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30 Sep 2021

MEDIA RELEASE: ASEAN Leaders and Global Exhibitions Organisers gather in Singapore to set stage for the reopening of regional business events





ASEAN Leaders and Global Exhibitions Organisers gather in
Singapore to set stage for the reopening of regional business events


The Joint Leadership Summit of AEO / SACEOS / SISO / UFI – Singapore will bring
government leaders and major event organisers to the table to chart a reopening
roadmap for the region's exhibitions/business industry 


30 September 2021 – The Joint Leadership Summit (JLS) of AEO / SACEOS / SISO / UFI - Singapore taking place from 5th to 7th October at the Fullerton Hotel, will see the first face-to-face meeting, since the pandemic began, of ASEAN government ministers, major global organisers, trade association leaders and tourism bureau chiefs to reinvigorate the region’s business events industry and reboot inter- and intra-regional business travel.

Supported by Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and co-organised by Singapore Association for Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (SACEOS), Association of Event Organisers (AEO), Society for Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, the event will underscore the value of exhibitions as vital economic drivers and a sustainable way of promoting and accelerating global commerce.
As the first international business event with fully vaccinated participants to be held in Singapore, the JLS will put forward a clear action plan to restart business events in the region. During the summit, industry executives and association leaders will exchange insights and perspectives on global reopening experiences and sector developments. 

To prime the industry’s evolution through a new operating environment, the event will also witness the launch of the Asia CEO Summit @ Singapore, an annual dialogue for the regional exhibition industry taking place over three years from 2022 to 2024 in Singapore. 

Singapore has long been renowned as a safe and trusted Global Asia hub for business events. And with the safety and wellbeing of all invited delegates the top priority at the Joint Leadership Summit of AEO / SACEOS / SISO / UFI – Singapore, operators of the event are accredited with the SG SafeEvent Certification - a mark of assurance for event organisers in Singapore in upholding the highest standards of hygiene and safety management measures and best practices. 

Aloysius Arlando, President, SACEOS said: “As the global exhibition industry embarks on our next phase of recovery, there is a critical need for industry players and governments in the region to work together to restart business events in an endemic COVID-19 world. With exhibitions and business events brought to a standstill the past 18 months due to the pandemic, it is now time for the region to rebuild global connectivity and reopen inter- and intra-regional business travel. On that note, Singapore is adopting a calibrated and practical reopening strategy, with the Joint Leadership Summit of AEO / SACEOS / SISO / UFI – Singapore paving the way for the restart of exhibitions and business events not just locally, but regionally.” 

Anbu Varathan, President, UFI said: "UFI's mission is to bring together the exhibition industry, those who build, maintain, and support the world’s market places. For too long, we have not been able to meet face-to-face to do what we do best - bring people together. The upcoming Joint Leadership Summit in Singapore is a significant milestone on the road to pandemic recovery. It demonstrates that through cooperation, we can safely and productively restart business events.” 

Hervé Sedky, SISO Chair, President & CEO of Emerald said: “SISO represents the leading for-profit show organising businesses around the world and as such has taken a major role in working with key partner organizations in advocating for the safe reopening of the exhibitions industry across the globe. This meeting of the leading industry associations is an important part of this ongoing advocacy mission. The SISO CEO Summit is known as an influential annual gathering in North America of the leaders of our industry. We now are planning to replicate this leading event for an Asia-Pacific region focused event. The partnership of AEO, SACEOS, SISO and UFI, together with the support of Singapore and the STB, will guarantee that the Asia CEO Summit will quickly become an important event in the region bringing the industry’s leaders together.” 

Carina Bauer, AEO Chair, and CEO of IMEX Group said: “The UK is home to many of the largest independent exhibition and event organisers who operate across the world. One of our key functions is to provide these industry players with the perfect platform which brings them together to exchange ideas. For some time we have been seeking to build knowledge and develop relationships with leading exhibition and event organisers, and other stakeholders in the ASEAN region and have a unique opportunity to start this journey at the Joint Leadership Summit. It is our honour to be part of the reopening journey for the region. The event will also see the launch of the inaugural Asia CEO Summit, due to take place in October 2022.” 

Yap Chin Siang, Deputy Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board said: “As Singapore journeys towards COVID-resilience, we will continue to facilitate the safe and gradual resumption of MICE events. The Joint Leadership Summit and the launch of the Asia CEO Summit reflects Singapore’s strong standing as a Global-Asia Node for MICE and business. While the pandemic has changed the way we work and travel, Singapore remains committed to strengthening existing partnerships while forging new ones.” 

Giovanni Viterale, General Manager, The Fullerton Hotels and Resorts said: “We are delighted to host the first-ever gathering of global leaders and global event organisers at the upcoming SACEOS Joint Leadership Summit 2021 at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. As a SG SafeEvent certified venue, we are committed to providing event attendees the assurance that their safety and well-being are our top priority through rigorous measures which adhere to best practices in safety and hygiene. This will be instrumental in setting the stage for the re-opening of exhibitions and business events, both locally and regionally.” 

Janice Swee, Co-Founder and Director, TRICOM Events said: “TRICOM is honoured to be amongst the pioneer event agencies in Singapore to be SG SafeEvent Certified. This is an important milestone for the safe and calibrated reopening of the MICE industry, as we give clients and event participants the confidence and assurance that events are a safe controlled environment. We encourage our peers in the industry to join us in becoming SG SafeEvent certified, raising the standards industry wide as the economy reopens." 


Download the full media release here.

(Refer to ANNEX A below for quotes from regional exhibitions associations and partners)



SACEOS (Singapore Association for Convention Exhibitions Organisers and Suppliers) was formed in 1979 with a mission to be the voice and champion of the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions (MICE) and Events industry, and to bring the community together with a common vision of strengthening Singapore's position as the leading global destination for events.
By working closely with the government, SACEOS is committed in supporting the industry by fostering innovation, transformation and development. Through our pillars of Community, Commerce and Capabilities, we strive to equip enterprises and workforce to meet their evolving needs, and to emerge stronger together. 

For more information, please contact Daniel Teo: Email: Tel: +65 94761154 or 

About UFI 


About UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry: UFI is the global trade association of the world’s tradeshow organisers and exhibition centre operators, as well as the major national and international exhibition associations, and selected partners of the exhibition industry. UFI’s main goal is to represent, promote and support the business interests of its members and the exhibition industry. UFI directly represents more than 50,000 exhibition industry employees globally, and also works closely with its 60 national and regional association members. More than 800 member organisations in 83 countries around the world are presently signed up as members. Around 1,000 international trade fairs proudly bear the UFI approved label, a quality guarantee for visitors and exhibitors alike. UFI members continue to provide the international business community with a unique marketing media aimed at developing outstanding face-to-face business opportunities.
For more information, please contact: UFI Headquarters: Email: Tel: +33 (0)1 46 39 75 00 or

About SISO 


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 events. SISO membership is a combination of large corporations and small entrepreneurial enterprises that do business around the world. SISO’s 200-member companies produce thousands of events around the world. 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. 

For more information, please visit, or contact David Audrain, SISO CEO, at 404-334-4585 or


About AEO 


AEO is the United Kingdom's trade body representing companies which conceive, create, develop or manage trade and consumer events. AEO's 90 members organise around 1000 trade and consumer shows in the UK and around 1000 shows around the world, which makes them the UK's 6th largest service exporter by turnover. AEO is run by its members for the benefit of its members, through an elected council of representatives, specialist working groups and a fulltime secretariat, under the four pillars of Community, Representation, Insight and Talent, providing a trusted platform for information exchange and the sharing of best practice. 
For more information, please contact: AEO Email: Tel: 00 44 (0) 1442 873331 or



Claudia Sagripanti, CEO, Exhibition & Event Association Australasia (EEAA) said: “The Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia commends SACEOS, AEO, SISO and UFI for this regional initiative. As the pandemic has shown, we do not work in isolation, and we all benefit when we share our learnings. The Joint Leadership Summit (JLS) of AEO / SACEOS / SISO / UFI - Singapore, with participants from trade associations, government, tourism bureaux and global organisers, will be critical to sharing understanding of the fundamental role the business events sector has in recharging the visitor economy, CBD revitalisation and facilitating trade, investment, innovation and the knowledge economy.”

Stuart Bailey, Chairman of Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) said: “Congratulations to AEO/SACEOS/ SISO/ UFI on the successful convening of this important meeting which we hope will signal the start of a coordinated international approach to allow trade shows to resume and welcome fully vaccinated participants from all over the world. We wish the meeting every success and look forward to being part of the next one.”

Hosea Andreas Runkat, Chairman, Indonesian Exhibition Company Association (ASPERAPI) said: “Together as an industry we will emerge stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Joint Leadership Summit (JLS) of AEO / SACEOS / SISO / UFI - Singapore will be key in facilitating the collaboration needed for the restart of MICE Events in our region.”

Lee Dong-won, Chairman, Association of Korean Exhibition Industry (AKEI) said: “The Joint Leadership Summit (JLS) of AEO / SACEOS / SISO / UFI - Singapore is where industry leaders work together to reboot the exhibition and business events industry, including discussing how to fully open up intra- and inter-regional travel and the development of the industry. I believe this Summit will have a strong impact on the exhibitions/business events industry in a positive way in overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic and exploring the future. It is also encouraging that government officials from some of the respective countries, and would be a great chance for exhibitions/business events industry to appeal its value and importance and enhance support from the public sector.

Sumate Sudasna, President, Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA) said: “Thailand applauds Singapore’s initiative to unite the business events industry to demonstrate our commitment to mobilize the economy.”



  • “Without a doubt the most valuable three days of the year for networking, learning, and meeting colleagues.”
    Tony Calanca, Calanca & Associates LLC
  • “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
  • Being a member of SISO has allowed me to navigate the dynamic landscape of our industry in the most effective way possible. Personally, it’s been a journey of continuous learning, networking, and collaboration that fosters deep relationships with industry leaders. Professionally, the insights I’ve gained, the resources I have accessed, and the collaborative initiatives and advocacy work have helped to take my organization to new heights. SISO, to me, is an indispensable asset for my career and business.
    Liz Irving, President, Clarion Events