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About SISO

What is SISO?

In 1990, twelve independent show organizers met to discuss how they could meet with some frequency to discuss industry trends, opportunities and the differences between for-profit and not for profit issues that affected the way they could improve their companies’ ability to succeed.  It was at this first meeting that The Society of Independent Show Organizers was formed and has been dedicated to meeting the needs of the for-profit show organizer through networking, the exchange of ideas and experiences, and the ability to learn from each other in a non-competitive and candid environment.

SISO members include companies, corporations and other for-profit entities that own, produce or provide full-service management of “face to face” trade shows, consumer shows, expositions, conferences and /or similar events as a substantial part of their business.  SISO membership is a combination of large corporations and small entrepreneurial enterprises that do business primarily in North America, as well as in Europe, Asia, Africa, India, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. SISO’s more than 195 members produce over 3,500 events, creating an overall $122B impact on the global economy. 

SISO’s Mission is to meet the common needs of our members, by providing peer networking opportunities, education, industry information, streamlined business processes and best practices in the industry.

Member Benefits

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Industry Marketing

Vital to the continued success of the show industry, SISO partners with other major Industry Associations to launch a national promotional outreach through university educational sessions and public relations endeavors.  SISO’s long term commitment to CEIR (Center for Exhibition Industry Research) continues to highlight the importance of research in today’s business environment through research studies that continue to prove the effectiveness of face to face in the overall marketing mix.

Industry Best Practices Library

Written by SISO Members, for SISO members, each example provides the reader valid and practical information that may be applied to our member’s businesses.  Current sample documents include: Travel and visa legislation, emergency planning, hotel contract policies, NDA’s, M&A agreements, international negotiations, contracts on the use of digital technology and social media.

Cross Marketing Partnerships

SISO has endeavored to work closely with other allied associations and has developed such relationships and, in many cases, cross-promotional and educational agreements with: USTA, CEIR, UFI, IAEE, ESCA, CCPIT (China), AFIDA (South America), IAVM (International Association of Venue Managers) and DMAI (Destination Marketing Association International)  These alliances have been created to explore opportunities for joint cooperation across a broad spectrum of common industry activities which include, but not limited to, safety and security, advocacy, education, international travel, industry affairs, and best practices. 

CEO Summit

This yearly Summit is considered THE standard for the industry’s who’s who and is attended by company owners, CEOs and Presidents who network with peers and are involved in creating the strategies that will map out the short and long term future for the Industry.  Sessions are designed to include all aspects of the trade show industry from technology to hotel attrition rates and from visa allocation challenges to exclusive venue practices.  The CEO Summit is the perfect opportunity to learn what is new with the latest technologies while networking with one’s peers in an environment conducive to bringing together the Industry’s best.

The Summer Conference

This annual event is for CEOs, owners/managers, and first-line executives to discuss strategic issues as they relate to specific industry challenges. Held in an urban environment, the Summer Conference is complete with exceptional networking opportunities at multiple levels while the content delves into specific case histories and examples. The Summer Conference sets the standard for top-level management to include their next in line executives to understand the benefits of SISO membership while building their own peer networking groups.

SISO is strong financially, is entrepreneurial, proactive and stimulating.  Member's participation and the ability to network with other Industry trailblazers, large or small will keep any member company ahead of industry trends, promote successful exhibitions, and allow one to understand how deals are made to help member companies grow and succeed.

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  • “Without a doubt the most valuable three days of the year for networking, learning, and meeting colleagues.”
    Tony Calanca, Executive Vice President, UBM
  • “Two of the best acquisitions Access Intelligence had executed came directly from contacts and discussions held at the SISO CEO Summit. Beyond that important networking for transactions, I learn best practices from the best in the industry. The ROI for membership is immeasurable.”
    Don Pazour, CEO, Access Intelligence
  • “The impact of SISO is so much bigger than its size. It feels more like a global council of important tribes than a traditional trade association.”
    David Adler, CEO & Founder, Bizbash Media
  • “Our industry thrives on the personal relationships that face-to-face builds, and the CEO Summit is the ultimate place to build YOUR network!”
    Tom Mitchell, President, Messe Dusseldorf North America
  • “As busy, independent, for-profit organizer, SISO keeps our company connected to all the key players working in this industry and allows great relationships and ongoing learning of best practices from the best in the business. All invaluable assets to help move our business forward."
    Howard Hauben, CEO, H2 Events
  • “The SISO membership represents the entire for-profit tradeshow community and the annual SISO conferences are must-attend events for their educational and networking value.”
    Joel A. Davis, Founder & CEO, JD Events
  • “SISO connects strategic minds through invaluable networking opportunities and face-to-face executive conferences focused on excellence and inspiration.”
    Dana Teague, Vice President, Informa Global Exhibitions
  • “Participating in SISO puts you on the leading edge of the events world.”
    Charles McCurdy, CEO, Informa Global Exhibitions