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SISO Update


01 Oct 2021

SISO Update

As October begins, the exhibition industry is celebrating the lifting of U.S. restrictions for international travel in November. In recent weeks, safe and successful events — such as the Utility Expo, MINExpo, IAA Mobility and The National Running Show — have been held across the U.S. and Europe. A number of major trade shows are planned for October, including MJBizCon and G2E in Las Vegas, Plant Based World Expo and International Franchise Show in London, and NeoCon and the National Association of Convenience Stores in Chicago. Stay tuned for a white paper from SISO and UFI on MJBizCon.

SISO Activities

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 last October, SISO has published eight case studies for members to use as a playbook for the return to live events.

Special Interest Groups

Small Business

The SISO Small Business SIG continues to hold open monthly roundtable discussions, which take place at 11 a.m. ET on the third Tuesday of the month. Additional dates will be added moving forward. Please email with any questions. Mark your calendars for these upcoming roundtables:

  • 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 19
  • 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 16

CEO Summit

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



The impact of the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance's ongoing advocacy work on behalf of the industry was felt earlier this month when the Biden administration announced current inbound entry restrictions for vaccinated international travelers will be lifted in November.

International travel update

Beginning in early November (exact date TBD), fully vaccinated travelers from anywhere in the world will be able to fly into the U.S., subject to new testing and contact tracing procedures. All inbound passengers will need to show proof of vaccination and provide a negative test result no more than 72 hours old (even if fully vaccinated) to board any U.S.-bound flight.

Detailed implementation guidance will not be forthcoming until mid-to-late October. Among the issues still to be resolved are which vaccines will qualify for international travelers to be considered “fully vaccinated.” While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only recognizes the Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson jabs, the World Health Organization also recognizes the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Serum, Sinopharm and Sinovac shots.

ECA will push for the CDC to recognize an expansive list of qualifying vaccines, as Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson are not widely available throughout most of the world.

Hospitality & Commerce Job Recovery Act (HCJRA)

On September 15, two SISO board members — Hervé Sedky from Emerald and Nancy Walsh from Informa Markets — joined an ECA meeting with NV Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto to discuss the HCJRA legislation. During the meeting, Cortez Masto reiterated her support for the industry and her commitment to advocating for the bill's convention and trade show tax to become law this year.

In addition, recognizing the importance of the face-to-face business events industry to her home state of Nevada, Cortez Masto is also considering additional opportunities to help jumpstart our sector's recovery. ECA will continue to update SISO members as bills are brought forward.


The Events Industry Council has launched the first phase of its landmark Equity Acceleration Plan, which will focus on establishing a benchmark by which to measure progress for the industry through a survey to determine the current state of diversity, equity and inclusion within the workplace across the events industry. The results of this benchmark will inform the development of tools, resources and recommendations in the subsequent phases of the Equity Acceleration Plan, which aims to provide a framework to turn our vision to action and lead the challenge against discrimination and systemic racism in the events industry.

With more than 10.3 million direct jobs and more than 1.5 billion participants in our sector, and as the industry that at its heart fosters human connection and collaborations, we have the opportunity and responsibility to be a catalyst for meaningful and measurable change. The Equity Acceleration Plan will enable EIC to support event professionals to create more diverse and inclusive environments, develop career pathways and ensure representation in leadership and supply chains by providing the learning and resources intended to reach and support our community.

We encourage SISO members to take part in the survey. Please complete the survey here by October 15.

U.S. Travel

U.S. Travel Association reacted to the lifting of travel restrictions for vaccinated international travelers and to comments made by White House Chief Medical Advisor to the President Dr. Anthony Fauci in support of a vaccine mandate for domestic air travel.

U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow said: "The U.S. Travel Association applauds the Biden administration's announcement of a roadmap to reopen air travel to vaccinated individuals from around the world, which will help revive the American economy and protect public health.” Read the full statement by Dow.

U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes said: “U.S. Travel has long maintained that there should be no mandatory vaccination requirement for domestic travel. Such a policy would have an unfair, negative impact on families with young children who are not yet eligible to get the vaccine.” Read the full statement by Emerson Barnes.

Let's Meet There

Let's Meet There held a media event on Sept. 15 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. A broad coalition, including SISO and ECA, delivered an evidence-based message: travel for professional meetings, exhibitions and events can safely resume and doing so will accelerate America's economic and jobs recovery.

“Every piece of evidence that we're seeing from the scientific and academic community tells us that, with the right practices in place, the traveling workforce and organizers of professional events can get back to the business of reconnecting with clients and colleagues,” said Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “Ultimately, the business community will drive the return to business travel, and in doing so, will shift the economy back to greater normalcy.”

At the press conference, Dow joined other leaders, including Adam Sacks, President of Tourism Economics and Oxford Economics; John Cordier, CEO and Co-Founder, Epistemix Inc.; Hervé Sedky, Chair of the Board, ECA, Chair of SISO and President and CEO, Emerald; and Caryn Seidman-Becker, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, CLEAR. A press release with a summary of the event is available here or watch the full press conference here.

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 Sept. 27, a total of 183.8 million Americans, or 55.4% of the U.S. population, had been fully vaccinated. In total, 213.6 million Americans have received at least one dose of the of the Covid vaccine, or 75.3% of the U.S. population. Worldwide, 6.17 billion doses have been administered across 184 countries, as of Sept. 27. 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 the return to live ramps up. Additional guidance and updates on Covid-19 remain available on our site.

Member Benefits and Discounts 

Global Industry Performance Review 2021 

JWC has released the Global Industry Performance Review 2021 (GIPR 2021) that features content and an analysis on how companies and venues adapted and performed during the pandemic and how they plan to readjust as organizers move back into holding in-person events in the future. SISO members will receive a 10% discount and can order a copy of the GIPR 2021 here. Please use code SISOGIPR10.


SISO is a supporting association partner of VSef, which has created a universal data format that enables events to consume consistent data regardless of which platforms they are working with. The dedicated VSef website offers the standards and user guides for platforms for organizers to download. Find out more in this press release about the launch of VSef.

Virtual Events Institute Certification

SISO partners with Virtual Events Institute to offer discounted training. VEI will provide a 50% discount to SISO members for its online education platform dealing with all aspects relating to the production, promotion and monetization of online and hybrid events. To receive the special SISO discount for these online education sessions, please register using this link. For additional information, contact Peter Orford.


Join your community online via SISO's social channels. Are you a member? Engage in our online member forum. Would you like to get more involved, or do you have a question about SISO (or otherwise)? Email

We are grateful for the support of members and sponsors who attended the SISO Summer Conference and SISO Women's Leadership Forum in Louisville. Thank you to MJBizCon for participating in an upcoming white paper on the show's return to live in October in Las Vegas.

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