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SISO Update


16 Jul 2021

SISO Update

The restart of trade shows continues around the globe as COVID-19 restrictions ease and vaccinations rise. On June 28, Mobile World Congress (MWC) opened in Barcelona, becoming the first major event to be held in Europe since the pandemic. GSMA reported 120,000 people accessed #MWC21 Barcelona across virtual platforms and physically at Fira de Barcelona Gran Via, with 20,000 attending in person June 28-July 1. SISO is producing a case study on MWC, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out the links below to SISO's video coverage from the event.

SISO Activities


SISO is partnering with Freeman and mdg to produce an Executive Roundtable at NY Now, which is produced by SISO member Emerald. NY Now will be first trade show since the pandemic to be held at Javits Center in New York. The roundtable is scheduled for 1-4:30 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 9. The program is currently being finalized, so stay tuned for an email invitation with the details to come.

Case Studies 

On July 8, SISO and UFI published a Case Study: Las Vegas Market. The white paper takes a deeper dive into how International Market Centers produced the Las Vegas Market, the first event at its new Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas and the first major trade show in Las Vegas in more than one year.

As you get ready to 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 seven case studies for members to use as a playbook for the return to live events.

To accompany the white papers, SISO has produced video case studies on the return of live events. Watch the Deeper Dive into World of Concrete with Dan Assor and Danica Tormohlen.

Events Industry Commentator and Consultant Dan Assor produced a broadcast with Danica Tormohlen from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Here's a link to coverage from the show.

Assor hosts topical discussions with event, exhibition and business professionals on The Dan Assor Podcast, In Conversation With, which is sponsored by SISO. Members can subscribe to The Dan Assor Podcast from any of these channels: YouTubeFacebookLinkedInSpotifyApple and Twitter.

As a preview of what's to come in the case study on Mobile World Congress, check out our on-site video interviews with GSMA CEO John Hoffman and GSMA CMO Stephanie Lynch-Habib.

Special Interest Groups

Human Resources

If you missed the Roundtable Discussion: Back to Business/Return to the Office Protocol on June 10, you can view the recording on demand here.

Small Business

The SISO Small Business SIG continues to hold open monthly roundtable discussions, which take place at 11 a.m. ET on the second Tuesday of the month. Additional dates will be added moving forward. Mark your calendar and plan to join the next session 1-5 p.m. ET, Tuesday, August 24. The session will be live and in-person at the SISO Summer Conference in Louisville, KY. The registration fee is $49 to attend and includes lunch. Please email info@siso.orgwith any questions.

Consumer Show Organizers

Mark your calendar: The Consumer Show Organizers SIG will host roundtable discussions at 12 p.m. ET on Sept. 14 and 12 p.m. on Nov. 16. More information will follow soon.


Join the Marketing SIG at 12 p.m. ET on July 29 for a discussion on Freeman's Consumer Sentiment Study. Ken Holsinger, SVP, Strategy — Data Solutions, for Freeman will outline its latest findings and lead a discussion on the exciting opportunities ahead. Audience sentiment data reveals benchmarks and opinion shifts that are crucial to address as events return. Freeman's data shows it won't be business as usual, and that's a good thing. Register here.

Summer Conference

As we move back to live and in-person events, we are pleased to have Louisville, “Gateway to Bourbon Country,” as our host city and Louisville Tourism as the host for the 2021 SISO Summer Conference, which will be held Aug. 24-26.

SISO is once again offering an extended SISO Women's Leadership Forum, which will run 2–6 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 23, and will continue from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 24. The SISO Women's Leadership Forum will end just prior to the Opening Night of the SISO Summer Conference.

For the second year, SISO is implementing our ‘1-FREE' program, so that you and your colleagues may attend. Each member company has been given a unique code, which enables the first person to register from your company at “NO CHARGE.” That's right ... one free registration for each member company to send a representative to attend. The code must be used by the early bird deadline of July 31. 

If you have not received a code or need additional registration information, contact

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.

SISO Member Spotlight

SISO has launched a new video series produced by Dan Assor with member spotlights each month. Learn more about the industry's leading independent show organizers and find out what issues and solutions are top of mind for your colleagues. This month's SISO Member Spotlight features President of Diversified Communications USA & SISO Secretary Treasurer Mary Larkin. Watch the full interview on demand here.

SISO Video Update

SISO has launched a monthly SISO News round up video with Dan Assor. The July Update includes clips from interviews with SISO CEO David Audrain, Diversified Communications USA President & SISO Secretary Treasurer Mary Larkin, Doug Emslie's Event Industry Backyard Challenge, SISO/UFI World of Concrete deep dive case study with Danica Tormohlen and updates from Danica Tormohlen at Mobile World Congress Barcelona, including interviews with GSMA CEO John Hoffman, GSMA CMO Stephanie Lynch-Habib and a round up with Dan Assor. View the July Update here.



ECA continues to actively advocate for the business events industry's policy priorities in Washington, DC.

Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act (HCJRA)

Support for the HCJRA continues to grow. There are currently seven co-sponsors of the legislation in the Senate and 90 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. In the coming days and weeks, ECA and its coalition partners will be pushing the bill's sponsors to push for the inclusion of the business events tax credit part of the HCJRA in any forthcoming budget reconciliation or infrastructure package that Congress takes up between now and the end of the year.

Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA)

ECA recently joined the Business Continuity Coalition (BCC), a group of companies and associations that support a terrorism insurance backstop-style program for pandemic risk. This is critical for returning communicable disease coverage to event-cancellation insurance. At this time, ECA expects legislation to be introduced in the House of Representatives later this summer. ECA will continue to work closely with BCC, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and others in support of PRIA-like legislation to support SISO members.

International travel

Progress is anticipated in mid/late July with regard to lifting inbound entry restrictions to the U.S. There is growing political pressure in both countries to begin easing U.S.-Canada border restrictions beginning on July 21, and lockdown easing in the U.K. (currently anticipated for July 19) may begin the process of reopening the U.S.-U.K. transatlantic travel corridor. ECA continues to call on the Biden Administration to urgently lift border closures in key geographies as soon as possible.


The Events Industry Council (EIC) launched Sustainable Event Professional Certificate (SEPC) Programme, an online certification that covers a variety of topics related to sustainability, social impact and event management. To earn certification, event professionals must complete 16 online course modules.

For a limited time, discounts will be available for individuals who currently hold the Sustainable Event Professional Certificate or who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19.

Member Benefits and Discounts

Exhibitor Insight Report

Exhibitor Media Group has released the sixth study in the Exhibitor Insight Report series on the impact of COVID-19 to the tradeshow industry. In May 2020, EXHIBITOR completed a two-part research initiative that surveyed corporate exhibit managers and suppliers to the trade show and events industry. This new report provides the results of a sixth survey, which was conducted in late May 2021 to obtain exhibit marketers' and trade show suppliers' points of view. View the full report here. All six reports are free for SISO members here.

Global Industry Performance Review 2021

JWC has released the Global Industry Performance Review 2021 (GIPR 2021). The new GIPR covers topics relevant to the current state of the industry (see the Table of Contents), including 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, and organizers will be available to download from here. Find out more in this press release about the launch of VSef. Learn more: On July 12, Event Manager Blog published an article, How One Standard for Data Collection Could Change the Event Industry, about how the initiative works.

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.

Moving Forward Updates

According to the CDC's data, as of July 8, a total of 158.3 million Americans, or 47.7% of the U.S. population, had been fully vaccinated. In total, 183.2 million Americans have received at least one dose of the of the COVID vaccine, or 55.2% of the U.S. population. Worldwide, 647.3 million doses have been administered across 180 countries. 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.

Coalition Updates

U.S. Travel

Two dozen industry trade groups, including the U.S. Travel Association (USTA), have released, “A Framework to Safely Lift Entry Restrictions and Restart International Travel.” The document outlines policy principles for safely reopening American borders to international travelers. The blueprint urges the federal government to:

  • Quickly lift entry restrictions and reopen travel between the U.S. and the U.K., given the two countries' similar vaccination records.
  • Allow expedited entry into the U.S. for fully vaccinated individuals from low-risk countries.  
  • Ease entry restrictions by July 15, 2021, when the U.S. is forecast to achieve widespread immunity and sustained declines in infections a...


  • “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