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SISO Update


19 Nov 2021

SISO Update

November has been a busy month as the exhibition industry ramps up the return to live, in-person events. On Nov. 8, the U.S. borders reopened to international travel after a 19-month closure. In recent weeks, safe and successful events — such as IMEX America, Web Summit, SEMA Show and the Dubai Airshow — have been held around the globe.


SISO Activities

Case Studies 

Earlier this week, SISO conducted an interview with Tarsus Group CEO Doug Emslie live from the Dubai Airshow. The biennial show was held Nov. 14-18. Here are a few highlights from the first major aviation expo since the pandemic:

  • 1,250 exhibitors, a 10% increase over 2019
  • 175 aircraft on display, the largest number ever
  • 90,000 attendees expected over five days, a double-digit increase over 2019
  • Deals being done in person: On the opening day of the show, Airbus Aircraft booked a deal for 255 aircraft, a deal valued at some $30 billion
  • Global participation in the return to live: More than 100 U.S. companies, including Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies
  • Debuting in 2021: Israeli companies displayed their hardware for the first time at the show, following Israel's normalization of diplomatic ties with the UAE last year
  • New products making a splash: A flight demo of the Boeing 777X

Watch or listen to the full interview here.

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 case studies for members to use as a playbook for the return to live events.

Webinar Series

SISO will host an executive webinar series, sponsored by JUNO, from Dec. 13 to 17. Find out how other for-profits are investing and strategizing for tech in 2022. Hear from CTOs who work at independent show organizations, including Diversified Communications, Emerald, Tarsus Group, Clarion Events, Informa Markets and Reed Exhibitions. In these 30-minute sessions, tech executives will answer:

  • 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?

Mark your calendar now: The webinars are planned for 12 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday, Dec. 13-17. Stay tuned for registration details.

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.


The Event Organizer's Perspective on Data Ownership is a cross-industry collaboration. The white paper features: definitions around data ownership, topics for organizers to consider, questions to ask your supplier and background/research on the issues. Thank you to the SISO members who contributed to the content, including Emerald, Reed Exhibitions, Informa Markets, Tarsus Group and Clarion Events. Download the white paper here.

Supported by SISO, UFI and Explori have released the third part of the Global Recovery Insights 2021 report. Among the key highlights:

  • 86% of exhibitors say visitor quality is now the most important reason to exhibit
  • Visitor interest in hybrid has declined from 3.2 in 2021 to 2.8 in 2021 (on a scale of 1-5)
  • 67% of exhibitors will maintain investment in floor space

The full report is available free for SISO members here.

Video recap 

SISO held a Joint Leadership Summit with AEO, SACEOS and UFI from Oct. 5 to 7 at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore. Industry leaders and government representatives came together to discuss the future of business events in the region. It was Singapore's first business event attended by fully vaccinated delegates. At the conclusion of the event, Singapore was appointed host for the launch of the Asia CEO Summit from 2022 to 2025. View a video recap of the event by VisitSingapore Business Events here.


Special Interest Groups


As we close out 2021 and look ahead at 2022 marketing and event planning, the SISO Marketing SIG will address lessons learned and future forecasts during a one-hour virtual meeting. Please join us for a case study and peer-to-peer sharing of some of the biggest learnings from our members this year, plus get insight on what members are planning to do differently going forward. Register NOW to join us 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET on Wed., Dec. 15. 

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


Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) has released Report One: Marketing Channel Mix During Pandemic and Outlook Moving Forward for Brand Marketers That Exhibit at B2B Exhibitions from its newest research series, Omnichannel Marketing Insights. This series details omnichannel marketing practices while the pandemic shut down the business-to-business (B2B) exhibition industry in mid-March 2020 and anticipated plans moving forward through 2022. SISO members have access to CEIR Reports here.

Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA)

The face-to-face business events industry hit another milestone on the road to recovery last week with the U.S. reopening to fully vaccinated travelers from around the world. Read on for more of the latest news from the ECA.

International travel

U.S. air and land borders reopened to vaccinated international visitors on Nov. 8 for the first time in nearly 20 months. With new document verification requirements in place, airlines and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials anticipate increased congestion at airports and land crossings in the coming few days as the new processes take hold.

While ECA applauds the long-overdue lifting of inbound entry restrictions, it continues to advocate to the U.S. Department of State to alleviate visa interview and processing bottlenecks that continue to prevent many exhibitors and attendees from returning to events in the U.S.

Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA)

On Nov. 2, NY Rep. Carolyn Maloney reintroduced her PRIA legislation in the House of Representatives. Co-sponsored by nine of her House colleagues, this bill would help restore communicable disease coverage to event cancelation insurance by requiring insurers to make available coverage against pandemic-related risk in return for a government indemnification of 95% of insured losses arising from future pandemics resulting in a public health emergency.

Trade Show News Network and Trade Show Executive wrote articles last week on the PRIA reintroduction and ECA's support.

??Hospitality & Commerce Job Recovery Act (HCJRA)

With the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (also known as the bipartisan infrastructure framework) on Nov. 5, the U.S. House of Representatives will likely take up consideration of the Build Back Better (BBB) legislation (otherwise known as the budget reconciliation bill) soon. Once it moves to the Senate, the BBB package remains a potential target for the HCJRA's “convention and trade show” tax credit. At this point, BBB consideration will likely take until the end of the year.

Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC)

On Nov. 10, the global events industry presented a united pledge and roadmap for a net zero carbon future for events. Industry leaders from venues, organisers, suppliers and associations, were live on stage at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland to represent and demonstrate the commitment of the events industry community to fight climate change. Later that day, SISO, in cooperation with JMIC and UFI, held a press conference about the Net Zero Carbon Events pledge at IMEX America in Las Vegas. Read the full release about the COP 26 session here. Watch the COP26 session recording here.

U.S. Travel

U.S. Travel Association released a biannual forecast, which shows an uneven recovery for the international inbound and business travel segments, while domestic leisure travels has returned to near pre-pandemic levels. Domestic business travel spending is expected to reach 76% of 2019 levels in 2022 while the segment is not expected to fully recover until 2024. International inbound travel spending is forecasted to reach 72% of 2019 levels in 2022. The segment is not expected to fully recover until 2024 or 2025. Read the full release here.


Moving Forward Updates

According to the CDC's data, as of Nov. 17, a total of 195.4 million Americans, or 58.9% of the U.S. population, had been fully vaccinated. In total, 227.6 million Americans have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, or 68.6% of the U.S. population. Worldwide, 7.52 billion doses have been administered across 184 countries, as of Nov. 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.



  • “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