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SISO Update


29 Oct 2021

SISO Update

As October comes to a close, show organizers are eagerly awaiting the reopening of the U.S. borders to international travel on Nov. 8 after a 19-month closure. Around the globe, some countries, like Thailand and Singapore, are slowly reopening for events, while some cities and provinces in China are shutting down while cases spike. In recent weeks, safe and successful events — such as the MJBizCon, New York Comic Con and the National Hardware Show — have been held across the U.S. A number of SISO member trade shows are planned for November, including IMEX America, LA Auto Show, The Smoky Mountain Gift Show and Live Design International.

SISO Activities

Case Studies 

Earlier this month, SISO published a case study on Mobile World Congress. Find out how GSMA restarted the European exhibition industry with the production of MWC Barcelona. The organizer worked closely with the venue and medical provider to provide on-site Covid testing. Each of its 21,000 attendees were required to provide a negative Covid test result every 72 hours to enter the show. Download the white paper 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.


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 2020 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. View the video recap here.

Special Interest Groups

Small Business

The last SISO Small Business SIG meeting for 2021 will be held at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 16. Additional dates will be added for 2022 soon. Please email with any questions.

CEO Summit

Mark your calendar and plan to attend the SISO CEO Summit, scheduled for March 21-24 at The Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, FL. Couldn't make the SISO CEO Summit in 2021? See the video wrap-up and hear what our attendees had to say.


Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance

Progress continues on the industry's advocacy priorities in Washington, DC. Here is the latest from Capitol Hill and the White House:

International travel update

Earlier this week, the Biden administration released additional details on its new international travel policy, which will begin Monday, Nov. 8. The following details are now confirmed:

  • All vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization — Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Jannsen (Johnson & Johnson), Oxford-AstraZeneca (including Covidshield), Sinopharm and Sinovac — will meet the criteria for travelers to be considered “fully vaccinated” for travel to the U.S.
  • Vaccinated travelers (including Americans) will still be required to show a negative test within three days of departure, while unvaccinated Americans now must produce a negative test within one day of departure.
  • Children under 18 are exempt from the vaccination requirement but will require a negative test within three days of departure, if traveling with a vaccinated adult, or within one day if traveling with an unvaccinated adult.
  • There is a limited exemption for unvaccinated non-leisure travelers from countries with less than 10% of the population vaccinated.

Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA)

Next week, Rep. Carolyn Maloney from New York will introduce a revised version of her Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA) legislation in the House of Representatives. 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. ECA and SISO have both endorsed this important legislation.

Hospitality & Commerce Job Recovery Act (HCJRA)

Advocacy efforts continue to get the HCJRA's “convention and trade show” tax credit into the forthcoming Build Back Better legislation (otherwise known as the budget reconciliation bill). Progress remains in a holding pattern while negotiations on the broader contours of the bill take place between the White House and Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona.

Joint Meetings Industry Council 

SISO is pleased to support Net Zero Carbon Events, a new initiative that is hosted by the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) to connect the events industry globally to the rapidly growing movement towards net zero by 2050. Watch JMIC board member and UFI CEO Kai Hattendorf introduce the initiative and UNFCCC Programme Manager Miguel Naranjo explain the context and why they are supporting this initiative here.

Events Industry Council 

Deadline extended! Take the survey by the Events Industry Council, which has launched the first phase of its landmark Equity Acceleration Plan that will focus on establishing a benchmark to measure progress for the industry to determine the current state of diversity, equity and inclusion within the workplace across the events industry. The results will inform the development of tools, resources and recommendations in the subsequent phases of the Equity Acceleration Plan. Please complete the survey here by Nov. 5.

U.S. Travel

U.S. Travel Association reacted to the additional details about the lifting of travel restrictions on Nov. 8 for vaccinated international travelers released by the White House earlier this week. Here's a link to the full policy details.

U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes said: “U.S. Travel has continuously advocated for the safe reopening of our borders, and today's guidance detailing how international air travelers can prepare for resumed travel to the United States starting Nov. 8 provides much-needed clarity for planning. We are grateful this additional detail has been made available as we move to reopening to fully vaccinated international travelers, and we look forward to similar guidance in coming days for those qualified visitors who plan to enter via our northern and southern land borders as well.” Read the full release.

Let's Meet There

The data and science are clear: Attending professional business meetings and events — including the transportation to get there and home — is incredibly safe. In fact, it is safer than some everyday activities such as going to the grocery store.

A data fact sheet to support the safety of travel for professional meetings and events is available here.

Moving Forward Updates

According to the CDC's data, as of Oct. 25, a total of 190.7 million Americans, or 66.4% of the U.S. population, had been fully vaccinated. In total, 220.5 million Americans have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, or 77.7% of the U.S. population. Worldwide, 6.9 billion doses have been administered across 184 countries, as of Oct. 26, according to Bloomberg. In addition to the encouraging news on vaccine rollout, 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 they 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