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12 May 2020

Aims to Enable Essential Safety Guidelines and Protect the Trade Show and Live Events Industry

Atlanta – May 12, 2020: Today the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) announced support for Go LIVE Together, a coalition dedicated to enabling essential safety guidelines, and protecting the trade show and live events industry in the wake of COVID-19. In addition to joining the coalition, SISO announced it is investing $250,000 to aid with legislative advocacy efforts to support industry recovery and to help government officials understand the true impact events have on economies and job creation. SISO calls for other leading industry associations to contribute to their advocacy efforts.

SISO members produce thousands of events each year, creating tens of billions of dollars in impact on the global economy.

SISO endorses Go LIVE Together’s three goals:

  • Safety: Enable events and trade shows to open safely by following essential safety guidelines that adhere to the best medically backed scientific practices for the safety and well-being of attendees, once stay at home orders are lifted,
  • Impact: Raise awareness with government officials to understand the true impact events have on economies and job creation and the benefits safe start-up will have on healing the U.S. economy,
  • Legislation: Seek relief by supporting legislation to rebuild the industry that can serve to accelerate economic recovery.


The Go LIVE Together coalition now has over 1,700 members representing 1,000’s of businesses and is gaining momentum every day.  With this powerful and united voice, Trade Show Executive, who initiated the Trade Show and Events Recovery Act, will align with the broader SISO and Go LIVE Together coalition as they collectively seek legislative relief.

Go LIVE Together (GLT) coalition members are working with industry, venues and associations to identify best practices to share with the industry so that the most effective and practical safety guidelines are implemented consistently. Go LIVE Together supports early and promising efforts from the Events Industry Council (EIC), Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), UFI, U.S. Travel Association and many more.

“SISO and Go LIVE Together will provide the industry with a stable platform and strong voice so that when it’s safe, the industry is ready and able to restart” said Douglas Emslie, SISO Chair. “First and foremost, safety is paramount, and we believe there are creative meeting design options that can be used for business events. Unlike with fixed spaces, business event spaces provide a blank canvas that can be designed and adapted to ensure social distancing and safety practices are utilized.”


“It can’t be overstated the impact the trade show and events industry have on jobs and the economic fabric of America. This industry is mostly made up of small and minority-owned businesses and they need help” said Bob Priest-Heck CEO of Freeman, which founded Go LIVE Together. “We are grateful for the overwhelming industry support for Go LIVE Together and especially grateful for SISO’s generous contribution to our efforts.”

Events serve as a massive incubator for innovation and economic growth, and the impacts from recovery extend well beyond the industry itself.

For example:

  • Live events contribute nearly $1 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, with events touching every major sector that makes up the U.S. GDP.
  • In 2019, the events industry employed 3 million workers directly, with a total impact of close to 7 million jobs.
  • The live events industry employs millions of union workers, general laborers, strategists, marketers, concession stand workers, entertainers, riggers, project managers, and more.
  • Over 80 percent of the companies that serve the live events industry are small, with many being women and minority-owned businesses.

Let’s Go LIVE Together! #GoLiveTogether

Visit to learn more information.


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 almost 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 Executive Director, at 404-334-4585 or

About Go LIVE Together
Go LIVE Together, in partnership with Freeman, the global live events company, comprises a coalition of more than 1700 members representing 1,000’s of companies and independent contractors with operations in the U.S. and 112 other countries. The coalition has assembled to ensure that the industry is enabled to follow common safety guidelines, and when the health crisis is over, the voices and concerns of the live events industry are addressed in local, state, and federal recovery funding related to COVID-19. The live events industry is a diverse, valuable, and vibrant ecosystem that contributes nearly

$1 trillion to the U.S. economy and employs millions of workers. Visit to learn more and support this initiative. Engage with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn using #GoLiveTogether.



  • “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