Skip to main content

SISO Update


29 Apr 2022

SISO Update

As April comes to a close, we are happy to report that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has stopped mask enforcement on planes, trains and other transportation after a federal judge struck down the federal transportation mask mandate on April 18. Business travel is rebounding, and airlines are reporting a 70% recovery of business travel. On the international front, Covid restrictions continue to be eased around the globe, including Hong Kong and Singapore in recent weeks. This month, safe and successful trade shows  — such as the Suncoast Boat ShowCinemaCon and XPONENTIAL 2022 — were held in U.S.

SISO Activities

Planned change in management 

David Audrain has asked the SISO Leadership to reduce the term of the current SISO Management Services Agreement with Exposition Development Company from three years to one year, allowing for it to end in December 2022.

The current management agreement is the third three-year agreement with ExpoDevCo, with David now in his 7th year as SISO CEO. David has now asked to end the agreement early to allow him to focus on his own business and the SISO Executive Committee have agreed.

As is the normal process, the SISO Executive Committee will take on the role of Search Committee in finding a replacement for David and the ExpoDevCo staff team, and we will look at all potential solutions to ensure SISO remains under strong leadership serving its membership. We encourage all interested parties to contact us for more information.

SISO Chair Cassandra Farrington wants to take this opportunity to thank David for his long-standing dedication to SISO. His leadership has been instrumental in bringing the organization through the pandemic in strong financial condition, significantly advancing the administrative backbone during his tenure as CEO and augmenting the services and support SISO provides its membership.

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.

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. Stay tuned for details in May.

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. Throughout the month of April, Singapore has removed most Covid restrictions in the city. Earlier this week, Down come the barriers at malls and restaurants as Singapore lifts Covid-19 curbs, according to The Strait Times.

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

On Thurs., April 28, 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.


The SISO Marketing SIG will host a webinar titled The importance of experiences at live events at 11 a.m. ET on Thurs., May 19. The one-hour session is free for SISO members, but registration is required. Register today!

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.

Global Exhibitions Day

The 7th annual #GED will take place on June 1. SISO encourages our members to check out the toolkit and get ready to share your success stories. The new #GED2022 web site launched last week.

Advocacy Alliances

Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA)

While the U.S. Congress has been adjourned for the last two weeks, progress continues on the industry's advocacy efforts in Washington, DC.

ECA Legislative Action Week registration is OPEN!

Registration has begun for ECA Legislative Action Week, which will take place virtually June 6-10. SISO members and other industry leaders will have the opportunity to virtually meet with Capitol Hill lawmakers on industry priorities, including small business relief, international travel policies and pandemic risk insurance. On June 6, ECA will host a preview session, and virtual Congressional meetings will take place June 7-10. Please register today!

Mask mandate updates

On April 18, a federal judge struck down the federal transportation mask mandate, which required masking on airplanes, trains and various forms of public transportation. While the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has since stopped mask enforcement, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) plans to appeal the judge's ruling on behalf of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At this point, there is no firm timeframe for when the DOJ appeal will be heard and adjudicated.

Meanwhile, on April 21, Philadelphia's board of health rescinded its reinstituted indoor mask mandate after only four days. At this time, no other major U.S. city currently has plans to return to required indoor masking.

Small business relief efforts

During the Congressional recess, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) formally introduced their long-awaited “Small Business COVID Relief Act of 2022” legislation. This bill incorporates eligibility language from the MUSIC Act and proposes to establish a dedicated $2 billion fund for qualifying live events businesses. At this point, it is unclear whether this bill will be offered as an amendment to the $10 billion Covid-mitigation package that the U.S. Senate is expected to take up soon. While that amendment would not likely receive the 60 votes needed for passage at this time, ECA will continue to press the Senate to advance small business relief legislation that helps convention and trade show organizers as soon as possible.

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

On April 20, the U.S. Travel Association issued a press release in reaction to the CDC's Call for an Appeal on Mask Ruling. U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on the news that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asked the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to appeal a ruling that struck down the federal mask mandate for public transportation:

“We have long stated that mask usage on public transportation should be an individual choice, and we were pleased to hear President Biden echo that sentiment this week—especially as the CDC's own guidance advises that the overwhelming majority of Americans do not need to wear masks in indoor public settings.

“Masks were critically important during the height of the pandemic, but with low hospitalization rates and multiple effective health tools now widely available, from boosters to therapies to high-quality air ventilation aboard aircraft, required masking on public transportation is simply out of step with the current public health landscape.”

National Travel and Tourism Week

National Travel and Tourism Week kicks off on Sunday, May 1. The annual industrywide activation unites and celebrates the value travel holds for our economy, businesses, communities and personal well-being. This year's theme is the #FutureOfTravel. View the toolkit here.

As a member of Meetings Mean Business Coalition, SISO wants to call your attention to how we've incorporated opportunities to amplify the critical need to restore all sectors of the travel economy — including business travel, meetings and events. Specifically, Friday, May 6 is a dedicated day to highlight the ways in which the #FutureOfTravel is in-person — and we will utilize the Meetings Mean Business networks and social media handles to underscore this message.

Please be on the lookout for social media posts from the Meetings Mean Business Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. And if you are able, convey this message to your own networks by retweeting, sharing and engaging with #NTTW22 content throughout the week. Thank you for your engagement and support.


Moving Forward Updates

According to the CDC's data, as of April 27, a total of 219 million Americans, or 66% of the U.S. population, had been fully vaccinated. In total, 257 million Americans have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, or 77.5% of the U.S. population. Worldwide, 11.5 billion doses have been administered across 184 countries, as of April 26, according to Bloomberg. In addition to the encouraging news about Covid restrictions lifting around the globe, 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.


Join your community online via SISO's social channels on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Are you a member? Did you know you c...



  • “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