Former CEIR President and CEO Douglas Ducate remembers industry veteran Skip Farber and his indelible contributions to CEIR.

By Douglas Ducate, Former President and CEO, Center for Exhibition Industry Research

Skip Farber was a friend and colleague for some 40 years. He enjoyed a very successful career in the exhibition industry holding a variety of responsible positions.

As President of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), it was my privilege to have Skip serve on the CEIR Board of directors from 2006 to 2009. During that time, he demonstrated a unique style that resulted in him garnering the respect of other board members.

Skip was an excellent listener. When an issue came before the board, Skip would remain silent and let other board members make comments and express opinions. Only after he had heard others out, would Skip speak and summarize what he had heard and suggest a conclusion to the discussion based on the preponderance of the comments.

When the CEIR Census was developed, the thought was it could be used to create a performance Index much like the Dow Jones or Russell 2000 Index. Skip served on the committee charged with designing the CEIR Index. During the committee discussions, it became clear some members were not convinced there was a need for such an Index. Skip had vast experience in valuing events and negotiating acquisitions. He pointed out how a CEIR Index broken into industry sectors could be used to see how an event performed compared to their peer group within the sector. That data would be very helpful in calculating the value of an event. Ultimately, that is how the Index is reported.

Finally, the lasting contribution Skip made to CEIR was related to his role in converting the World Shoe Association from a nonprofit to a for profit entity. Part of that process required the association to distribute their accumulated reserve funds to other nonprofit entities. Skip was successful in CEIR receiving a $1 million dollar grant. Reportedly CEIR was the only non-shoe related entity to receive a grant. The grant was set aside as a special fund to be used for research projects.

My condolences to Skip’s family. His lasting legacy to the exhibitions industry is evident through the work CEIR does today.

About the Author

Douglas Ducate devoted more than 40 years to advancing the growth and value of exhibitions, meetings, and other face-to-face marketing by producing and delivering research-based knowledge. Doug served as President and CEO of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), formerly the Trade Show Bureau, for more than 15 of those years.

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