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February 15, 2024

Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance Applauds Federal Trade Commission for Finalizing Anti-Impersonation Fraud Rule

WASHINGTON, DC—The Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA), the unified advocacy voice of the business events industry, applauds the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for finalizing its Government and Business Impersonation Rule, which will target scammers who impersonate businesses and government entities, earlier today.

“For far too long, scammers have preyed on the business events industry with their hotel reservation scams and attendee list sale scams,” said Vinnie Polito, Society of Independent Show Organizers Chief Executive Officer and ECA Co-President. “Now the FTC will have stronger tools to go after those who target our industry, and we strongly encourage the agency to do just that.”

Notably, the new Government and Business Impersonation Rule will allow the FTC to directly file federal court cases aimed at forcing scammers to return the money they made from business impersonation scams. This includes seeking direct monetary relief from scammers that:

  • Use business logos when communicating with consumers by mail or online
  • Spoof business emails and web addresses, including using lookalike email addresses or websites that rely on misspellings of a company’s name
  • Falsely imply business affiliation by using terms that are known to be affiliated with a business

“Scammers targeting the business events industry unfairly harm the small businesses, entrepreneurs, exhibitors, and nonprofit organizations that we work tirelessly to support,” said Marsha Flanagan, M.Ed., CEM, International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) President and Chief Executive Officer and ECA Co-President. “That’s why our industry was front and center in advocating for this important new rule, and we comment the FTC for finalizing it with a unanimous vote.”

ECA, its alliance partners, and many other business events industry leaders—including the Consumer Technology Association, the American Society of Association Executives, and IAEE’s Major American Trade Show Organizers group—have been actively advocating in support of this new rule for more than two years. This includes submitting multiple comment letters, testifying at an informal FTC hearing last May, supporting a coalition effort that resulted in a letter of support signed by 235 organizations, and highlighting the issue for members of Congress during ECA’s 2023 Legislative Action Day, which generated additional Congressional support.

“Advocacy works!” said Tommy Goodwin, FASAE, CAE, PMP, CMP, ECA Vice President. “This new FTC rule would not have been possible without such remarkable whole-of-industry support. Thank you to all the associations and industry stakeholders who made this important progress possible.”

For more information on today’s news from the FTC, please click here. The final Government and Business Impersonation Rule will become effective 30 days from the date it is published in the Federal Register, which is unknown at this time.

About the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance:

The Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) is a coalition of leading professional, industry, and labor associations that comprise the unified advocacy voice of the business events industry. To learn more about ECA and its work to advance the interests of the industry, please visit

For media inquiries or further information, please contact Tommy Goodwin: +1 (703) 672-0780 |