Skip to main content

SISO Update


17 Dec 2021

SISO Update

As 2021 comes to a close, we are grateful to see cities and states across the U.S. continuing to stay open as the pandemic lingers. Q4 has been a busy period as the exhibition industry continues to ramp up the return to live, in-person events. In recent weeks, safe and successful events — such as the San Diego Food & Wine Festival, Abilities Expo, Cyber Con, Performance Racing Industry Show, The Running Event and C2E2 — have been held across the U.S.

SISO Activities

CTO Interview Series

From Dec. 13 to 17, SISO hosted an executive webinar series, sponsored by JUNO. For-profit execs from Diversified Communications, Emerald, Tarsus Group, Clarion Events and RX Global shared how they are investing and strategizing for tech in 2022. In these 30-minute sessions, tech executives answered:

  • How is your organization handling data ownership when working with event tech companies? 
  • What's in your tech stack and what have you added recently?
  • Where is your organization investing in tech?
  • How are M&As on the tech vendor side impacting integration and implementation?
  • What's one of your top tech strategies for 2022?

Watch or listen to recordings of the CTO Interview Series. You'll also find key takeaways from each session.


On Dec. 13, The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), reported the U.S. business-to-business (B2B) exhibitions industry improved significantly in Q3 2021 from the previous five quarters. Cancellation rates of the physical events dropped to 19.0% from 90.4% in Q1 and 66.5% in Q2 2021. About 98% of exhibitions were cancelled during the second half of 2020. The full report is $950 and $350 per sector report. Organizers can get a free copy of the Index Sector report by submitting their event data to CEIR. For more information, email CEIR VP of Research Nancy Drapeau.

Case Studies 

As you return to live events, we encourage you to check out the recent SISO/UFI White Papers on how SISO members have successfully produced events during the pandemic. Since October 2020, SISO has published nine white papers and seven video interviews for members to use as a playbook for the return to live events.

On-demand Content

SISO has partnered with CLIPr to provide curated content from the 2021 SISO Summer Conference. Now showing: You can view content from four sessions, including:

  • Deeper Dive Live with Q&A Pandemic-Era Producers
  • Learnings From 21 Months of Managing Covid: An Epidemiologist's Tale
  • Innovation Showcase
  • Closing Session: Industry Advocacy

CLIPr uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to create searchable recorded meeting recaps and actionable insights enabling users to search, skim and find what they need to learn better and drive desired outcomes in a fraction of the time.

Select, watch, search and skim what matters most to you. View videos from the 2021 Summer Conference here.


Special Interest Groups

Small Business

In 2022, the SISO Small Business SIG will continue to hold open monthly roundtable discussions, which will take place at 11 a.m. ET on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Please email with any questions. Mark your calendars for these upcoming roundtables:

  • 11 a.m. ET on Tues., Jan. 25
  • 11 a.m. ET on Tues., Feb. 22
  • 1-5 p.m. ET on Mon., March 21, which will be held in-person at the SISO CEO Summit. A separate registration fee of $49, which includes lunch prior to the program, is required.

?Marketing SIG

On Dec. 15, the SISO Marketing SIG addressed lessons learned and future forecasts during a one-hour meeting. Watch the video recording or view the presentation that featured a case study and peer-to-peer sharing of some of the biggest learnings from our members in 2021. Plus, they offered insight on what members are planning to do differently going forward. The next Marketing SIG webinar will be held 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET on Thurs., Jan. 20.

??????Consumer Show SIG

The group will be hosting a webinar 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET, on Wed., Jan. 19. ReedPop President Lance Fensterman will be the speaker. Mark your calendars!

CEO Summit

Mark your calendar and plan to attend the SISO CEO Summit, scheduled for March 21-24, 2022, at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, FL. Back by popular demand, Economist Anirban Basu will offer an updated outlook and forecast on Tues., March 22. If you haven't received your code for registration, please contact Anna Osnower.

Couldn't make the SISO CEO Summit in 2021? See the video wrap-up and hear what our attendees had to say.

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.

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.



Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA)

As the end of the year approaches, activity on Capitol Hill continues apace. Here are the latest developments from the ECA:

Music Under Severe Income Crisis (MUSIC) Act 

Last week, new bipartisan legislation called the MUSIC Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate. Along with proposed support for the music and live entertainment industries, the MUSIC Act would also provide direct support for certain small businesses in the convention and trade show industry. As drafted, eligibility would be determined by NAICS code.

ECA anticipates this legislation will be incorporated into a broader bipartisan package to be considered by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship in the new year. ECA enthusiastically supports this important development for the industry and will advocate in support of an expansive version of the MUSIC Act becoming law in 2022.

Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act (HCJRA)

At this time, it is increasingly unlikely that the Build Back Better (BBB) Act will pass the U.S. Senate before it adjourns for the holidays. Unfortunately, ECA can confirm that the HCJRA's convention and trade show tax credit will not be part of the BBB going forward. This is due in large part to Congressional efforts to limit the overall size of the BBB and focus on tax policies that raise revenue. Despite this setback, ECA will continue to advocate for temporary tax credits and other measures to encourage the return of face-to-face business events in 2022.

International travel

All air travelers, regardless of vaccination status, are now required to show a negative pre-departure Covid-19 viral test taken the day before boarding any flight to the U.S. Due to Omicron-variant-related concerns, the U.S. has restricted travel from eight African countries, including Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. That said, it is widely expected that the Biden administration will remove the travel bans before the end of the year.

ECA continues to prioritize the urgent restoration of visa processing operations at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. In recent days, it has been reported there may be as many as 2.6 million outstanding visa applications system-wide.

Events Industry Council (EIC)

?????A top priority for EIC is its Equity Acceleration Plan. With the support of its partners, ?EIC has launched a survey to accurately assess and benchmark the state of the industry so the group can develop a meaningful framework to accelerate inclusion. SISO encourages all members to take part in the survey. Please participate in the survey before it closes on Jan. 15.

U.S. Travel

The Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) has fully integrated with the U.S. Travel Association, strengthening MMBC's critical mission of uniting the meetings industry with one strong and powerful voice. By integrating with U.S. Travel, MMBC will benefit directly from the association's robust public affairs resources and advocacy network while providing greater value to coalition members as business travel and professional meetings and events rebuilds from steep pandemic-related losses. Read the full press release.

Moving Forward Updates

According to the CDC's data, as of Dec. 15, a total of 202.5 million Americans, or 61% of the U.S. population, had been fully vaccinated. In total, 239.5 million Americans have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, or 72.2% of the U.S. population. Worldwide, 8.56 billion doses have been administered across 184 countries, as of Dec. 15, according to Bloomberg. In addition to the encouraging news on vaccine rollout and boosters, 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.



  • “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