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SISO Update


20 May 2022

SISO Update

As the end of May nears, we are happy to report the industry is in full swing. SISO member Diversified Communications reported that attendance for Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona exceeded 2019 numbers. Show launches are coming back. Earlier this week, Informa Markets launched MAGIC in Nashville. Questex is launching Metaverse Global Congress, June 28-29 in San Jose, CA. More and more high-profile speakers are making appearances at events, and M&A activity is ramping up.

SISO Activities

Global Exhibitions Day

The 7th annual Global Exhibitions Day is less than two weeks away. #GED will take place on June 1. SISO encourages our members to check out the toolkit and get ready to share your success stories. Check out the new #GED2022 website.

Summer Conference

Mark your calendar and plan to attend the SISO Summer Conference, scheduled for Aug 9-11 at the Oklahoma City Convention Center in Oklahoma City. Conference planning is underway. Registration opens next week. Stay tuned for details.

Asia CEO Summit

Mark your calendar and plan to attend the Asia CEO Summit, which will be held Oct. 5-7 at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore.

CEO Summit

Couldn't make the SISO CEO Summit, held March 21-24 at the Vinoy Renaissance in St. Petersburg, FL, in 2022? See the video wrap-up and hear what our attendees had to say. Attendees in their own words: Watch key takeaways from MJBiz's Cassandra Farrington, Continental Exhibitions' Walter Charnizon and U.S. Travel Association's Nan Marchand Beauvois.

Read a full recap in the SISO media release here.

View a photo gallery from the 2022 SISO CEO Summit.

Special Interest Groups

Small Business

The Small Business SIG continues to hold monthly roundtable discussions. No registration is required. Mark your calendar for these upcoming roundtables:

  • 11 a.m. ET on Tues., May 24
  • 11 a.m. ET on Tues., June 21

Consumer Events

In April, the Consumer Events SIG hosted a “Think Tank” to talk about community. The group discussed the important role that community plays in today's evolving event landscape. Discussion topics included: 

  • How successful shows are building community around their events 
  • What new communication and marketing strategies are being used to engage community year-round 
  • Community as lead generation, audience mining, monetization, goodwill, etc. 
  • Subscription services, membership platforms and more 

Watch the video. Exhibition World will be publishing six key takeaways from the webinar in their next issue.


On Thurs., May 19, the SISO Marketing SIG hosted a webinar titled The importance of experiences at live events. If you missed the free one-hour session, you can watch the video.

Case Studies

In February, SISO attended MAGIC, SOURCING, PROJECT, OFFPRICE AND Womenswear in Nevada (WWIN) in Las Vegas to interview exhibitors, attendees and show producers about the return of in-person. Exhibitors and attendees we interviewed were thrilled to back, and they shared their excitement about the importance of face-to-face as a critical marketing channel. Watch the video case study.


Advocacy Alliances

Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA)

With ECA Legislative Action Week on the horizon, work continues on our top public policy priorities in Washington, DC. Read on for more about the latest from ECA.

ECA Legislative Action Week

ECA encourages all SISO members to register for ECA Legislative Action Week, which takes place virtually June 6-10. This year, our efforts will focus on three areas vital for show organizers and the full recovery of the face-to-face business events sector:

  • Small business relief, including grants for hard-hit smaller organizers and other businesses and Q4 2021 Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) restoration
  • Support for restoring communicable disease coverage to event cancellation insurance
  • Restoring pre-pandemic international travel policies and visa processing capacity to help bring back international attendees and exhibitors

On June 6, ECA will host a 30-minute preview session with advocacy updates, an issues overview and much more. From there, up to three 15-30-minute meetings with members of Congress will be scheduled for attendees taking place from June 7-10. Please register today here.

Small business relief efforts

Due to Ukrainian aid legislation and other priorities, it remains unclear when the Senate will take up the important issue of small business relief. ECA continues to advocate passage of one of two small business relief bills that would provide support to smaller show organizers:

  • The House of Representatives-passed “Relief for Restaurants and other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act of 2022,” which contains a Hard Hit Industries Award Program that would give grants of up to $1 million to a large cohort of qualifying small businesses, including those in the business events industry.
  • The bipartisan Small Business COVID Relief Act of 2022,” introduced by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Roger Wicker (R-MS), incorporates eligibility language from the MUSIC Act and proposes to establish a dedicated $2 billion relief fund that would provide grants of up to $2 million to qualifying live events small businesses.

Urging immediate Senate action will be front and center during ECA Legislative Action Week.

Pandemic risk insurance

While efforts in the House of Representatives to restore communicable disease coverage to event cancellation insurance have stalled, a new legislative push is underway in the Senate. Led by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a bipartisan group of four Senators has begun drafting their own pandemic risk insurance proposal, which is expected to be released publicly this summer. ECA has been invited to contribute to the effort, which recognizes the collapse in the market for show organizers seeking to insure against future pandemic-related losses. ECA will share more about this important effort as development warrant and as part of ECA Legislative Action Week.

Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)

CEIR reports that the U.S. business-to-business (B2B) exhibitions industry improved significantly in the fourth quarter of 2021 from the previous seven quarters. Cancellation rates for physical in-person events dropped to 12.5% from 91.3% in the first quarter, 66.2% in the second quarter and 20.6% in the third quarter of 2021. About 98% of exhibitions were cancelled during the second half of 2020. Read the full results from the 2021 4th Quarter Index.

U.S. Travel

The U.S. Travel Association is urging the Biden administration to repeal the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated international air travelers quickly and accelerate recovery for this critical segment of the U.S. economy. On May 12, the association released the results of a new survey that reveals the inbound pre-departure testing requirement imposed by the federal government is having a devastating impact on travelers' likelihood of visiting the United States this summer and remains a major barrier to economic recovery. Key highlights:

  • Nearly half of respondents (47%) who are unlikely to travel abroad in the next 12 months cited pre-departure testing requirements as a reason.
  • More than half of international travelers (54%) said the added uncertainty of potentially having to cancel a trip due to U.S. pre-departure testing requirements would have a big impact on their likelihood to visit the U.S.

For more information, view the full release.


Moving Forward Updates

According to the CDC's data, as of May 16, a total of 220.6 million Americans, or 66.4% of the U.S. population, had been fully vaccinated. In total, 257.8 million Americans have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, or 77.7% of the U.S. population. Worldwide, 11.7 billion doses have been administered across 184 countries, as of May 16, according to Bloomberg. We're happy to share a few links of recent news and positive moves for our industry.

Member Benefits and Discounts

Exhibition World

Exhibition World magazine is a SISO media partner. Subscribe to the digital and print issues. SISO invites all members and sponsors to contact EW editor Paul Colston for any editorial cooperation and Maria Badakh for commercial cooperation.

Virtual Events Institute Certification

Will digital events become a growing part of your year-round strategy?  SISO members are extending, strengthening and monetizing their live event brands with online events. Through our partnership with Virtual Events Institute (VEI), as a SISO member, you have access to 11 modules of asynchronous training on digital event best practices at a significantly reduced cost. Reach out to SISO member and Co-Founder of VEI RD Whitney to learn how you can gain access to this training for your entire team.


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  • “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
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    David Adler, CEO & Founder, Bizbash Media
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    Tom Mitchell, President, Messe Dusseldorf North America
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    Howard Hauben, CEO, H2 Events
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    Joel A. Davis, Founder & CEO, JD Events
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    Liz Irving, President, Clarion Events