitted from your involvement with your local chapter versus your involvement with industry organizations on a larger, national scale?

Relationships in our business start at the local level. Over the years, a dedicated group of IAEE SE Chapter members impressed upon me the importance of the network. Of all the industry chapters, IAEE afforded my organization a regular influx of referrals and business connections to grow our business and my professional network – relationships, both professional and personal, that will last forever.

You have served as a chapter leader for several years. What would your advice be to an IAEE member considering stepping up to a leadership role in their local chapter?

You will only get out… what you put in. It’s not easy work and you have to get involved beyond business hours. Engage in a committee you enjoy and “take charge.”

You have accomplished quite a bit in your career. What advice do you offer young professionals who would like to build a successful career in exhibitions and events?

Be patient! Something that is extremely lacking today. There is so much opportunity and the business is everchanging. Get out and build your network and relationships. And most important… whatever you do, do it well and better than anyone else.

What trend and/or innovation are you seeing in the industry right now that has you excited about the future of exhibitions and events?

The excitement you see on the exhibition floor today is unparalleled. The engagement of face-to-face is clearly back, and everyone is excited to touch and experience their new product or service.

The Call for Nominations for this year’s IAEE Awards is now open! Check out all of the award categories here and be sure to submit your nominations by 31 August!



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