ASAE is participating in a week-long legislative action program this week organized by the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) to educate Congress on the vital role that face-to-face meetings and conferences play in expanding economies and helping communities in the U.S. recover from the devasting economic and employment impacts of the pandemic.

Eighty-five House and Senate meetings are taking place this week, focusing on the vital steps that Congress can take to get the events industry back to business, including providing relief to small businesses, restoring communicable disease coverage to event cancellation insurance and supporting the full restoration of visa processing at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.

“The return of face-to-face events at scale is critical for associations to successfully deliver on their missions going forward,” said Tommy Goodwin, FASAE, CAE, vice president of government affairs at ECA. “That’s why it was so important to have ASAE and 20 other associations from across the country participate in ECA Legislative Action Week, which focused on the importance of safeguarding future association events with pandemic risk insurance, as well as bringing back exhibitors and attendees from around the world to association exhibitions and conferences.”

The business events industry supports 6.6 million jobs in the U.S. and adds $396 billion to the U.S. economy annually. ASAE and ECA have been advocating for Congress to pass the Employee Retention Tax Credit Reinstatement Act (H.R. 6161) to help small businesses retain their employees during the economic recovery, and the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (H.R. 5823) to restore communicable disease coverage within event cancellation insurance. Organizations participating in ECA’s Legislative Action Week are also urging the Biden administration to end the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated passengers traveling to the U.S. and to expedite visa processing for international attendees and exhibitors at U.S. business events.

For more information and resources for ECA’s Legislative Action Week, visit the ECA website. View ECA’s kick-off video here.