Annual Convention & Expo
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Home > Convention & Expo > 2021 IFEA Convention & Expo

To Our IFEA Industry Friends:

Following more than a year of unprecedented global impact by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, on our own industry and many others, we are beginning to see new signs of hope and positivity in many global regions, although others are still in the heat of the pandemic. Until everyone is protected and vaccinated, and global travel can resume safely across all borders, there are still many challenges to be faced, support to be provided, and creative new directions to be explored together.

All that noted, as we look ahead to the future, we understand that recovery for our industry will take time. The analogy of a ‘dimmer switch’ versus a ‘light switch’ is a good one. Nice weather and the removal of masks by the limited percentage of those who have been fully vaccinated are not the panacea for all of our challenges. Staffs must be rebuilt; financial reserves must be replenished; new health and safety considerations (and their related impact on both revenues and expenses) must be taken into account; the limited availability and/or rising costs of mandatory/essential insurance coverages, products, services, and volunteers must be considered and planned for; government support is still being sought and waited on to offset future risk and replace current losses; travel restrictions - impacting attendees, performers and others - must be planned for; and the ability to require proof of vaccinations and/or negative testing results continue to vary widely across state, province and country borders, as well as selected venues. And above all, short-term risk must be balanced in favor of long-term financial health and sustainability.

Through surveys to access the current realities for our members and industry; consideration of all of the above; communications with other allied partners; and the reality/impact of many postponed 2021 events moving to the later quarters of the year; we have made the difficult decision not to hold our annual IFEA Convention, Expo and Retreat presented by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, and our 2021 Awards Programs, with an eye on protecting the overall health and sustainability of our own organization, as well as all those in our global industry.
That decision noted, we do plan a continued and very full schedule of on-line education; professional networking; professional certification; and a plethora of invaluable benefits and resources in the months ahead.

With a positive belief that the world (as a whole) and our essential global industry will continue to gain an increased understanding of; further control over; and proactive protection against the COVID-19 pandemic (including newly-identified variants), in the months ahead, we intend to focus our efforts on using our combined experiences – strengthened by fire over the past year and a half - to imagine and lay the foundations for a bright new future for our events, our industry, and the communities and countries that host them.

Coming quickly out-of-the-chute in 2022, we look forward to:
Additionally, we also have a busy second half of 2021 in store for you, including:
Not to mention our ongoing every day member benefits and resources including:

We invite you to be a part of this exciting and much brighter future; an active member of the IFEA; a recognized and respected player among your professional peers; and a mentor to all those new professionals who look to join our industry (now more than ever) and bring their own expertise and experience to the global table.

Thank you for your continued and highly appreciated support and industry leadership.

Stay safe and healthy,

Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE
President & CEO
IFEA/NRPA Event Management School Image
January 16-21, 2022 
IFEA Leadership 100 Retreat
January 21-23, 2022 
IFEA CFEE Student Webinar Series
Sept 9 - Oct 14. Free for Members.
IFEA CFEE Certification
Classes offered Nov, 2021. 
IFEA Virtual Affinity Groups
All Year - Free for IFEA Members. 
IFEA Webinar Series
All Year - Free for IFEA Members. 
IFEA Annual Convention, Expo & Retreat Image
Stay Tuned for 2022 Dates & Location. 
IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Award Image
Returning in 2022! 
IFEA World Festival & Event City Award Image
Returning in 2022! 
IFEA Hall of Fame
Returning in 2022! 
IFEA Volunteer of the Year Image
Returning in 2022! 
IFEA Silent Auction
Details Coming Soon!
"ie" Magazine Cover
Read the Latest Issue Here. 
IFEA Event Insider
Stay Up to Date on Industry News. 
Important Information from the IFEA
Keeping You Informed on Important Information. 
IFEA Event Resource Marketplace
Find a Vendor/Supplier to fit your needs. 
IFEA Job Bank Image
Always Available - Free for Members. 
Member Benefit Image
Plus so many more member only benefits! 

Sponsor of the IFEA Convention & Expo 
Haas & Wilkerson Insurance has proudly supported the IFEA and festivals and events industry for nearly three decades. As the presenting sponsor of the 65th Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat, and the title sponsor of the IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Program, they have helped to raise the quality and standards of excellence for festivals and events around the globe. With over 80 years of entertainment industry experience behind them, they provide insurance programs designed for each event’s specific needs and have a long list of clients that includes festivals, fairs, parades, carnivals and more. Learn more about them at
“At Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, we’ve stood by festival and event professionals for over 80 years, and despite the unprecedented challenges of the past year and a half, we’ll continue to do the same for many years to come, as we all look to the future together. Haas & Wilkerson is proud to be the long-time presenting sponsor of the IFEA Annual Convention, Expo & Retreat, and the Haas & Wilkerson Insurance Pinnacle Awards. Alongside the IFEA, we look forward to the pleasure of reuniting with all of you and to celebrating the continued success of your individual events and our common global industry, in person again, in 2022.“
Ryan Wilkerson
President & CEO
Haas & Wilkerson Insurance


We – like all of you – will need your ongoing and generous support now, more than ever, to ensure that we can continue to provide all of these many programs and resources on your behalf. As you are able, here is how you can help:


If you are a current IFEA Member, please remember to renew your membership, preferably at your first-notification renewal messaging, or before, if able.


If you are not a current member, but have been enjoying and participating in our weekly COVID-19 Webinar programming, please join the IFEA, so that you can help support the organization, while gaining access to our many other benefits and resources.


Make a donation to our IFEA Foundation ‘Fund for the Future,’ at as generous a level as possible. Those funds are all directed to keeping our mission-specific educational programming available.


Register for our IFEA Professional Certification Program (CFEE – Certified Festival & Event Executive), sponsored by Kaliff Insurance which will continue to be offered online, with revamps to allow for completing all elements of the program, given the new COVID-19 restrictions that effect some required components.


If you registered for our 2020 IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat, presented by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, please consider placing a hold on your registration dollars, if possible, to use at a future convention. (Please contact Beth Petersen at


Create a permanent and named IFEA Legacy Scholarship, ensuring that the future leadership of our industry remain supported and that the named individual, group or organization is recognized in perpetuity for your/their role in our global industry.


Support our global industry and all those who make festivals and events possible around the world, as an IFEA Sponsor. We will work with you to design a specific opportunity that will help you to reach the leadership of our industry with your own programs and services, while supporting those same leaders and organizations through this challenging time.


Continue to support our highly-valued IFEA Sponsor Partners and Vendors, who have made their own, much-appreciated commitment to ensure the ongoing success of the IFEA and our common industry through these challenging times.



Advertise in any of our high-quality, professional publications and online resources. You’ll not only keep your product front and center with IFEA’s audience of festival and event decision-makers, you’ll also be helping to enable the IFEA to continue serving the festival and event professionals in our industry through the challenges of COVID-19 and beyond.


Help us to provide the latest information, guidance, and creative new ideas for getting us all through the current COVID-19 challenges by writing articles for our quarterly magazine, ie: the business of international events; offering to present a Webinar on a relevant and current COVID-19 topic; sharing your templates, new operational guidelines, planning documents, and other professionally-relevant materials with your global peers through our IFEA website; and/or offering to host/moderate/manage one of our IFEA Online Affinity Groups, helping to keep all of our professional networks active and in-touch.
“As a not-for-profit 501(C)6 organization, the IFEA reserves the right to refuse or cancel the registration of any individual or organizational attendee, who, at its sole discretion, may represent/display unprofessional, unlawful, unethical, unsafe, or other actions/positions deemed contrary to the best interests of the IFEA and our global industry.”
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