The Independent Event Producers (IEP) is an organization with the goal of making sure the voice of the independents is heard. There are over 200 independents in the United States and north of 100 more internationally, but the voice of the independents is often drowned out by the major brands. The IEP will launch a national media campaign, purchase in bulk, offer group discounts, create a social networking presence, and launch the IEP website to help make sure they are well represented in the spirit industry.
The IEP was born when 8 companies met in New Orleans in June 2009. Mardi Gras, UPA, Cheer America, Pac West, WSA, Spirit Celebration, Champion Cheer, and Cheer Ltd. met to discuss forming an organization to strengthen their independence and left New Orleans with a mission statement, goals, organization structure, and initial plan. A second meeting was held in Dallas in August, from which the IEP was officially launched. Colleen Little (Cheer America), was appointed the temporary Chair and Lisa Saline (UPA) was appointed the Membership Director. The Inaugural IEP Board of Colleen Little, Kiki Bittner (Pac West), Jody Delorit (UPA), Darren DeMoss (WSA), Kim Dornak (ECDA), Dick Fox (Cheer Ltd.), Lisa Saline, Jeannine Sentilles (Mardi Gras), and Billy Smith (Spirit Celebration) was established in September.
There are currently 22 IEP member companies, 21 US based and 1 International. Current members are American Cheer Express, AmeriCheer/AmeriDance, Champion Cheer & Dance, Cheer America, Cheer and Dance Extreme, Cheer LTD, Cheer Star Productions, Contest of Champions, ECDA, JAMZ, KC Christmas, Mardi Gras Spirit Events, Pac West Spirit Group, Redline Cheer & Dance, Spirit Celebration, Spirit Festival, Spirit Unlimited, United Cheer, UPA Cheer & Dance, US Spirit, WCA, and WSA. All members are strongly encouraged to get involved and either Chair a committee or take part on one, sharing their knowledge and expertise.