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SISO Update


28 Feb 2022

SISO Update

As February comes to a close, Covid cases are declining rapidly in the U.S. Good news on the international front: Australia opened its borders to business travelers and tourists for the first time since March 2020, and the U.K. lifted all Covid restrictions. In recent weeks, safe and successful events — such as the MAGIC, Project, Sourcing, OFFPRICE, Womenswear in Nevada (WWIN) — were held in U.S.

SISO Activities

CEO Summit

Plans are complete for the SISO CEO Summit, which will be held March 21-24, at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, FL. View the updated program schedule. Here are a few highlights you won't want to miss:

On Tues., March 22, Epistemix CEO John Cordier will present Covid-19 Forecast: The future course of the pandemic. He will discuss the spring 2022 forecast for Covid-19. What should we expect to see over the coming months? Arm yourself with scientific evidence to make crucial business decisions about staffing, travel and strategy for the coming year. After running hundreds of risk assessments that include detailed projections by city and vaccination rates, Cordier will offer key insights into the latest modeling and research to help organizers better prepare and deliver safe, engaging events even in the midst of Covid. Dig into the latest attendee data and predictive modeling research about in-person business events from the computational modeling software company that develops simulations to fight disease and inform public health policy.

Also on Tues., March 22, join us for Top 10 Tips for Recruiting and Retention Now. Diversified Communications Corporate VP Human Resources Janice Rogers and Northstar Travel Media LLC's Executive VP Human Resources Janine Bavoso will share their most creative ideas for managing through The Great Resignation, attracting and retaining diverse top talent, dealing with wage inflation, and developing employee skills sets to meet the needs of our changing industry.

On Wed., March 23, the Closing Keynote will feature an Interview with Web Summit's CEO Paddy Cosgrave by Tarsus Group's CEO Doug Emslie. Cosgrave will discuss Web Summit's return to live with 42,000+ attendees from 128 countries, 1,800+ media and 1,500+ startups last November in Lisbon. He will share insight on working with CES to produce its digital event and the evolution of the events industry.

See who is already registered.

If you haven't received your code for registration, please contact Anna Osnower.

Case Studies

Earlier this month, 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. We published videos from WWIN, OFFPRICE and MAGIC exhibitors — all of whom talked about the value of trade shows. 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 videos and stay tuned for the full video case study.    

Earlier this month, SISO produced a video case study on the PGA Show, produced by SISO member RX Americas. The 69th PGA Show reunited the global golf industry in person for the first time in two years, Jan. 25-28, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Nearly 15,000 PGA Professionals, golf leaders, industry executives and retailers sourced new products from more than 600 participating brands, attended high-level industry presentations, learned timely business solutions and connected in person with peers and golf leaders to drive forward participation and the business of the sport. Watch the video.

As you return to live events, we encourage you to check out the recent SISO White Papers on how SISO members have successfully produced events during the pandemic.

Special Interest Groups

Small Business

The SISO Small Business SIG will host the Small Business Roundtable at the CEO Summit. The in-person event will be held 1-5 p.m. ET on Mon., March 21. A separate registration fee of $49, which includes lunch prior to the program, is required. To register, please contact Anna Osnower. View the updated program schedule. Here are a few highlights you won't want to miss:

  • Ongoing Pandemic Issues: Now two years into the pandemic, Covid-19 is still causing disruption and challenges. How can small business owners continue to combat the seemingly never-ending barrage of pandemic-related issues? This segment will discuss topics such as: when will a full return to shows/events occur; travel bans/mandates/reluctancy and how they affect attendance as well as staff; and new post-Covid planning timelines/strategies.
  • Road to Recovery: Small businesses need new sources of capital and cashflow to stay afloat while events/shows continue to suffer losses and smaller margins. This segment will share the industry's ongoing advocacy efforts for the trade show industry and opportunities that may be out there for small business owners.
  • Staffing/Recruiting: Is The Great Resignation hurting your business? People are a company's strongest asset, so how are you rebuilding, retaining and recruiting? This segment will discuss topics such as: hiring best practices; hiring tools/sourcing talent; salary averages; remote work culture; vaccine mandates; and what small businesses can do to make themselves attractive to new hires/top talent.
  • Virtual/Hybrid Events and the Path to Profitable Year-Round Community Models: Love them or hate them, virtual and hybrid events are here to stay. But where are they working, where are they failing and why? Are they just an extra expense, or are there examples where engagement and profit are both high? And finally, how do they fit in with a year-round community model. This segment will look at different scenarios and examples of what virtual/hybrid components some companies have in place, as well as profitability measures and best practices. It will also cover the tactics that can leverage a powerful brand and the reach of a live event together with the astonishing reach and lead development of the online event formats.


On Feb. 17, the SISO Marketing SIG hosted a webinar titled Closed Door Conversation: Marketing Tech Stack, Partners and Learnings. The one-hour session focused on types of vendor solutions, learnings we have had, and what new technology is popping up that organizers are starting to explore. Attendees shared feedback on marketing automation, matchmaking, lead generation platforms, audience acquisition and more. The session was not recorded to allow for open discussion and sharing.

Consumer Show

Last month, the SISO Consumer Show SIG hosted a webinar titled Reports from the Frontlines: Three B2C organizers share insights about producing public events during the pandemic. Executives from ReedPop, Fast Forward Events and MAD Event Management discussed what worked and what didn't when producing safe and successful B2C events in recent months. Get a behind-the-scenes view from leaders who have been there and done that for NYComicCon, San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival and Side Hustles & Opportunities Conference (SHO). Watch the video.

Human Resources

In January, the SISO HR SIG hosted a webinar with OneTen, an initiative to hire 1 million Black individuals over 10 years into family-sustaining American jobs. Does your company have diversity goals? Are you looking for programs to help achieve those goals? OneTen discussed how a committed group of CEOs — from companies like Delta, AT&T and American Express — who are willing to change the human capital paradigm in the U.S. and to be accountable for their ongoing retention, development and advancement. Watch the video.

Summer Conference

SISO is looking for volunteers for the Summer Conference Planning Committee. If you are interested in shaping the content, please contact Danica Tormohlen.

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.

Asia CEO Summit

Mark your calendar and plan to attend the Asia CEO Summit, which will be held Oct. 4-6 at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore.

SISO Column in Exhibition World

Danica Tormohlen, SISO content director, publisher and editor-in-chief, finds out how the largest independents are enhancing and maximizing tech in 2022. Read the SISO column on page 15 in the February/March issue of Exhibition World.

Global Exhibitions Day

#GED2022 is less than 100 days away. GED2022 will take place on June 1. SISO encourages our members to check out the toolkit and get ready to share your success stories.

Advocacy Alliances

Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA)

It has been another busy few weeks for the ECA in Washington, DC. Here's the latest update on some of ECA's top public policy priorities.

Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA)

On Feb. 23, Republicans on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services held a virtual roundtable on future pandemic risk. ECA submitted a statement for the record highlighting the importance of restoring communicable disease coverage within event cancellation insurance. Additionally, MarketWatch recently highlighted ECA in an article on the ongoing return of business events and need for communicable disease coverage going forward.

MUSIC Act/small business relief legislation

Congress recently passed a continuing resolution to extend the deadline fund from the federal government for fiscal year 2022 until March 11. ECA continues to work with its Congressional champions to ensure the MUSIC Act is part of any supplemental small business relief package taken up by Congress in the coming weeks. Also, Trade Show Executive recently highlighted ECA Small Business Advocacy Week and our advocacy efforts on behalf of industry small businesses.

Business impersonation fraud

On Feb. 15, ECA joined the Consumer Technology Association and others in responding to the Federal Trade Commission's advance notice of proposed rulemaking on the issue of business impersonation fraud. The business events industry continues to be targeted by hotel reservation scams and attendee list sale scams, and ECA called on the FTC to establish a rule prohibiting the deceptive impersonation of a business or non-profit and increase education to consumers, businesses and other stakeholders on the dangers of business impersonation fraud.

Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)

CEIR published results from the January 2022 Tracker Poll with U.S. business-to-business (B2B) exhibition organizers assessing the impact of Covid-19 on the 2022 show schedule. The session also included an update of CEIR's forecast for the overall U.S. economy and B2B exhibition industry through 2023. Epistemix CEO John Cordier offered insights on the expected trajectory of Covid-19 cases through 2025, and how organizers can plan events safely in light of this outlook. SISO members can view a summary here or watch the recorded webinar.

U.S. Travel

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued a statement on the announcement that Brazil and its citizens now have full partnership in the Global Entry program, which will ease travel to the U.S. for business and tourism. “The American travel community begins a new chapter with Brazil's full admittance into the Global Entry program. While this is welcome news, the Biden administration must also address the ongoing visa processing issues in Brazil and around the world. On average, visitor visa wait times in Brazil are 233 days. Pre-pandemic, Brazil was the fifth-largest overseas inbound market, and it is crucial that visa processing fully resumes so we can restore this critical source market.” Read the full statement.


Moving Forward Updates

According to the CDC's data, as of Feb. 23, a total of 215.0 million Americans, or 64.8% of the U.S. population, had been fully vaccinated. In total, 253.0 million Americans have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, or 76.2% of the U.S. population. Worldwide, 10.6 billion doses have been administered across 184 countries, as of Feb. 23, according to Bloomberg. In addition to the encouraging news about declining case counts, we're happy to share a few links of recent news and positive moves for our industry.



SISO offers the following links to assist members as the return to live ramps up. Additional guidance and updates on Covid-19 remain available on our site.


Member Benefits and Discounts 

Executive Roundtable

SISO members are invited to attend the mdg Executive Roundtable on March 7 in Chicago, in conjunction with The Inspired Home Show and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. Content will include a tour and “in progress” case study of The Inspired Home Show with a focus on the association's “comeback story” after having to cancel two shows in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for more details and a link to complimentary registration.

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 at for any editorial cooperation and Maria Badakh at 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 can engage with the SISO community via our online member forum? The platform allows you to pose questions and get answers from your colleagues — no vendors allowed. Looking for a job description? Need a sample exhibit sales agreement? Would you like advice about working in a particular venue? Want to know tips, tricks and recommendations from other SISO members? The forum offers access to firsthand information it would otherwise be hard to find online.

This week's question: What do you want to know about M&A? ARC Group's CEO Simon Foster will be moderating a panel on M&A at the SISO CEO Summit, and he wants to know what questions you want answered. Help shape the discussion by sharing your thoughts and opinions.

Would you like to get more involved, or do you have a question about SISO? Email


Thank you to Informa Markets, Clarion Events and Tarsus Group for participating our case study on MAGIC, WWIN and OFFPRICE.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay strong. Stay connected!



  • “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